Hunter-Gatherer
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Hunter-Gatherer

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Band Pop Alternative

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Music

Press


"Hunting and Gathering"

I remember being young once. I would prance around my basement in pajamas playing Zelda and fighting with my brother. This one afternoon I watched all the American Ninja movies and tried to do a front-flip off a small play-coffee-table. I landed on my back and knocked the wind out of my body. I recall laying on the floor in shame as the world circled above me in a fizzy haze of creative indulgence. Had I been a better ninja I would have landed on my feet to the roaring audience of my brother. Calgary’s Hunter-Gatherer is a better ninja. They skirt the challenging math-pop with a fizzy edge that puts them in a category no American Ninja dare venture; deep in the wooded grounds of dissonant-catchiness and inordinate-yet-amazing-harmonies. I’ve been listening to their EP repeatedly and I keep returning to that exercise of my physical limitations; as the world once spun in my childhood eyes, so will Hunter-Gatherer’s whirlwind of distorted-pop ramble on in your ears. Hopefully you’ll land on your feet. That metaphor makes no sense (it’s a metaphor?). - Weird Canada


"Hunting and Gathering"

I remember being young once. I would prance around my basement in pajamas playing Zelda and fighting with my brother. This one afternoon I watched all the American Ninja movies and tried to do a front-flip off a small play-coffee-table. I landed on my back and knocked the wind out of my body. I recall laying on the floor in shame as the world circled above me in a fizzy haze of creative indulgence. Had I been a better ninja I would have landed on my feet to the roaring audience of my brother. Calgary’s Hunter-Gatherer is a better ninja. They skirt the challenging math-pop with a fizzy edge that puts them in a category no American Ninja dare venture; deep in the wooded grounds of dissonant-catchiness and inordinate-yet-amazing-harmonies. I’ve been listening to their EP repeatedly and I keep returning to that exercise of my physical limitations; as the world once spun in my childhood eyes, so will Hunter-Gatherer’s whirlwind of distorted-pop ramble on in your ears. Hopefully you’ll land on your feet. That metaphor makes no sense (it’s a metaphor?). - Weird Canada


"Hunter-Gatherer"

It's hard to believe that, in a music community as self-contained as Calgary's, any genuinely interesting bands could exist under the radar. However, for the last year, Hunter-Gatherer have done essentially that.

Despite playing their debut shows with members of local quirk-pop frontrunners Women and Puberty and releasing an exciting four-song cassette EP, this art rock quartet has been unexpectedly unsung in the press, and unnoticed by audiences as the truly inventive rock and roll band they are proving to be.

Started by guitarist/vocalist Owen Edwards and a few friends in 2007 under the name National Library, the band was tapped in their very early stages by the Future Alberta Rock Movement for a bill featuring the local veteran punk band the Martyr Index and psych-rockers the Grim Beat.

Not realizing the implications of agreeing to play a show with almost no material, the band jumped on the opportunity, with a few pals along to help them reach dramatic heights.

"We were really kind of freaked out, because we only had two songs at the time," Edwards explains. "We thought, 'Oh man, we can't miss this opportunity. We've got to play this fucking show.' So we recruited the help of our friend Nicole (Brunel) and her boyfriend (of experimental two-piece Friendo), (and) they played with us for a bit, for the first couple shows."

Despite their frantic startup in the local circuit, the group played only a few scattered dates over the year, and subsequently changed their name in early 2008 to Hunter-Gatherer, featuring a revamped cast of characters and an ambitious glint in their eye. They were given a headlining spot during last year's Sled Island, playing with Lethbridge's garage rock powerhouse Endangered Ape, though they spent much of the next few months laying low, planning for an EP release for early 2009.

As their MySpace jokingly boasts, the band was "Not Selected" for Sled Island 2009. A surprising turn of events, considering the strength of both their live show and recorded material, as well as their chaotic-yet-catchy approach to rock.

