Home Music Newfoundland rockers bring their new sound to Montreal and beyond

Newfoundland rockers bring their new sound to Montreal and beyond

by The Concordian November 26, 2011
Hey Rosetta! hail from St. John’s, Newfoundland and have become a main contender on the Canadian music scene since the release of their first album Plan Your Escape back in 2006.
Three albums and three EPs later, Hey Rosetta! is touring across Canada and the United States, playing sold out shows, and even being nominated twice for the prestigious Polaris Prize.
And it’s no wonder, Hey Rosetta! has a unique sound. Their songs, mostly written by lead vocalist Tim Baker, have poetic lyrics, perfectly layered instruments, and dramatic volume changes. Every song has a feel good, stuck-in-your-head rhythm and they consistently maintain authenticity, rather than being overproduced or flashy. They’ve always stayed true to their original sound.
The band’s growth has continued to stem from their latest album, Seeds, (which actually includes seeds that can be planted within the cover booklet). There were high expectations for Seeds after the success of their second album Into Your Lungs (and around in your heart and on through your blood), released in 2008, and those expectations were surpassed.
“The album is still us but it’s different from the other ones in the sense that we had more time. In the past, when we’ve gone to record, everything’s been planned and we’d walk into the studio, record it and walk out. For Seeds, we weren’t as well arranged when recording so there was more experimentation going on in the studio. We never had the chance to do that before,” said bassist Josh Ward, who is ecstatic about the way the album turned out.
Big wig producer Tony Doogan, who has worked with Belle and Sebastian, stepped up to produce Seeds at Sonic Temple in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and brought his distinctive style to the table. Even when the main studio tracking room was occupied, Hey Rosetta! wouldn’t rest.
“We could go and record tons of weird stuff [in the smaller studio],” said Ward. “We had Phil hitting a toaster with a hammer. A lot of that stuff did end up on the record; it was mixed in a little more subtly. We had a lot of time and freedom to do that so it was pretty fun for us.”
Hey Rosetta!’s sound and music videos are unique, yet consistently simple and interesting. The video for “Bandages” was recorded around St. John’s, Newfoundland and uses the original audio and acoustics from each location, which creates an intriguingly modest video. A new video was recently filmed in Vancouver for the song “New Sum (Nous Sommes).”
After their current tour draws to a close, Hey Rosetta! will be heading south of the border, to the east coast of the US. Although the crowds are significantly smaller in the States, the band is starting to gain momentum, especially in the south. They also played to a sold out show in Chicago earlier this month.
Ward said the band is being pushed hard in the US, and this is only the beginning for Hey Rosetta!’s growth there. They recently signed a record deal with the American company ATO Records, so an album under that label is in the works, and they’re hoping it will be released in 2012.
Even though they spend seven months together on the road, fighting sickness, fatigue and frustration side-by-side, the sextet try not to let it get to them. “We all get along really well. It’s actually pretty good. It’s a good collection of friends that you get to hang out with all the time,” said Ward. “With that, there are difficulties with being away from home all the time as well. I’m really looking forward to getting home for a bit.”
Hey Rosetta! will be playing Saturday, Nov. 26 at the Corona Theatre on 2490 Notre-Dame W. with the Australian band The Jezabels, where their Yer Fall Tour will come to an end.

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