Published Nov 07, 2013Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Bishop hadn't even released his first solo record as White Ash Falls before news broke that the onetime Yukon Blonde and Twin River member was already getting back in the studio to work on a follow-up. But a little over a year after the release of By the River Bend, Bishop is back and better than ever, recruiting an all-star lineup for his newest LP, Over the Night, which arrived this week through Light Organ Records.
Work on the record officially began back in the fall of 2012 when, following the release of his debut, Bishop found himself reuniting with producer Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Yukon Blonde) at Burnaby, BC's late, great Hive Studios to lay down a couple tracks for a possible full-length.
While touring in support of By the River Bend, Bishop continued to write in his off time, but mostly "kept the songs under wraps, even from the guys I jam with," he tells Exclaim!
But as the songs continued to pour out of him, he soon realized work on a new album could no longer be restrained.
"Creatively, I was developing more with what I wanted to do with White Ash Falls," he says about the songwriting process, "and those songs are more a representation of the vibe we were going for."
Recorded over a four-week time period with musicians including Louise Burns, Rah Rah's Erin Passmore, and Yukon Blonde's Jeff Innes, Graham Jones and Brandon Scott, Over the Night is one of Bishop's most stylistically diverse efforts to date, expanding upon his initial folk-flecked debut to encompass genres including roots-rock, gospel and classic R&B, due in large part to his varied musical entourage.
"From day-to-day, the people that were recording were different," he says, "so whoever happened to be in the studio on that day when we did that song, then there style would get put into it."
Meeting with the band only a few days before their first studio session allowed Bishop to keep his songs sounding "fresh," but according to the songwriter, it was the group's off-the-cuff approach that allowed for the album's stylistic experimentation, which was all the more aided by the project's ample recording time.
"You really get caught up in the moment and think, 'Well, let's try this. Let's do that.' Then the next thing you know, you've added a load of stuff you probably wouldn't have thought of."
And of course, it would be impossible for the studio version of White Ash Falls to tour with the same lineup, considering all of the musicians' busy schedules and individual projects. Nevertheless, Bishop says that only adds to the atmosphere of his current touring band's live show.
"I have to be very versatile when it comes to this project, because people don't have the time always. You have to be willing to change things up and not get stuck in the songs sounding one way, because every couple months I'm going to have someone different playing in the band.
"At the same time, it's really cool because the songs get to change and grow with each group of new people. I honestly don't think you could come and see White Ash Falls and it would be the same set six months later."
See for yourself by catching White Ash Falls live on tour, as the project continues on with a cross-Canada road trip with BC folk outfit the Fugitives.