Steph MacPherson offers all the Bells & Whistles with debut album
Victoria folk-pop singer-songwriter Steph MacPherson went all out with her debut album Bells & Whistles, released in April on Cordova Bay Records.
On top of the bells and whistles, it has plenty of hand-claps, heartbreak and honesty.
Her skill as a songwriter is evident in the super-catchy sing-along “Summer Salute,” and the gorgeous “The Distance,” in which MacPherson is stripped down, both emotionally and musically, accompanied by nothing but her electric guitar. “It’s a really personal song … I feel like the people I get involved with sort of mentally sign a disclaimer,” she says.
The other stripped down track, “Open Book”, features MacPherson on the upright piano. The song was written while in the studio.
“We recorded them both without a click track, live off the floor and just added a few over-dubbs and some atmospheric stuff later on. It was really cool to get a raw take or two on the album,” says MacPherson.
She came to Cordova Bay with most of the songs for the album in hand. She recorded them with Jason Cook at Electric City Studios in Victoria.
“I’ve heard horror stories about singing with labels and then getting pushed aside or having bad communication and none of that has been an issue … I’m never in the dark. It’s been great so far.”
MacPherson is looking forward to a live show with a band featuring Jason Cook, Ryan Clayton, Rick May and Christian Down.
“It feels so much more dynamic to have a full band up there with me,” she says.
Catch Steph MacPherson, Thurs., July 19 at 10pm at Upstairs Cabaret (15 Bastion Square) with Headwater and Sam Weber. Tickets are $8 in advance at Lyle’s Place, Ditch Records and online at tinyurl.com/7oues3k. Tickets will be $10 at the door.
MacPherson is also playing a free show as part of Atomique Productions’ Courtyard Sessions in Market Square, from 1pm to 5pm, Sat., Aug. 11. M
Go Downtempo with Bonobo
One of the world’s premiere downtempo/chillout/trip-hop musicians and DJs, Simon Green, better known as Bonobo, is making his way to Victoria for his first Canadian show since the release of the Black Sands Remixed album (released in February).
Hailing from London, U.K, Bonobo has been producing some of the world’s most relaxed electronic music since 1999.
Presented by Innergroove and Radio Contact Productions, Bonobo will be playing a DJ set at Club 9ONE9, Wed., July 25 with Mike Gano and Graham B.
Tickets are $25 at Ditch Records, Lyle’s Place, The Strathcona Hotel and online at clubzone.com/innergroove. M
The Destructive Artist Launch
JagaSilk Teabar (17A-633 Courtney) is hosting a comic book and art reception Fri., July 20 between 5 and 9pm featuring the launch of the second issue of The Destructive Artist.
The Destructive Artist is a hand-drawn comic that explores the introspective thoughts and experiential adventures of its sometimes-humble narrator: local artist Trevor Burnett, a traditional artist trying to make sense and cope with all things related to the 21st century and its digital age.
Burnett will be doing ad-lib narration from the new issue.
The “exaggeratedly fancy event” will feature cold-brewed tea (in champagne flutes) and Moonstruck Cheese pairings, and fancy dress is encouraged. Doors are locked after 6pm (buzzer entry off Courtney). Tickets are $5 and include a copy of the first issue. M
Club salsa goes Cuban
Adonis Puentes returns to Victoria, joined by a six-piece band of top local musicians, to perform at the the Victoria Event Centre (1415 Broad), Fri., July 20 at Club Salsa. The Grammy nominated vocalist will treat his fans to new music from a highly anticipated album set to be released this fall.
Puentes is joined by Rick May (bass), Amine Said (guitar), Jason Cook (drums), Pablo Cardenas (piano) and Nicolas Marquez (percussion), presenting a fusion of Cuban roots, jazz and pop music suitable for all styles of dancers and music connoisseurs.
The event starts at 8:30pm with a salsa dance lesson from Salsa Moderna before the show at 9:30pm. Tickets $20 in advance at Larsen Music, Ditch Records and Lyle’s Place. M