Jun. 20, 2012 - Issue #870: Food Trucks
For the first time in nearly five years, indie singer-songwriter Brian Dunn is hitting the road across western Canada with a full band in tow.
Dunn's touring as of late has been a solo venture, but life on the road alone can get a little lonely, he says over the phone prior to tour's start.
"The band is well-rehearsed, well-oiled and excited to go," he adds. "It's always nice to be around a bunch of guys that really want to get out there for a couple of weeks."
Aside from adding some company for the lengthy drives from city to city, Dunn says the addition of the full band allows him to take on larger venues in a much more effective way. While he enjoys the intimacy of smaller venues and solo performances, he acknowledges that they can fall flat in larger spaces.
This tour also marks the release of Dunn's sophomore album, TVs and Radios, produced by FemBots frontman David McKinnon at Cosmic Dave's Sound Factory. McKinnon produced Dunn's previous album Examining the Fallout, and has become his right hand man of sorts.
"I really like having him around for ideas. I like suggesting things to him and he doesn't think it's totally crazy," Dunn says. "Some producers, they want to take full control of a project and it really is the two of us working together."
Work on TVs and Radios began last summer, and Dunn admits he was rushed in recording its predecessor. This time, he's managed to spend an entire year tweaking songs and making sure everything is as it should be.
"I hadn't really done anything in two, three years, and I had all these songs piling up and I just wanted to get something out," he says of Examining the Fallout.
The key to Dunn's songwriting continues to be based around acoustic guitar and drums. He penned the majority of the uptempo tracks for TVs and Radios while on his previous tour, with the slower ones falling into place closer to recording. He says there was no rhyme or reason to this other than they simply weren't ready and a lot of the upbeat tracks had already been experimented with onstage.
Regardless of the method, the end result has come together in a collection of folk that is steeped in rich storytelling that strikes a happier, almost hopeful chord in comparison to his last record. Its lyrics reflect three years of hard work, which Dunn says means non-stop touring, writing and recording, repeat.
"There's not really a point in putting out records unless you're going to give up a year or a year-and-a-half after the fact," he notes, adding its important to do all you can with the opportunity. "We just want the songs to come across in the truest form ... we want them to have a certain emotion. We don't want anything within a 10 or 11 song set to fall flat."
Sat, Jun 23 (4 pm)
Black Dog, Free
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