Repartee, Branch Ricky, Derm Kean & an Incredible Woman. You’ve probably heard of them, which is impressive given that the buzz came before the overdue debut, or, in Repartee’s case, their record label debut.

Today’s look at the Borealis Music Prize longlist focuses on the benefits of taking your time with your songs before committing them to tape. The Borealis shortlist will be released on December 1st, online, and in our print issue. Here’s a sample song from each of their albums:


What Were the Perks of Not Rushing this Album, and/or To What Do You Attribute the Album Being a Long Time Coming?

Branch Ricky (Bradley Mercer): The beauty of it was, one day, we looked at the list of songs we built our set lists from, and realized there was an album there. It was definitely something we had all talked about and knew was the inevitable next step for us, but nothing was ever set in stone. It was just a thing we’d do. But when the songs were ready, it was time. And I guess that’s the answer to your second question: we did it when the songs felt ready. I guess we felt ready, too.

Derm Kean: I needed to wait till I was ready, so it sounds the way it sounds because I held off until I was mentally prepared. If I had dove in when I wasn’t ready it probably would have been very difficult for everyone involved and would sound different, and I like how it sounds, I waited till I was ready, it sounds great , perk.

Repartee (Meg Warren): The reason we kept delaying the release date for the album is because our team felt like we were growing and that our best material hadn’t been written yet. So the biggest perk in delaying was getting our best output on there. The first single “Dukes” was the very last song written and recorded, and that tune felt like our strongest yet.

Tells Us Something About the Time Spent Recording This Album You’ll Never Forget 

Branch Ricky (Bradley Mercer): Honestly, everything about the recording process was pretty memorable. I mean, having Georgie [Newman of GNAudio] there to record and navigate us through the process was something we talked about very early in the process. He knew us, and knew what kind of sound we were trying to create.  And, most importantly, he was willing to put up with what a bunch of units we are.

Repartee (Meg Warren): Haha, well we have two years of memories, but maybe one of the more memorable parts happened while we were recording “Dukes.” Myself and Nick were in Toronto, so we recorded our parts up there, but Josh and Robbie were still living in Newfoundland, so they recorded all of their stuff back home and sent it all up to us. Me and the producers would sit in a room and just try out the different parts and see how they fit. Lots of late night phonecalls and facetimes back and forth working on that one together over long distance.

What’s a Personal Favourite Off the Album?

Branch Ricky (Bradley Mercer):


“Forever 17.” It was a new-ish song to us at the time. We had played it six or eight months earlier at a show and, while it admittedly made for a good smoke break during our set, took a little fine-tuning to get to where we needed it. We weren’t even sure how it would sound. But it’s so spooky and playful. Evan’s little voice crack near the end. It’s too much. It’s the perfect example of how worth it the wait can be, if you let your art put a few years under its belt.

Derm Kean & an Incredible Woman:


Derm – Better Things
Harry – Clip in a Pistol
Christian – Precious Anvil
Jud – Harebrained Girl
Krista – Harebrained Girl

Repartee (Meg Warren):


It changes all the time, but “All Lit Up” is one of my current faves. Took a ton of time tweaking and reworking the lyrics on that one. I have a bit of personal pride about it – Robbie sent out the instrumental version that we were just sitting on for a few months, as I’d tried a bunch of stuff over it but nothing was really strong. Usually I just abandon ideas that I’m struggling with and move on to something new. But eventually I was able to finish the topline (aka lyrics/melody) and it ended up being one my favourites on the album, as well as the album title itself.