Bent River Records takes Nature Of under its wing to make studio magic

Nature Of is feeling extremely lucky. Not only is the Edmonton four-piece having their album recorded, mixed and manufactured for free — it’s being co-produced by Marcus Paquin, engineer on Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, with an even greater role on the National’s Trouble Will Find Me, where he was engineer, associate producer and mixer.

“The National’s, like, hands down my favourite band,” says Nature Of‘s singer/guitarist Steve Schneider, 26. “It was mind-blowing — just that he even knows those people.”

So how did this happen? Through the second-greatest initiative of Bent River Records thus far: a contest last fall where musicians could apply for this album-shaping opportunity.

And what was Bent River’s greatest initiative? Its very existence since last spring, I’d argue — the fact MacEwan University has its own record label, to train industry types and connect with a wider world.

Down in the basement under the red “recording” light outside Studio A in Allard Hall on 104 Avenue, MacEwan’s Faculty of Fine Art and Communications associate dean Rose Ginther explains the scenario as Nature Of takes another pass at their beautiful song Night Skiing on the other side of the vault door.

“When we first started the label we were thinking, ‘How can we work more with the community? How can we bring people into the studio who wouldn’t normally get a chance to record here?’”

Cleverly, Bent River held a competition to have a full-length album recorded, produced, mixed — all the way up to a vinyl pressing, the label’s head honcho Paul Johnston announces to the band later that afternoon to communal cheers.

Over 120 musical entities applied, finalists picked by a jury including Ginther, Johnston, Paquin — plus Edmonton musicians Nuela Charles, Chloe Albert and Lionel Rault.

Those local connections are intentional, says Ginther. “Part of our reason for existing is …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal

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