by Sean Brady
Kamloops This Week
It’s going to be a busy year for one Kamloops indie rock band.
At Mission Dolores will release two albums in coming months and is currently touring in B.C. and Alberta.
In May, the band plans to release Last Night Outside Her Apartment, a nine-song record the band produced with Jordan Koop, best known for his work with another Canadian indie rock band, Wolf Parade.
At Mission Dolores frontman JP Lancaster told KTW he wanted to work with Koop because of how he approaches recording.
“Jordan did a master class with Steve Albini, who produced Nirvana’s In Utero, and Steve Albini’s approach, which is very much Jordan’s approach, is to capture how the band sounds at that moment in time,” Lancaster said.
At this moment in time, At Mission Dolores has had a lot of practice on the stage, as Lancaster said that’s how the band spent 2018, rather than in the studio. Its last release was in 2017.
“A strength of At Mission Dolores is the dynamic of the five of us playing live on stage and we really wanted to capture that in the most honest way possible,” he said.
The five of them include Jared Wilman on drums, Stu McCallum on bass, Maggie Ollek on keys and Jared Doherty and Lancaster on guitar and vocals.
The band spent five days recording with Koop at his studio on Gabriola Island last summer.
“He’s going to do a really honest representation of what the band sounds like in the room,” Lancaster said.
The songwriting for Last Night Outside Her Apartment was productive, and not every track made the final cut, but Lancaster said he and the band felt the remaining tracks were strong.
Not wanting to put good material to waste, the band embarked on the production of another album to precede the May release.
Cool World will be released on Feb. 8. Its eponymous single is already available online.
The band’s approach for Cool World’s eight tracks was much different.
“We wanted to approach them in the complete opposite manner,” Lancaster said. “Nothing was tracked live.”
Instead, the band recorded in pieces, never more than three musicians at once, and at different locations, including home studios. The album also features five different mixing engineers, including Jon Anderson, Jordan Koop, Jackson Gardner (of the formerly Kamloops-based band Gleneagle), Kris Ruston and the band’s own Jared Doherty.
“Each mixing engineer has their own personal style and sound. If you gave a recording to two different mixers, you would end up with two very different sounding songs,” Lancaster said.
Anderson is someone Lancaster said he’s wanted to work with for some time now.
“He picks and chooses what he works on, so I just emailed him on a whim asking if he wanted to take it on and he agreed to it,” he said.
Anderson has worked with artists like Andy Shauf, Foxwarren and Aidan Knight, three acts that Lancaster said the band has found inspiration in.
“I think they do a good job playing music that falls into the pop music genre in the sense that it’s accessible and pleasant sounding, but it also incorporates weird elements — stuff that’s slightly off-centre,” Lancaster said.
Those slightly off-centre elements are common in At Mission Dolores’ music. Cool World, the single, features psychedelia-inspired wavy guitars and a relaxed melody. To hear it yourself, go online to factotumco.bandcamp.com.
Cool World is also among the tracks to be heard live on stage here in Merritt. The band will play a show at the Culture Club, 2058 Granite Ave., at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2. Joining them will be local band The Dungbeatles.