Mallory Chipman & The Mystics / Aquarian
Release Date: May 29, 2020
Genre: Experimental Rock
Co-produced by Mallory Chipman
and Brian Raine at OCL Studios, Calgary AB
Music and lyrics by Mallory Chipman (SOCAN)
To be an Aquarian once meant embracing new approaches to living your life. But for Mallory Chipman & The Mystics, giving their album the title Aquarian has more to do with embracing an entirely new approach to making music.
The Edmonton-born Chipman has already made her mark on the jazz scene, with two critically acclaimed solo albums showcasing her dynamic voice. But since forming the five-piece Mystics in 2018 she has reconnected with her inner rocker and transformed her sound into a genre-obliterating sonic experience that seems to channel Frank Zappa, Joni Mitchell and Esperanza Spalding all at once, while lyrically exploring subjects both personal and political.
Aquarian, co-produced by Chipman and Mystics guitarist/keyboardist Brian Raine at OCL Studios in Calgary, contains eight songs that show off the full range of all the assembled talent, including a spoken word piece and an improvised instrumental utilizing a modular synthesizer and electronic effects. Aside from the latter, Chipman composed much of the album alone at a studio in an isolated town called Legal, north of Edmonton. For two solid weekends, she fortified herself with several bottles of wine and crafted chord changes and melodies on an old upright piano. From there, the lyrics came to fit the phrasing, a technique she credits to her jazz background.
Having grown up with family members that included a grandfather who was a professional jazz pianist, a mother who loved New Wave and a father who was into ‘80s hair metal, it’s hardly surprising where Chipman’s eclectic tastes originate. She herself studied musical theatre and opera as a teen, later earning a Bachelor of Music degree and teaching voice at MacEwan University in Edmonton. Along the way, she has performed in venues across Canada and the U.K., even landing gigs as a backup singer for Heart, and on the Roy Orbison hologram tour.
Now with Aquarian, Mallory Chipman is ready to reveal her true musical identity, one not easily defined, but sure to turn a lot of heads, and blow a lot of minds.