JASPER SLOAN YIP RELEASES STRANGE CALM / BLUSHING AUTUMN
VANCOUVER SONGWRITER JASPER SLOAN YIP NEW DOUBLE EP STRANGE CALM / BLUSHING AUTUMN OUT TODAY VIA TINY KINGDOM
Photo Credit : Mackenzie Walker // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
Today, Vancouver songwriter Jasper Sloan Yip is releasing his new double EP, Strange Calm / Blushing Autumn, and is sharing the new video for album co-title track, “Blushing Autumn”. On the new video and the EP, Jasper offers a warm and understated counterpoint to the eerie ambience he presented throughout Strange Calm.
The EP emerged from the liminal period after the Strange Calm sessions at the Noise Floor had been cut short by COVID. In the midst of isolation, Yip recalls how the second EP came to be.
“I felt that what we had made was finished, but also that there was more to say. So with nothing written and not much to go on other than a desire to create, I committed myself to recording a second EP at Afterlife Studio in Vancouver with producer and longtime collaborator John Raham (Destroyer, Tanya Tagaq, Frazey Ford). Almost immediately after doing this, my wife and I learned we were going to be parents the following summer, and from that point on there was nothing else to write about. What resulted was Blushing Autumn: four quiet songs about the anticipation of new life.”
The next challenge was how to go about making collaborative music in isolation. In the weeks leading up to the sessions, Vancouver’s COVID numbers were trending in the wrong direction, depriving Jasper and the band of an opportunity to workshop the material. Rather than fret, the band decided to lean into the circumstances, inviting cameras into the studio to capture whatever happened under the guidance of filmmaker Lester Lyons Hookham of C’est La Vid Productions. “That was an exercise in trust,” says Yip. “I was already nervous about recording untested songs, but we decided to embrace the opportunity for spontaneity in the hopes we’d capture something special on film, and I think we did.”
Jasper has hinted at a much larger film project still in the works for 2022. For the time being though, he is sharing footage of the sessions as a music video for “Blushing Autumn”, showing the band in situ, joyfully creating together in-studio again after a long separation.
MORE ABOUT STRANGE CALM / BLUSHING AUTUMN
When he set out to record Strange Calm in early 2020, Yip was trying to say goodbye. “I was dealing with a lot of climate dread, and at the same time, I could feel my musical life being pulled apart by different but equally powerful forces,” says Yip. “The songs on Strange Calm reflected these anxieties, and somehow helped me make peace with them too. It’s a study in coping with these modern anxieties, and in it’s own way, an expression of gratitude despite it all.”
In March of 2020, Jasper Sloan Yip and his band arrived at The Noise Floor on Gabriola Island to record Strange Calm with producer Jordan Koop (Orville Peck, Wolf Parade, Rae Spoon) the day before life on the west coast shut down. “It was surreal. On one hand, it felt like an isolated recording studio was the perfect place to make an album about the end of the world, but on the other, we also understood that at any moment one of us might start showing symptoms, or we may be ordered by the province to pack up and go home. This tension was infused into everything we did.”
Thankfully, the band left the studio the following week healthy and joined the rest of the world in lockdown with six completed songs. Their tentative plans to return to the Noise Floor the following month to complete the album were cancelled, and Jasper, like everyone else, started to wait.
After several months in limbo, Yip decided to record a second short collection of songs to release with Strange Calm, a decision that coincided with the start of a new chapter in his life: fatherhood. “I committed myself to recording more music, booking time at the studio before writing a single song. Almost immediately after doing that I learned that I was going to be a dad.” The result is the second EP, Blushing Autumn.
With the album ostensibly finished and nothing else to do, Jasper began work on a six-episode liner-notes podcast titled ‘Strange Commentary’ to accompany the album. Spanning over 100 minutes, these audio liner notes paint an intimate picture that completes the songs on Strange Calm while extending far beyond them. “Strange Calm is shaped by its incompleteness. When I listen to these songs, I hear the music that isn’t there, and that’s ok. The podcast helped me let it be by giving me another way to finish the story,” says Yip.
“We all spent a year inside. Not just in our homes, but inside of ourselves,” says Yip. “For me, it began with the surreal experience of life imitating art in a scary way. I was ready to accept certain fates... But it didn’t go the way that I expected, and now, the strange calm that I was struggling with for so long is gone, and the world feels new again.”
STRANGE CALM / BLUSHING AUTUMN TRACKLIST
STRANGE CALM 01 Halcyon Dream 02 Gin Fizz 03 Strange Calm 04 Silver Lining
05 Oleander 06 On The Beach
BLUSHING AUTUMN 07 Blushing Autumn 08 August 09 Anew 10 Every Night, Beside You, I Lie Awake