Published Feb 23, 2015At a recent Ottawa show, Evening Hymns frontman Jonas Bonnetta hinted that a new album was on the way, and he's now confirmed details of the upcoming release.
Speaking to Exclaim!, Bonnetta reveals that Evening Hymns will be releasing a new full-length titled Quiet Energies in June.
Despite the band's ever-revolving lineup, Bonnetta pinned down some familiar faces for the latest project. James Bunton returned to fill the engineer role and also plays on the album. Rounding out his backing band are the Wooden Sky's Gavin Gardiner and Andrew Kekewich, Jon Hynes and Sylvie Smith. The "extended cast of players" also includes string arrangements courtesy of Mika Posen, who has played with Timber Timbre.
The songs were primarily written by Bonnetta as an intended solo project, immediately after the release of 2012's Spectral Dusk, but after shelving them for a couple of years, he decided to revisit them with the band. Majority of the tracks were recorded live off the floor.
Quiet Energies was recorded over the span of a couple weeks at Bonnetta's new home studio in Mountain Grove, about an hour outside of Kingston, ON. It's a move that profoundly affected Bonnetta — and his sound. While Spectral Dusk was an incredibly personal record inspired by the death of Bonnetta's father, the new set of songs hears him moving forward.
"A lot of it is, in a sense, the next chapter, making sense of that and recognizing where I want to be going and be living and what I want to be surrounded by," he tells Exclaim! "A lot of the songs are rooted in themes of going back to living a bit more simply and not taking life for granted and respecting that life is short and each day is to be appreciated."
He continues: "The songs are very much in line with how I'm living my life now. Before, I was dreaming that I would be some place more rural, where life is a little bit slower and quieter, so the record's about that in a lot of ways. I have a huge respect for that now."
But despite the newfound calm in his home life, Bonnetta made a conscious effort to liven up the sound on the new material. "This record is definitely rockin' more," he says.
Following two years of extensive touring that would end with leaving the stage in tears most nights, and a health scare, Bonnetta has shifted his sonic approach. "When it came time to make this new record, I was like, 'I don't want to have to feel so emotional on stage every single night.' So the idea was to have some songs that were more cathartic and rockin.'
"I still get really upset playing one song, but knowing that I had these other songs that are really fun and enjoyable to play, it's therapeutic. It helps me get through the set. As much as I've moved to the country, there are some songs that are way more upbeat. I have a studio where I can play drums at 4 in the morning without any neighbours around, so maybe that's part of it too."
In addition to the rock-centric Quiet Energies, Bonnetta reveals that he has a few other projects on the go as well. He recently completed an instrumental score to a documentary film called Strange and Familiar, about the recently built hotel and artist spaces on Newfoundland's Fogo Island. The film will be released in Canada this March, and Bonnetta says he hopes to release the soundtrack as a solo record in the near future.
He's also currently recording an EP with Jim Bryson and has wrapped the recording of another Evening Hymns EP. Expected to be mastered in the coming weeks, the Evening Hymns EP will follow the release of Quiet Energies in fall or winter this year.
It's a lot to take in for fans of Bonnetta's work, but for now you can check out the tracklisting for the forthcoming Quiet Energies LP below. Past that, you can view a trailer for the aforementioned Strange and Familiar.
1. If I Were A Portal
2. Evil Forces
3. House of Mirrors
4. Rescue Teams
5. Oh Man You'll Walk Again And Again
6. Connect The Lines
7. All My Life I Have Been Running
8. Light As A Feather