Published Jul 21, 2014Kingston/Toronto duo PS I Love You have been rolling out their third album, For Those Who Stay, by hiding cassette copies and performing on the festival circuit. On Tuesday (July 22), Paper Bag Records will release the album, which is by far the band's most ambitious effort to date. It was so ambitious, they literally tried everything in the studio.
"As we were making it, we joked that we didn't know what we wanted to do so we just tried a bunch of different things," singer/guitarist Paul Saulnier tells Exclaim! "All of the music we love varies widely, so the music we make has little bits of everything we love in it."
One song that shows the band reaching outside of their comfort zone is the soul-tinged "Afraid of the Light," which fires up with a wall of gospel vocals. When asked about which choir they brought on to sing it, Saulnier drops a bomb.
"That was [drummer] Ben [Nelson]," he reveals. "The secret to our band is that Ben has an amazing voice. But he's not the singer, I'm the singer! I have the crummy voice. For 'Afraid of the Light,' that wasn't originally in the song. I just put Ben in the vocal booth and had him sing a high note and hold it as long as he could. And he just did it and it was amazing. He's quite shy about his voice."
Saulnier, an avid collector of soul music, says he'd love to fully indulge in more of a soul influence, but doesn't think he has the chops.
"I'll never be able to make great soul music because I don't have the discipline for that," he admits. "We just kind of come up with an idea and do it. We're not a tight band. But that song was more of an ode to the soul influence on David Bowie and Iggy Pop."
Although it likely won't contain much of a soul element, Saulnier says that PS I Love You already have more new music in the bank. In fact, For Those Who Stay wasn't originally the album they expected to release. There was another.
"It's called Absent, and I don't know when it will come out," he explains. "That was the album we actually set out to do. But things happened naturally and For Those Who Say was the one that came to the surface.
Saulnier says at this time, while they begin touring and promoting For Those Who Stay, he can't really say what Absent will be exactly, or when it will arrive.
"We still have to mix it and there is still room for a couple more songs," he says. "'Absent' is a 10-minute-long song that didn't fit with the other songs, so we just decided to make it its own thing. It might even be an EP: one side with that song and one side with a few other songs. Originally I thought they'd all be on the same record but then 'For Those Who Stay' is seven minutes long and 'Absent' is 10 minutes. Add two more songs and you practically have a full-length. And there was no budget or desire to do a double LP. Plus everyone said that was a dumb idea. We're not Wu-Tang."
08/01 Sackville, NB SappyFest
08/18 Detroit, MI - The Pike Room *
08/19 Toronto, ON - The Drake *
08/20 Ottawa, ON - Mavericks *
08/21 Montreal, QC - Il Motore *
08/22 Boston, MA - Cafe 939 *
08/23 New York, NY - Rough Trade *
08/25 Washington, DC - DC9
08/26 Columbus, OH - Rumba Cafe *
08/27 Chicago, IL - Schubas *
* with Frog Eyes