E.S.L.‘s new EP Heart Contact, out May 27 on Coax Records, marks their first release since the 2008 debut album Eye Contact, which established the quartet as a dynamic and unconventional voice within the Canadian folk music scene. In four songs, Heart Contact gives a tantalizing glimpse of the full range of the group’s sound, and a taste of more to come.
Vancouver and Salt Spring Island musicians Marta McKeever (lead vocals/piano), Diona Davies(violin/vocals), Tess Kitchen (trumpet/vocals), and Joy Mullen (drums) have built a reputation as favourites at folk festivals coast to coast since their first LP. Recently, the pursuit of other musical and artistic projects – along with starting families – brought a hiatus for E.S.L. McKeever became busy with her band Fan Death, while co-founding member Cris Derksen embarked on a solo career. Davies toured internationally with Geoff Berner, Carolyn Mark and Po’ Girl, and Kitchen and Mullen played with Wintermitts and Joyce Collingwood, respectively.
An impetus to go back into the studio came when Geoff Berner asked E.S.L. to record his song “Liar’s Bridge” for the covers album accompanying his novel Festival Man. That led to a further session at Vancouver’s Afterlife Studios (formerly Mushroom Studios) to complete three other new songs, with friendDan Mangan lending his voice to “Superbaked.” With these four tracks produced over an admittedly lengthy two-year span, McKeever says it was a relief to have an opportunity to put them out in order to give E.S.L. a jumpstart back into gear.
Release Date: May 27, 2016
Label: Coax Records
1. La Playa
3. Liar’s Bridge