Published Jul 01, 2006Starting out in Winnipeg, then moving to Montreal, and now situated in Toronto, Bryce Kushnier has come along way (both literally and musically) with his recording project known as Vitaminsforyou. Conceived back in 1998, Kushnier has developed his sound into one that both challenges and hooks the listener in, constantly juggling his job as both an experimental and an accessible pop manufacturer. The follow-up to 2003s Im Sorry Forever and for Always, The Legend of Birds Hill finds itself in the "Postal Service-ruled electronic pop subdivision where every synth-brandishing act of late incorporating adorable harmonies and indie rock-minded song structures will forever be grateful to Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello. Thankfully, Kushnier has the history to prove himself, but its hard not to describe "Being Away Fame as anything but "Postal Servish. However, Birds Hill never stands still, and these comparisons are washed away as soon as the next track begins. Field recordings, ambient, psychedelia, folk and a slew of sociable found sounds revolve in the V4U portfolio of multi-layered musical diversity. Even a madcap phone message from Montreal beat-crafter Ghislain Poirier enters the fold for a laugh. Running past the 70-minute mark, Birds Hill does wander at times, but the merit for such inspired and enjoyable songwriting within that period is next to priceless.
How did Birds Hill Park inspire the music? It is truly a beautiful and magical place in Manitoba. My grandmother used to take me there all the time when I was a kid and it really represented a journey of sorts for me back then. I wanted the whole album to have this constant theme running throughout; one of getting from place to place and all the stories in between.
Theres a real tug-o-war between the experimental and the accessible in your songwriting. Are you trying to work both angles? Music has to keep me interested with every new listen and make me want to listen again. I think I find my sound by listening to everything around me and choosing what sounds I love, and then figuring out how to squish them into a ball and make something new that represents what I want to hear in my head.
What made you push the albums length over 70 minutes? More than anything I wanted to make sure that everything that was important to me was represented in the music. While I want to tell a story with this album, I am really not concerned with people listening to the whole thing from start to finish, but rather make it one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books where you become the author and control the narrative. (intr_version)