Thus Owls are a Montreal-based band comprised of husband and wife duo Erika and Simon Angell. The band originated in Sweden as an outlet for Erika’s songs, while she was making a name for herself as a prominent vocalist in the Gothenburg and Stockholm scenes. Simon meanwhile was beginning to tour more internationally with Montreal’s Patrick Watson, as a founding member of his four-piece band. The two finally met when Erika was sitting in with Loney Dear, whom Patrick Watson were supporting on tour in Europe at the time. Erika recalls that she “fell in love with Simon’s sound right away,” citing the “harshness and the sweetness combined” of his guitar, as well as his experimental approach to music. It wasn’t long before they were married, and making music together as Thus Owls. “It was the last piece of the puzzle,” she explains.
Or the last piece of the first puzzle. Simon moved to Sweden and, along with an existing group of Swedish musicians, made two records with Erika while he wasn’t touring or recording with Patrick Watson. But it wasn’t until they started spending more time back in Montreal that the band’s current lineup—and sound—finally came together. Simon and Erika enlisted local drummer Stef Schneider, and keyboard player Parker Shper, to round out the permanent lineup alongside Swedish bass player Martin Höper. Simon left Patrick Watson and Erika became a Canadian citizen. It was this core group that ultimately recorded Turning Rocks in Montreal in 2013, and who’ve begun to turn heads with their powerful live show. Turning Rocks will be released worldwide by Secret City Records on April 8th, 2014.
Turning Rocks is out since early this week and it already garnered rave reviews, see below.
The album itself is available in digital, CD and LP formats (the LP comes with a download coupon). Lots of ways you can get your hands on it, depending on your preference. It’s available on iTunes, on Amazon in both CD and LP format, and directly from us as well. And of course it’s available in stores across North America, the UK & Europe.
- The Line Of Best Fit
“It's at once familiar and foreign (...) and immediately work its way inside the listener's head and heart.”
- Andrea Warner CBC Music
“brings together organic and high-concept elements in a way that coheres intricately … striking a heady balance between warm instrumentation and a stylish veneer.”
- Pop Matters
“one of the most fascinating, challenging and wildly diverse albums in recent memory. 5 stars”
- Jeff Monk, Winnipeg Free Press
- Aidan Morgan, Prairie Dog
"one of the most fascinating, challenging and wildly diverse albums in recent memory."
« À l’image du titre de l’œuvre, le «génie» de Turning Rocks se retrouve dans les surprises révélées par chaque pièce. Quelques instants après avoir établi une ambiance plutôt pop noire sur How, In My Bones, l’ensemble renverse la vapeur — admirablement — pour poursuivre dans un sillon infiniment plus lumineux, sans toutefois verser dans le racolage.» André Péloquin, VOIR
« Turning Over a New Rock. Erika Angell of Thus Owls talks about her grandmother’s house, Sappho, and discovering America. »
«Indeed, she [Erika] seems to have grown up in a previous century, in a farmhouse on Orust, an island north of Gothenburg, that raised four generations of her family. “We don’t have the same kind of history in North America,” Simon says. “In Montreal, you know, ‘My mother’s side is Scottish and my father’s side is French.’ In Sweden, it’s ‘No, we’re Swedish.’”
That isolation contributes an elemental, intuitive, informally pagan sensibility to the sound of Erika’s voice. Kate Bush and PJ Harvey have visited that voice.» Mark Lepage, The Gazette
«Rien n'est laissé au hasard sur le troisième album du groupe suédo-montréalais Thus Owls. Simon et Erika Angell ont même créé un scrapbook pour jeter les bases de Turning Rocks. Leurs chansons résultent d'une quête identitaire à travers les racines musicales et familiales du couple.» - Émilie Côté, La Presse
« Avec ses sonorités urbaines et pulsives, parfois sombres (la pièce titre), ou évoquant le Far-West (Thief, sur laquelle chante Taylor Kirk, de Timber Timbre), on ressent l'enracinement dans le continent nord-américain.» Valérie Lessard, Le Droit
« I strongly advise that you take Turning Rocks a few tracks at a time. Like a heavy fog, it’s wonderful until the cold sneaks in under your jacket. There should be a deluxe box set with packets of hot chocolate. » Aidan Morgan, Prairie Dog Mag
“The song ‘How, In My Bones’ treats pieces of a lingering childhood memory filled with emotions of shame, loss and the inevitable experience of learning from mistakes,” Erika explains. “Erika shared a lot with us - her memories, photographs of her childhood, the place where she grew up and things she remembered doing and feeling there, which inspired most of our choices,” says Mylène Simard, who directed the video alongside collaborator Becca Blackwood. “I became interested in creating moving portraits where objects and artifacts would be strewn around Erika, in a way that evokes hazy dreams or faint memories … and have her feel ‘stuck’ in these portraits, the way we can obsess over moments that transpired years ago, or events that still haunt us.”
« Très belle voix celle d’Erika, loin d’être fragile et j’aime les textures de guitare de Simon. Un bon album, un groupe à découvrir! » - Claude Rajotte, MusiquePlus
Andre Guerette (OPAK)
Ryan Farlow (Windish)
Olivier Sirois (OPAK)
Joanne Setterington (Indoor Recess)
Magali Ould (Secret City Records)
Lisa Gottheil (Grandstand HQ)
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