F&M wear their hearts on their album sleeve
When people finish graduate work in history, they usually get a job at a university…or a library…or heck, they could just write a blog. But every so often, or at least this once – a history graduate will use the topic of their thesis to help inform their own songwriting and performing. It helps, of course, when the subject of your thesis was a Soviet rockstar.
It’s New Album Release Day again, and F&M are back with a new album today called Sincerely, F&M. I know what you’re wondering and yes – it comes with its very own winelist.
I sat down in Internetland with F&M frontlady (and history graduate) Rebecca Anderson to ask her about the new album, touring across Canada, and a guy that she learned about back in the USSR.
F&M’s frontman & frontwoman are also husband & wife, Ryan & Rebecca Anderson. When they began work on their latest album, Rebecca relates to this very blog writer that they “took off to Victoria to do some song writing. The funny thing is that a lot of the songs came after our visit there – Ryan wrote the song ‘Victoria’ in an Edmonton parking lot…. This album we rehearsed a lot with our full band so that our studio time was a few days as opposed to building up the recording track by track over a period of a few months. That means the recording sounds very live and we think has more energy to it and a more worked out sound.”
And as for that sound – it’s the sonic result of the process of trying to make something genuine, shedding off the white noise of mainstream music and creating a “space for meaning in anti-billboard rock.”
When Rebecca was writing her Master’s thesis on Viktor Tsoi (he’s been called the Kurt Cobain of the Soviet Union, even though making comparisons like that are a bit silly, ESPECIALLY since Tsoi died when he was 28, not 27), she “watched videos of his performances and read his interviews and really valued his authenticity. Even if he sounded pitchy he had a magnetism because you could see that what he was performing was true.”
Tsoi has obviously influenced F&M. As Rebecca explains, “Ryan and I see the album as a love letter to F&M’s listeners and hope that people can identify with the subject matter.”
Even if for some crazy reason a listener can’t connect to the music, they can at least appreciate the work that has been put into making the album an encompassing work of art. They had former band member Brian Epp pair each song with a glass of wine. They had an illustrator named Jason Wallin handle Sincerely, F&M‘s design – and they’ve reflected this in their live performances. I could try and explain how they’ve done that, but luckily I don’t have to because they’re on tour right now and you can just go and see them for yourself.
They’ve already played through British Columbia and Alberta, and are on their way out east. Seasoned touring veterans, F&M have performed all over Canada and as far away as Germany. Their most important advice for being on the road? “Musicians should never overlook their safety. A roadside breakdown means the loss of income, or worse: loss of instruments or life. If you don’t have a good vehicle -rent one!”
Snags have already hit them while on tour – their recent show in Penticton was cancelled at the last second – but, as Rebecca explains, “within 20 minutes we had another venue and were setting up to go on with the show! Ryan and I are naturally shy people, so to overcome this and to have people know our music and be good with us performing last minute was uplifting.”
Uplifting is also a word that F&M could apply to the Edmonton arts milieu. And appreciative: “We are so thankful to be a part of an arts scene like Edmonton’s. I say arts because we really feel the support not just from musicians and the music industry but also from theatre and visual arts.”
“People are so friendly here. I think that gets us through the winters.”
And speaking of winters, here’s some tips for surviving this one, as the snow starts to fall today.
1) Get a glass of wine.
2) Get near a fireplace.
3) Get F&M’s new album, by clicking here.
And here’s another great tip: Watch their new video for the song “A Little Love Hymn” – that’s right folks – it’s NEW VIDEO RELEASE DAY today too!
And here are the upcoming tour dates:
16 Nov – Cathedral Freehouse – Regina
18 Nov – Lady of the Lake Restaurant and Pub – Brandon
19 Nov – Ragpickers (ALL-AGES!!!) – Winnipeg
20 Nov – The Apollo – Thunderbay
23 Nov – The Walrus Underground – Sudbury
24 Nov – The Supermarket – Toronto
25 Nov – Gallery 345 – Toronto
26 Nov – Umi Cafe W – Ottawa
27 Nov – The Griffin – Bracebridge
1 Dec – Cafe Sola – Saskatoon
16 Dec – Wunderbar- Edmonton
And what the media has been saying:
And for all your social networking needs:
And hot off the presses:
F&M – A band that pairs wine with music – The Calgary Herald
Tags: Alberta, authenticity, Canada, Canadian music, DIY, edmonton, F&M, folk music, history, independent music, indie-folk, indie-rock, interviews, music, music industry, music scenes, music videos, musicians, new music, regional musical milieu, Sincerely F&M, the arts, the Soviet Union, theses, tours, Viktor Tsoi, wineYou can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.