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.
Thus Owls have shared a second track from their forthcoming album Turning Rocks, entitled “How, In My Bones” via thusowls.com. The song - available as a free download online for a limited time only - is a fitting showcase for Thus Owls’s sound, with Erika Angell’s emotive vocal delivery complemented by some deft interplay between Simon Angell’s signature guitar-work and new keyboard player Parker Shper, who features on both Wurlitzer and Farfisa organs.
Turning Rocks will be released on April 8th and is available for pre-order as of today from Secret City's online store and iTunes.
On “As Long as We Try a Little”, Montreal-Stockholm husband-wife duo Thus Owls finds the drama in small gestures, both musically and thematically. Trained mostly on minimal piano lines and Erika Angell’s steadily climbing vocals, there’s a slowly gathering intensity that crescendos patiently, yet still to startling effect. Premiering here, the video for “As Long as We Try a Little”, directed by Joe Yarmush, matches the music’s mood, as it follows two brothers puzzling over a mysterious letter that, fittingly, says, “It’s time,” in Swedish.
Montreal/Stockholm band Thus Owls have premiered a video for “As Long As We Try A Little,” the first from their upcoming album, Turning Rocks, out on April 8th via Secret City Records. To create the video Thus Owls turned to friend, fellow musician and filmmaker Joe Yarmush (Suuns), who shot it on a very cold day in Montreal in January 2014.
Many sites have premiered the video in different territories, Voir.ca in Quebec, Exclaim! in Canada and Clash Magazine in the UK.
I was a big fan of Montreal-based, Sweden-born husband-wife duo Thus Owls’ 2012 LP, Harbours, recorded in a village on the Seine in southern France but with a lost melancholy that suggests the trip was spent more huddled under umbrellas than stretching legs and lying in fields. Now, they’re back with its followup, Turning Rocks, out April 8th via Secret City. “As Long As We Try a Little” is its first single, and it doesn’t sound like the storm has quite passed, ending with a cloud-breaking finale and me feeling down as ever.
Andre Guerette (OPAK)
Ryan Farlow (Windish)
Olivier Sirois (OPAK)
Joanne Setterington (Indoor Recess)
Magali Ould (Secret City Records)
Lisa Gottheil (Grandstand HQ)
Join the Secret City mailing list