Their self-titled EP, released this past March, has moments of rapid-fire yowling guitar, saddled up against fuzzy, bubbling indie-pop, and a restrained quality that blankets what is usually an energetic and dynamic approach with numbing tape hiss. Edwards and drummer Aaron Baldwin explain that the scrappy presentation is very much intentional, and a necessary cleanse of the band's early material from their constantly evolving sound.

"When it comes to physical music, now that everything can be downloaded, it's almost more about having a unique item," says Edwards. "We thought it would be neat, so we just made tapes. We painted all the tapes, and every one is entirely different from the next one. They take a long time to make, but I like the aesthetic it brings."

Their ideas about music media and alternative formats are very much in line with many forward-thinking independent musicians around town. Meanwhile, Edwards and Baldwin say the band is already propelling their sound forward from the earlier days that supplied the songs for the EP into a new, more collaborative approach that favours risk-taking over song perfection.

"The way it's evolved since (the beginning), through the loss and gain of members...it's become more democratic now," says Baldwin. "So in terms of the writing process of recording and stuff, we all chime in for the most part."

"It's almost like we sort of weeded out the complex elements, and were just a few dudes doing some sweet stuff," Edwards puts simply. " And our electrons seem to be firing in the same direction." - Beatroute magazine


"Hunter-Gatherer"

It's hard to believe that, in a music community as self-contained as Calgary's, any genuinely interesting bands could exist under the radar. However, for the last year, Hunter-Gatherer have done essentially that.

Despite playing their debut shows with members of local quirk-pop frontrunners Women and Puberty and releasing an exciting four-song cassette EP, this art rock quartet has been unexpectedly unsung in the press, and unnoticed by audiences as the truly inventive rock and roll band they are proving to be.

Started by guitarist/vocalist Owen Edwards and a few friends in 2007 under the name National Library, the band was tapped in their very early stages by the Future Alberta Rock Movement for a bill featuring the local veteran punk band the Martyr Index and psych-rockers the Grim Beat.

Not realizing the implications of agreeing to play a show with almost no material, the band jumped on the opportunity, with a few pals along to help them reach dramatic heights.

"We were really kind of freaked out, because we only had two songs at the time," Edwards explains. "We thought, 'Oh man, we can't miss this opportunity. We've got to play this fucking show.' So we recruited the help of our friend Nicole (Brunel) and her boyfriend (of experimental two-piece Friendo), (and) they played with us for a bit, for the first couple shows."

Despite their frantic startup in the local circuit, the group played only a few scattered dates over the year, and subsequently changed their name in early 2008 to Hunter-Gatherer, featuring a revamped cast of characters and an ambitious glint in their eye. They were given a headlining spot during last year's Sled Island, playing with Lethbridge's garage rock powerhouse Endangered Ape, though they spent much of the next few months laying low, planning for an EP release for early 2009.

As their MySpace jokingly boasts, the band was "Not Selected" for Sled Island 2009. A surprising turn of events, considering the strength of both their live show and recorded material, as well as their chaotic-yet-catchy approach to rock.

Their self-titled EP, released this past March, has moments of rapid-fire yowling guitar, saddled up against fuzzy, bubbling indie-pop, and a restrained quality that blankets what is usually an energetic and dynamic approach with numbing tape hiss. Edwards and drummer Aaron Baldwin explain that the scrappy presentation is very much intentional, and a necessary cleanse of the band's early material from their constantly evolving sound.

"When it comes to physical music, now that everything can be downloaded, it's almost more about having a unique item," says Edwards. "We thought it would be neat, so we just made tapes. We painted all the tapes, and every one is entirely different from the next one. They take a long time to make, but I like the aesthetic it brings."

Their ideas about music media and alternative formats are very much in line with many forward-thinking independent musicians around town. Meanwhile, Edwards and Baldwin say the band is already propelling their sound forward from the earlier days that supplied the songs for the EP into a new, more collaborative approach that favours risk-taking over song perfection.

"The way it's evolved since (the beginning), through the loss and gain of members...it's become more democratic now," says Baldwin. "So in terms of the writing process of recording and stuff, we all chime in for the most part."

