Memoryhouse Explain How Photography, Memory, History and Mood Shaped 'The Slideshow Effect'
Published Feb 29, 2012With their Instagram-style album covers, reverb-drenched sound and titles like The Slideshow Effect and The Years, Ontario dream pop outfit Memoryhouse seem to have a penchant for themes of temporality and nostalgia in their art. Talking to Exclaim! recently, the band revealed how they look to a variety of sources to weave that Memoryhouse aesthetic.
"With this album [The Slideshow Effect]," explains vocalist Denise Nouvion, "the concept around it really revolved around the relationship between photographs and memory -- your experiences of your own life. I guess The Slideshow Effect was about how you interpret your own memories and past experiences. Not necessarily how they happened, but how you feel about them or how you remember them."
Memoryhouse's primary composer Evan Abeele adds, "It's like how your own self-narrative is shaped by history. It's not so much what you're remembering, it's how you're remembering it. We tried to reflect that on the album cover. You're seeing a very double-exposed, out-of-focus photograph to show that you can't really rely on your memory to give you the full picture. That's not the thing that actually represents it, it's just how you remember it and your associations with it -- moods, sounds, everything coalesces to make your own history."
Nouvion agrees: "My idea of art is very mood-based. Even my photographs are very stylistic -- subject matter isn't as important. It's all about colour, texture and density, and all that kind of stuff, where it's about your feeling when you look at the photograph. They're all stylistically similar in that way, where they all happen in consistent diegesis, in another world where they all kind of belong together."
The same consistency, she adds, applies to her musical work: "With Memoryhouse, when I'm writing, I kind of write in the Memoryhouse world with all of our other catalogue in mind."
Memoryhouse dropped their debut LP, The Slideshow Effect earlier this week via Sub Pop. As previously reported, the band have just kicked off a North American tour. You can see all the dates here.