octoberman

octoberman

 Toronto, Ontario, CAN
BandRockFolk

"Like an old wool sweater you pull right on to ward off a cold day." - Pitchforkmedia.com

Biography

On the surface Octoberman’s 4th album Waiting In The Well (Saved By Vinyl / Outside) is about waiting. Co-produced by Jim Guthrie (Royal City, Islands, Human Highway) and mixed by Howie Beck (Feist, Hayden, Jason Collett), Waiting In The Well showcases a more focused and poppier side of Octoberman’s brand of folk-rock heard on previous releases These Trails Are Old and New (2006), Run From Safety (2007), and Fortresses (2009). The title Waiting In The Well was inspired by popular Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s book The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and finds Morrissette following the book’s lead character down a metaphorical well in search of something deeper. While making Waiting Morrissette discovered that the wear and tear of touring had given him a vocal polyp that required intervention. The resulting surgery left him silent for two weeks and prohibited from singing for five months, forcing the singer to step back, listen and… Wait.
Octoberman’s first album since being fully settled in Toronto, Waiting In The Well finds Morrissette introspective. Whereas Run From Safety (2007) was a tearing down of old walls and Fortresses (2009), dealt with the fallout when those walls are reduced to rubble, Waiting In The Well takes Morrissette out of the context of exposure explored on these earlier albums and brings the emphasis within. As in Murakami’s book, Morrissette uses the well as an isolation device to remove the external influences that dominate and often dictate everyday thought. It is the dark place from which the songwriter emerges to put one’s own light on the subject.

Upon completion of Fortresses, Morrissette moved from Vancouver to Toronto, and recruited a new rhythm section in Marshall Bureau (drums) and Tavo Diez de Bonilla (bass). After a month-long European tour where the song arrangements fleshed themselves out, Octoberman went to London, Ontario’s House Of Miracles with Producer / Engineer Andy Magoffin (Constantines, Great Lake Swimmers, Cuff The Duke) to record Waiting. The polyp became a blessing in disguise as it allowed time for co-producer Jim Guthrie to add his magic to the project. The downtime was also used to accumulate contributions from regular Octoberman members Shaun Brodie (trumpet) and Randy Lee (violin) plus a gang of Toronto friends including FemBots’ Dave MacKinnon (piano), Wilderness of Manitoba‘s Melissa Dalton (vocals), Muskox‘s Jeremy Strachan (saxophone), Cuff The Duke‘s Francois Turenne (guitar), and Two-Minute Miracles‘ Justin Nace (pedal steel).

After earning critical praise from the likes of Pitchfork, Uncut and Americana UK (Album of 2007), being featured prominently on Grey’s Anatomy (2010), appearing at the SXSW, Pop Montreal, Sled Island and CMJ festivals, and extensive touring of North America and Europe, Waiting in The Well finds Octoberman set to build on the foundation their previous work has laid. Throughout the album is the permeation of a voice deeply connected with its subject, weary and worn and willing to dive below the surface to understand its root. Yes, on the surface the album is about waiting, but a careful listen to the songs reveals something deeper lurking in the well. The result is Octoberman’s strongest and most personal album to date.

To whet the appetite before the album’s March 2012 release, an ep’s worth of bonus material was released earlier this Fall.

Lyrics

Run From Safety

Written By: Marc Morrissette

these double entendres
and bills that we launder
these mountains of mole hills
and the gypsy boys wander
in search of their first love
in castles up high
but when pressed upon it,
these words are just lies

here's proof i'm awake
and truth i can't break
as long as you take
a hold of my neck
and strangle each word
'til it all sounds absurd
and your hearing gets blurred
'cause sounds are all we got

her love is top drawer
like an old pair of socks
neatly tucked away
that my grandmother bought me
with the savings she had
every christmas morn
but now i'm feeling so bad
'cause all my socks are torn up

these judges and juries
convene in a hurry
but there's no need to worry
'cause this sentence can't hurt me
though the powers they've got
it seems like a lot
but it just ain't enough to snuff
the meaningful stuff

so keep dressing yourselves
one leg at a time
and keep stacking those shelves
with empty bottles of wine
and this basement we're in
it's a foolworthy mess
we're all living in sin
but we couldn't care less

this windstorm's a-pissin'
it's quite the conniption
in this old jurisdiction
we all bleed with conviction
from wrestling demons
on an empty platform
and our elders are screaming
why can't you come back home?

why can't you come back home?
we need you to come back home
i don't think so
why can't you come back home?
we need you to come back home

but as long as we run from safety
we'll find our way out here maybe.

Discography

"These Trails Are Old and New" released on White Whale Records on October 4, 2005 (Canada), November 4, 2006 (UK), and January 23, 2007 (USA).

"Laguardia" ep released on White Whale Records on October 31, 2006 (Canada).

"Run From Safety" released on White Whale Records on August 21, 2007 (world).

"Fortresses" CD/LP to be released on Sept 1 (CAN) and Oct 6 (U.S.).

Set List

Waiting For Christine
Pool Hoppin'
Burning Sun
Dressed Up
Thank You Mr V
Trapped In The New Scene
Thirty Reasons
The Backlash
Danding With Yr Ghost
Run From Safety