Jun. 12, 2013 - Issue #921: Paying For It
In the midst of pulsing beats and melodies, music can act as an effective platform for raising social consciousness, and local rockers MarketForces has ensured there's a message at the centre of its material—while keeping it simple and relatable, of course.
"When I talked about MarketForces I thought I would write a lot of songs from sort of a political viewpoint, sort of a leftist approach," says principle songwriter John Tidswell of his early ideal for the group. "I did write some of that, but you know, you've got to be so careful not to come across as preachy."
Lately, Tidswell's writing has leaned towards characters experiencing existential angst or real-world situations they are challenged to navigate. Tidswell's interest in political and economic states of the world is still alive and well, but he says he's realized his songs don't always have to make that the primary focus.
"They're either slices of my life or slices of life that I've come across," he explains of his more recent material. "I'm so obsessed with economics and politics and the world and the challenges that we face as a species, even if I'm writing a song about relationships I try to incorporate some of that into it where people are thinking about these things on top of trying to pick each other up or whatever it might be."
MarketForces's latest album, Now, was released in 2011, but with a new rhythm section intact—Jeff Schmidt on bass and Don Horak on drums—the band has been back in the studio in recent weeks, and while there's no concrete release date as of yet, Tidswell does admit the new material has taken on a decidedly darker feel, albeit unintentionally.
"I think we all have this pop sensibility, but the album in retrospect was a little more poppy than I thought it would be. As you're writing songs and selecting songs, I guess to a certain degree my days of being in a pop band came back to me," adds Tidswell, who was part of NeoA4 in the '80s. "It was like, well, we've got to include this one because it's got a great hook, but the audience that comes to see us at this point maybe doesn't need that big hook or that typical chorus hook. They might be more drawn in by moods or attitudes."
Fri, Jun 14 (8 pm)
With Puremud, Low Frequency Angels
Avenue Theatre, $18
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