"It's almost like we sort of weeded out the complex elements, and were just a few dudes doing some sweet stuff," Edwards puts simply. " And our electrons seem to be firing in the same direction." - Beatroute magazine


"MUSICAL CHAIRS FEATURING CHAD VANGAALEN, HUNTER-GATHERER, FRIENDO, MANCHILD The Plaza Theatre - March 7"

The first of the Market Collective’s music series, Musical Chairs, took place at the historic Plaza Theatre in Kensington on March 7. The nearly sold-out evening was an enjoyable (albeit short) testament to the strength of the all-ages community; all the proceeds went to the newly created Comrad Sound.

First up was Manchild, who were strong only for brief moments when their psychedelic music coalesced. Though they have the necessary elements to be an entertaining and enjoyable band, their constant fiddling with effects took away from their performance. That being said, the second last song of their short set was a beautiful and powerful glimpse of what is to come from the new act.

Next was Friendo, featuring Comrad Sound creators Nicole Brunel and Michael Wallace (also of Women) and Henry Hsieh (formerly of Beija Flor). The three-piece quickly got the crowd up and dancing, and their set was enhanced by Hsieh’s obvious commitment to the evening’s space theme, as he was clad in a homemade robot costume and quipped constantly about binary. The post-punk act was extremely energetic and enjoyable, clearly appreciating the audiences support.

Hunter-Gatherer was the evening’s highlight, a furiously energetic display that reflected the band members’ musical abilities. With a variety of synthetic sounds, three-man vocal harmonizing and altogether joyous percussive battering, the trio was warmly received.

Lastly was Chad VanGaalen, who hid at the side of the stage tinkering with abrasive soundscapes while his eerily unsettling animations flashed across the screen. Disappointingly, he performed no music, but the short film was a rare treat which unveiled several new images. Understandably, the show ended just after 10:30, presumably to accommodate the young clientele. All in all, it was a successful start to another subdivision of the fantastic Market Collective. - Beatroute magazine


"MUSICAL CHAIRS FEATURING CHAD VANGAALEN, HUNTER-GATHERER, FRIENDO, MANCHILD The Plaza Theatre - March 7"

The first of the Market Collective’s music series, Musical Chairs, took place at the historic Plaza Theatre in Kensington on March 7. The nearly sold-out evening was an enjoyable (albeit short) testament to the strength of the all-ages community; all the proceeds went to the newly created Comrad Sound.

First up was Manchild, who were strong only for brief moments when their psychedelic music coalesced. Though they have the necessary elements to be an entertaining and enjoyable band, their constant fiddling with effects took away from their performance. That being said, the second last song of their short set was a beautiful and powerful glimpse of what is to come from the new act.

Next was Friendo, featuring Comrad Sound creators Nicole Brunel and Michael Wallace (also of Women) and Henry Hsieh (formerly of Beija Flor). The three-piece quickly got the crowd up and dancing, and their set was enhanced by Hsieh’s obvious commitment to the evening’s space theme, as he was clad in a homemade robot costume and quipped constantly about binary. The post-punk act was extremely energetic and enjoyable, clearly appreciating the audiences support.

Hunter-Gatherer was the evening’s highlight, a furiously energetic display that reflected the band members’ musical abilities. With a variety of synthetic sounds, three-man vocal harmonizing and altogether joyous percussive battering, the trio was warmly received.

Lastly was Chad VanGaalen, who hid at the side of the stage tinkering with abrasive soundscapes while his eerily unsettling animations flashed across the screen. Disappointingly, he performed no music, but the short film was a rare treat which unveiled several new images. Understandably, the show ended just after 10:30, presumably to accommodate the young clientele. All in all, it was a successful start to another subdivision of the fantastic Market Collective. - Beatroute magazine


Discography

Hunter-Gatherer EP (2009)

Photos

Bio

Hunter-Gatherer makes noisy, lo-fi pop songs. Having finished a cross-Canada tour in late 2010 on which they played with the likes of bands such as Holy Fuck, Women, Braids, and Long Long Long, they have been hard at work finishing their self-recorded LP.