"I’m really a total goofball that likes rocking out to other people’s music. I write what comes naturally and I’m trying to show more of my lighter side, because I don’t want people to worry. I want them to know I’m alright. My mom always asks ‘I thought you were happy!’ and I’m like ‘I am happy! I wrote these songs so I could be happy.’" - Sharon Van Etten
ESSENTIAL ALBUMS: Sharon Van Etten on five instructional classics.

"I’m really a total goofball that likes rocking out to other people’s music. I write what comes naturally and I’m trying to show more of my lighter side, because I don’t want people to worry. I want them to know I’m alright. My mom always asks ‘I thought you were happy!’ and I’m like ‘I am happy! I wrote these songs so I could be happy.’" - Sharon Van Etten

ESSENTIAL ALBUMS: Sharon Van Etten on five instructional classics.

PRIMER: The Many Lives of Owen Pallett
Owen Pallett’s fourth album, In Conflict, is officially out today. The formerly-Toronto-now-Montreal based violin looper/songwriter has said he’s made a clearer effort to write more candidly and from his own life, a decision that has led some critics into the trap of reading it as pure autobiography. If you’ve been following Pallett, either as a solo artist or as a frequent collaborator with the likes of Arcade Fire, The National, Taylor Swift and Spike Jonze, you’d know that approach is a dead end. Not that there’s a clear, simple path; It seems against his very nature to suggest there’s one single overarching narrative throughout everything he’s done.
With that in mind, we thought we’d highlight two compelling sides to Pallett’s work that reveal a great deal about the path he’s followed to arrive at In Conflict: his long history of collaboration on material outside his solo work, and the way in which his own songs have been guiding listeners away from interpreting solely for any autobiographical details. If you’re new to his world, this should help catch you up.

PRIMER: The Many Lives of Owen Pallett

Owen Pallett’s fourth album, In Conflict, is officially out today. The formerly-Toronto-now-Montreal based violin looper/songwriter has said he’s made a clearer effort to write more candidly and from his own life, a decision that has led some critics into the trap of reading it as pure autobiography. If you’ve been following Pallett, either as a solo artist or as a frequent collaborator with the likes of Arcade Fire, The NationalTaylor Swift and Spike Jonze, you’d know that approach is a dead end. Not that there’s a clear, simple path; It seems against his very nature to suggest there’s one single overarching narrative throughout everything he’s done.

With that in mind, we thought we’d highlight two compelling sides to Pallett’s work that reveal a great deal about the path he’s followed to arrive at In Conflict: his long history of collaboration on material outside his solo work, and the way in which his own songs have been guiding listeners away from interpreting solely for any autobiographical details. If you’re new to his world, this should help catch you up.

TONIGHT! Experience space like never before! Doors at 8:30, soundtracks begin soon after. 🌌 (at Revue Cinema)

INTERVIEW: Owen Pallett on his move to Montreal, sensationalist journalism, and made-up music beefs
We caught him on the phone from Atlanta, where he’s touring as part of Arcade Fire and playing solo sets at their after parties. You’d think he’d be exhausted, but that didn’t stop him from engaging me in a sprawling discussion that spanned between Toronto, Montreal, the United States and Haiti on topics of geographic alienation, the difference between lyrics written from experience and “confession,” sensationalist music criticism, cultural appropriation and the classist implications of using Western music theory to dissect pop music.
And he called out a Chart Attack writer by name. It got a little tense.

INTERVIEW: Owen Pallett on his move to Montreal, sensationalist journalism, and made-up music beefs

We caught him on the phone from Atlanta, where he’s touring as part of Arcade Fire and playing solo sets at their after parties. You’d think he’d be exhausted, but that didn’t stop him from engaging me in a sprawling discussion that spanned between Toronto, Montreal, the United States and Haiti on topics of geographic alienation, the difference between lyrics written from experience and “confession,” sensationalist music criticism, cultural appropriation and the classist implications of using Western music theory to dissect pop music.

And he called out a Chart Attack writer by name. It got a little tense.

INTERVIEW: Connan Mockasin was inside you this whole time
"[Record labels] were telling me I could quit my day job but I’d have to work with this person, make songs that sound like this," recounts New Zealand psynger/psongwriter Connan Mockasin. "It was awful. I freaked out and went home."

Connan Mockasin discusses his 2006 encounter with record industry hawks like he’s recalling the sound of a gun go off point blank in his face. “It would have killed anything I had.” And while his cartoonishly surreal visions, like the wryly exaggerated lothario he’s adopted for sophomore album Caramel, are too distinctive to seem fragile, their spirit isn’t entirely alien.
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INTERVIEW: Connan Mockasin was inside you this whole time

"[Record labels] were telling me I could quit my day job but I’d have to work with this person, make songs that sound like this," recounts New Zealand psynger/psongwriter Connan Mockasin. "It was awful. I freaked out and went home."

Connan Mockasin discusses his 2006 encounter with record industry hawks like he’s recalling the sound of a gun go off point blank in his face. “It would have killed anything I had.” And while his cartoonishly surreal visions, like the wryly exaggerated lothario he’s adopted for sophomore album Caramel, are too distinctive to seem fragile, their spirit isn’t entirely alien.

READ MORE

UNCHARTED: Ought make art from not knowing
This week, we talk to all the members of Montreal-based post-punk band Ought about forming amidst the 2012 Quebec student protest, the empowerment of mass unrest, and the politics of  “Ahhh!?!?”

UNCHARTED: Ought make art from not knowing

This week, we talk to all the members of Montreal-based post-punk band Ought about forming amidst the 2012 Quebec student protest, the empowerment of mass unrest, and the politics of  “Ahhh!?!?”