St. John’s folky sweethearts The Once are back with a new EP – one that’s unlike anything the band have done before.
Singer Geraldine Hollett says the band’s new EP We Win Some We Lose may sound a little different, but the music is still vocal-based and holds the same intention as their earlier work.
Hollett said much of the album was written while on the road, with the band writing whenever inspiration struck and recording demos whenever they could in studios in Canada, Scotland, and Denmark. “We are creatures of our environment,” she said.“We adapt to the music [and] instruments that surround us in a studio. We just used what was there to create what we wanted to create.”
That creation was influenced at least in part by producer Dan Ledwell. Hollett credits Ledwell, who has made records with Jenn Grant, Repartee, and more, with the EP’s change in sound.
“We went to his studio knowing pretty much exactly what we wanted to do. Dan saw our ideas and raised them. He was never short on ideas,” said Hollett.
The end result is a collection of five songs (plus two live recordings) that are big and sonically rich, with deep and spacey reverb, lush synths, and vocal effects that make Hollett’s voice envelope the listener. The Once’s traditional Newfoundland influences are still present here, but they’ve been scaled back to make way for elegant pop production.
The EP’s songs came together quickly, and Hollett said with the music industry moving faster and faster, the time was right to release them.
“In the world of music we have been living in, it’s about getting more stuff out quicker. We don’t want to put out a record for the sake of putting out a record either. These songs were ready and came from a time and place,” she said.
Despite a different sounding batch of songs, Hollett trusts the group’s fans will follow along with them.
“Our fans are the best. We are not in the business of alienation,” she said.“We like to think we are carrying them along for the ride on [the] big ol’ bus. They can choose to hop on or off at at anytime. We won’t take offence if this isn’t their cup of tea.”
But, it seems this is their cup of tea. The Once have ridden the big ol’ bus right to number three on the iTunes singer-songwriter album charts, a first for the band. They show no signs of slowing down either, with more material on the way.
“The stuff coming out of us now doesn’t fit with We Win Some We Lose. We aren’t going to ignore them or put them on the back-burner because they don’t fit,” said Hollett.“We will put them out on another EP in the new year perhaps.”
And if We Win Some We Lose is any indication, The Once’s next release will be another winner.