Exploring the emotive terrain with Dead Soft
The PNW section of the world has always offered an abundant platter of pop tones to keep all corners of the globe inspired. In that spirit of big crunchy power-chord anthems is the New Emotion EP (via Arts & Crafts) from the quartet Dead Soft. The extended player exudes all the implications of the release title as the the group distills the very essence of embracing sentiments that are astounding, life & mind changing and all those ineffable inklings that give the feel of acquiring a new lease on life. Amid progressions that saw the group emerge and grow from their humble beginnings in Victoria, BC to Vancouver to Gabriola Island where they currently reside; Dead Soft’s last offering showcases a mercurial style of song craft that strives to emulate the framework of feelings that words alone fail to encompass.
Dead Soft delivers big on elevating audio energies of ecstasy, passion, anguish and grand exhibitions of relatable experiences on the New Emotion EP. The overwhelming events and tide cycles of entreaties, negotiations and personal battles is executed in high altitudes meant to drown out the bombast of the world with the opener “Kill Me”. Attachments of frustration nearly collapse on accord of the raw honesty on the confessional and confrontational “Proof”, expressing vulnerabilities and fears in chords that resonate in the key of familiarity on “I’m Afraid”, to the reflective high-revved engine rhythm roller-coaster of “Down”. And instead of letting you down easy on the closer, Dead Soft turns the volume up deep into the red section of the soundboard meters with the Halloween-ready rager "Bones” that is made to shake your skeletal frame out of any sleepy state of apathy or indifference. New Emotion is a record created like a cathartic outlet for the frenzies and fascinations that we witness personally and have trouble defining with the rudimentary tools from our collective lexicon.
We caught up with Dead Soft’s Keeley Rochon and Nathaniel Epp in the following interview feature:
Describe how the move from Vancouver to Gabriola Island impacted Dead Soft.
Nat: The recent line-up change happened around the same time that Keeley and I moved to Gabriola Island—the last year has been nuts. The move provided a beautiful new backdrop for the new phase of our band which was cool and inspiring in its own way. Our forest-y [sic] island home has become the Dead Soft headquarters where we recorded a bunch of New Emotion, filmed the music video for "Down" and have weekends where we get to rage-out in the woods together.
Insights on how expanding from a trio further enhanced and expanded the Dead Soft sound.
Nat: The expanded lineup creates so many new musical possibilities which we have only just started to explore. As a group I'd say we have an eclectic range of influences, styles, and skills that intersect in a really neat place. Arranging the songs as a four piece has been totally natural and joyous. Also I just love my new bandmates Alex and Kyle. We vibe on a musical and personal level that is new and fun and I think it's coming across in the sound.
Thoughts on the emotions and passions that were poured into the process of recording the New Emotion EP.
Keeley: Throughout the creation of this EP I was slowly but surely flattened by the reality of my deteriorating mental health, my anxiety was threatening to destroy my entire life. I can say without a doubt that making music with such understanding and patient friends inspired me to finally get the help I needed so I could continue on this rock n roll journey with them. The EP has come to mean a lot to me as a hyper-sensitive person living in a truly fucked up world. Flying down the highway at the speed of light is cool and the resiliency of the human spirit is real, but it is important to take care of ourselves and each other as much as possible. It is the secret key.
Nat: When we decided we wanted to record this EP we had no idea what would happen with it, how it would be released, or what the future held for us as a band—we just felt determined to record new music without dwelling on it too much, and get it out there asap. I have a tendency to be too precious with recordings and mess myself up and I feel as though I managed to overcome some of that during the process. There was a lot going on personally during this time and recording these songs was very cathartic.
Autumn items of current (and future) excitement.
Nat: This past summer and autumn have been all about putting out new music and preparing for our North American tour with The Dirty Nil. I am really looking forward to putting on the road blinders and playing shows!
Things you all are most looking forward to you with your upcoming tour with The Dirty Nil.
Keeley: The Dirty Nil are good friends of ours and they are sincerely crushing it and have been for years now. I'm stoked for this tour because we get to watch them perform at the height of their power and momentum every night and try to level up to their wild and commanding energy with our own performances. The tour itself is big and beautiful and we are playing almost every night which is the way to go. Traveling around North America in a van is a unique and mind-warping experience with the variance in landscapes and culture and architecture being so pronounced. Makes the world seem extremely wild and extremely tiny.
Other events and artistry happening in the Pacific Northwest that you all find noteworthy.
Keeley: The Pacific Northwest is, in my opinion, consistently representing the cutting edge of what is really good and cool in rock music. The list could be endless, but some bands I love in this moment are: woolworm, lié, Supercrush, Bored Décor, Big Bite, Wimps, DUZZ, Brutal Poodle, and Basic Instinct.
Winter dreams and wishes for 2019.
Nat: This winter we are going to finish our damn full-length record that we've been toiling over for ages and it's going to feel great.
Keeley: Winter will be a bit of a post-tour decompression period for all of us. We also have an LP to finish and another fast approaching tour to prepare for so we won't be going away any time soon.
Things to expect on an upcoming future full length.
Keeley: Bigger, louder, more. Smaller, softer, less.
North American tour dates with The Dirty Nil:
25 Detroit, MI - DIME Underground
26 Chicago, IL - Cobra Lounge
28 Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
30 Winnipeg, MB - The Good Will
31 Saskatoon, SK - Amigo’s Cantina
1 Edmonton, AB - Starlite Room - Temple
2 Calgary, AB - Commonwealth Bar & Stage
3 Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret
4 Victoria, BC - Lucky Bar
6 Seattle, WA - El Corazon - The Funhouse
7 Portland, OR - Holocene
9 San Francisco, CA - Hotel Utah
10 Los Angeles, CA - THe Echo
11 Phoenix, AZ - The Rebel Lounge
13 Austin, TX - Barracuda
14 Dallas, TX - Three Links
15 New Orleans, LA - Santos
16 Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade - Purgatory
17 Nashville, TN - The End
18 Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
20 Washington, DC - DC9
21 Philadelphia, PA - Voltage Lounge
23 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
24 Boston, MA - Middle East - Middle East Upstairs
26 Quebec City, QC - L'Anti Bar & Spectacles
27 Montreal QC - L'Escogriffe
28 Ottawa, ON - Babylon
29 Kitchener, ON - Wax Night Club
30 London, ON - London Music Hall
1 Toronto, ON - The Opera House
2 Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe
3 Louisville, KY - Mag Bar
7 Denver, CO - Streets Of London
8 Salt Lake City, UT - Gold Blood Collective