Badge Époque Ensemble Return with New Album 'Clouds of Joy'

Get to know one of Toronto's most talented troupes in a video for new song "Zodiac"

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Jun 13, 2022

Badge Époque Ensemble have detailed a new album. The group will share Clouds of Joy on September 9 via Telephone Explosion, marking the label's 100th release. 

Following 2020's Self Help, the nine-track Clouds of Joy is said to find the Toronto-based outfit drifting into a "more era-ambiguous, complex and all-encompassing approach to arrangement and production" compared to the sounds and styles that defined their first two acclaimed releases, with the album sporting three vocal-led compositions, three instrumentals and three choral arrangements.

It is said that the record finds BÉE leader Max 'Twig' Turnbull taking a more "directorial" approach to the music-making — think David Axelrod, or Steely Dan's Donald Fagen & Walter Becker — leading to the group's most collaborative outing to date.

Joining Turnbull are drummer Jay Anderson, bassist Gio Rosati, flautist Alia O'Brien, saxophonist Karen Ng, percussionist Ed Squires, guitarist/vocalist Chris Bezant, and pianist Edwin de Goeij. Vocalists Dorothea Paas and James Baley also return to the fold, and are joined by a choir composed of session vocalists (including singers from Bernice and Bonjay).​

Baley, who starred on BÉE's 2019 self-titled album with "Undressed In Solitude," takes the lead once more on "Zodiac," which you can hear below alongside a video directed by Colin Medley. The near eight-minute slice of jazz-funk is the perfect soundtrack to a documentary-style look at Badge Époque Ensemble's talented players and the group's formation.

Last year, Turnbull released Scroll as Badge Epoch, which featured Badge Époque Ensemble and BÉE-adjacent members of his musical universe.

In July, Badge Époque Ensemble will play Ontario's River & Sky Music/Camping festival.

Clouds of Joy:

1. Conspiring with Nature
2. Clouds of Joy
3. Let Breath Be the Sum
4. Badge Époque Ensemble
5. Joy Flows
6. Zodiac (feat. James Baley)
7. Don't Touch a Hair On His Head
8. The Greatest Joy
9. All Same 2 Each, Each Same 2 All

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