Jun. 27, 2012 - Issue #871: Edmonton 2012
Summer is meant for chilling out with some good music to fit the laid-back mood, so consider Third Branch's debut album your new summer soundtrack.
The disc is filled with reggae and roots infused beats that boast a little edge, all while keeping a mellow yet upbeat vibe intact.
Third Branch has been in the works since 2007, when three of the current members met while in school at Grant MacEwan. Originally, the group was a trio with a folky sound that consisted of Marie Golonka, Kyle Mosiuk and Melissa Walker.
"We were just writing a few songs and learning Bob Marley covers and taking them to the farmers' markets and busking," says Golonka, who does vocals and guitar for the group.
Things changed when Mosiuk met drummer Amy Wolkowski while working at Planet Organic. From there, Third Branch added Wolkowski's pal Kenny Unrau, a multi-instrumental percussionist, to round out the sextet.
"It totally changed our sound and we all got inspired and started writing," Golonka adds of the lineup.
Third Branch hunkered down for three months and compiled all the material for its release, which is an all-Edmonton collaboration produced by Justin McDonough of Koffee Productions and mastered by Steve McGonigle at Blackbox Studios.
"We were just wanting to get something out to the public to have in their hands," Wolkowski notes.
Golonka pens the majority of the lyrics, which are inspired by everyday life. She says she always has to have a notebook at the ready, because inspiration strikes at any time. She draws on people in her life as well, such as in the song, "Dirty," which was influenced by an ex-boyfriend.
"Those are always good for inspiration," she says with a laugh. "It's little everyday things. People that I run into; people that are important to me."
While the lyrics generally come from Golonka, the band maintained a collaborative approach to pull the album together. It was challenging at times, with six different personalities and opinions vying for their ideas to be heard, but Golonka says the key was to approach everything positively.
"You're all striving for the same goal, so that got us through it," she adds.
This positivity is reflected through the group's music, and is one of the aspects of reggae that drew them to the style to begin with. While they're not hardcore, traditional reggae, its influence is evident amidst the folk and electro melodies, and brings what Wolkowski describes as a West Coast feel to the Edmonton music scene.
Sat, Jun 30 (4 pm)
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