Five Questions With Thus Owls

Montreal, QC-based band, Thus Owls have unveiled their new single, “I Forget What I Remembered” along with a video to accompany the release.

Vocalist Erika Angell shares,

“The poem for “I Forget What I Remembered” were the first words written in the making of our new album ”Who Would Hold You If The Sky Betrayed Us?”. It is a declaration of love. It is the first moment after waking up in the morning. It is an attempt to express gratitude for the difficult things and the good stuff. Expressed from this serene and dreamy space, hovering in between physical and spiritual presence, where not knowing is what is most reasonable.

Thus Owls songs are usually shaped slowly, out of sound textures, moods or riffs, but this song was born all at once and stands as a centrepiece for this album. ”How true can anything become and how do we know the difference? Everything is happening at once and I am happening with it.”

The duo’s fifth album, Who Would Hold You If The Sky Betrayed Us? sees them continue their tradition of reinvention, turning to longtime collaborator Samuel Joly (drums), but also to a trio of saxophone players/composers: Claire Devlin (tenor), Adam Kinner (tenor) and Jason Sharp (bass sax).

The album will be released on March 4, 2022, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Check  out the video for “I Forget What I Remembered” below and find out more about Thus Owls via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Thus Owls are Erika Angell and Simon Angell. We are a Swedish-Canadian couple that met 15 years ago on the road and we have made music together ever since. We started Thus Owls when we lived and worked out of Stockholm in 2009, but relocated to Montreal in 2013. Our band is an outlet for our ever-changing creativity and inspiration, and each project we start involves new collaborators in order to keep developing and evolving our artistic expression. The collaborations often connect artists across the Atlantic due to Erika’s roots in Europe and Sweden. We’ve for example worked with the musician collective Kytopia in Utrecht with horn quartet, string quartet, and a 12-piece choir, Icelandic neoclassical composer Danìel Bjarnasson for beautiful string arrangements, filmmaker Karl Lemieux (Godspeed You! Black Emperor), dancer Hanako Hoshimi-Caines (The Cullberg Ballet), and many Swedish musicians throughout the years. For the creation of our new album we worked with our long-time collaborator and drummer Samuel Joly and three saxophonists; Claire Devlin, Jason Sharp, and Adam Kinner. Radwan Ghazi Moumneh from Jerusalem In My Heart recorded and mixed the album.

Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.

We are making music as a process of staying inspired, challenged, and evolving, in art and in life. For us, a composing period always involves a lot of reading, indulging in art, music, films, poetry, etc., to bring a widespread of inspiring expressions and ideas to the creation table. We decided to invite our musical collaborators to participate in this process in the creation of our new album “Who Would Hold You If The Sky Betrayed Us?”. We had conversational meetings throughout, where we shared inspirations and discussed composing, purpose, performance, and other relevant or irrelevant subjects related to the creation. These conversations made us more vulnerable and attentive to each other and it is definitely reflected and heard in the music that was captured on this double vinyl.

How have you been keeping creative during the Pandemic?

Creating music and art is what we love to do. It has felt more important than ever to create in times like these, having this very real and emotional outlet that forces us to stay present and connected to ourselves and our life. We wrote and recorded this double vinyl during the pandemic. We think we were lucky to have already planned to do so when the pandemic hit so we could just dive right into writing and composing when everything shut down the first time. It has been a slower process though, like for everyone, with lots of interrupted plans and changing of schedules.

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?

Why not “I Forget What I Remembered”.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

There are so many. Here are a few of our favorites.
Peggy Lee
Kara-Lis Coverdale
Jerusalem In My Heart
Tim Hecker

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