Published Feb 24, 2016After the 2013 film and album, My Prairie Home, and the 2014 book and spoken word tour, Gender Failure (with Ivan Coyote), Rae Spoon is continuing the theme of independence on Armour, producing work for the first time and released on the songwriter's own label Coax.
"The label I had been on in Calgary decided to stop putting out records," Spoon tells Exclaim!, "so I thought of it as an opportunity to start my own thing. With the label, I try to work with people who I already know, like I toured with them."
Spoon's new work is an organic mix of acoustic drums and electronic production leaning in an indie-dance direction, amongst a loose collective of queer artists and writers working in that realm of sound.
"I think a lot of people in those bands, like me, were in gay bars a lot when they were teenagers and young adults, and techno definitely had its effect on me. If you kind of grew up with the lesbian folk singer side of things and the '90s techno of the gay bar, it makes a lot of sense that we all make music that sounds like this."
Spoon has moved between Calgary, Montreal and now Victoria, but assists on Armour came from all over, including Berlin.
"I made demos of the songs and demos of the drum tracks with a friend [Alexandre Decoupigny], who taught me about electronic music. He lives in Berlin — he did a lot of the drum arrangements. I did all the synths and guitars, and in the studio, we worked with an Alberta drummer named Chris Dratch. Half of my album is drum machines and half is percussion or a drum kit, so the goal was that maybe you could not tell exactly which one was which."
Spoon will promote the album with a cross-country tour, performing in the usual clubs but also small cafes and art galleries. Spoon remains committed to a DIY ethos — no one is turned away due to lack of income, and some shows are all ages. You can find upcoming tour dates here; check out the lyric video for "Armour" below.
Armour is out now on Coax.