Published Mar 01, 2013The success of Mac DeMarco has been fascinating and well-deserved in its own right, but it will also hopefully have a positive ripple effect as more of his peers get attention for their equally endearing projects. One artist who's benefitting from that is Alex Calder, who will release his debut EP on Captured Tracks later this month.
Calder was best known as the drummer for DeMarco's previous project Makeout Videotape. Still, he's quietly been working on a solo project for some time.
"I've kinda always been recording stuff on my own," Calder tells Exclaim! "I haven't taken it seriously until the last year or so. I used to go under the name Collage Party, and I would always throw songs up on Bandcamp or wherever, mainly just wanting friends to hear it, and if other people listened, that was cool."
As you might expect from the label connection, DeMarco was the one to first introduce Calder's songs to the Brooklyn-based imprint. "My friend Mac D sent [the Collage Party recordings] to bossman Mike Sniper," Calder recalls. "He liked the songs and we talked for a while, and I kept sending songs, and it all worked out."
Once he'd signed with the label, Calder made plans to release his debut EP Time, dropping the Collage Party moniker and going with his own name. It also marked the time that, like so many of his peers, he left Edmonton for Montreal. As such, the songs were developed in Edmonton and completed in Montreal.
"I recorded almost all of this EP when I got to Montreal about six months ago," he explains. "I wrote about half of them about a year and a half ago in Edmonton as demos. I recorded them all in my living room here in Montreal, some stuff in Edmonton with my friend Jon Lent. Also, shout out to Jon Lent and his big penis."
Aside from, er, large appendages, Edmonton also boasts an impressive cast of musicians who have made waves in larger markets, from Mac DeMarco (and his backing band, who also play in Walter TV and Homeshake) to Peace and many others. According to Calder, the tight-knit music community formed in Edmonton has only been beneficial.
"We all have similar tastes," he admits. "A lot of the time we use each other's recording gear and instruments for everything. Hanging out all the time and being in the same bands all the time really contributes. I don't feel like there's any competition at all though, I think we can all realize the individuality with it."
There's also a common sense of humour in the scene. When asked if there's anything else we should know about Alex Calder, he simply says, "A 1960s hipster secret agent is brought out of cryofreeze to oppose his greatest enemy in the 1990s, where his social attitudes are glaringly out of place."
Time will be available on March 26 via Captured Tracks. Check out the video for "Light Leave Your Eyes" below.
1. Suki and Me
2. Light Leave Your Eyes
6. Fatal Delay