The latest gem in the treasure chest of Canadian indie bands, Weaves, have just released their highly anticipated second album Wide Open, just a year after their eponymous debut was described by MTV as ‘one of the most unpredictable sounds of 2016’. I spoke to frontwoman Jasmyn Burke before the group’s UK tour begins to chat about the group’s influences, creation and what’s in store next after their autumn tour dates.
How has the past year since your debut been? Have there been any moments in particular which really cemented how popular you’ve become?
Hmmm not really sure. I’d say we’ve been pretty lucky to be busy and touring basically none stop and maybe that’s what has been the most exciting. We are currently in the Czech Republic and had Goulash for dinner last night! That was pretty great! Getting to eat and drink in places around the world.
‘#53’ is on an Apple Music playlist called Indie Anthems among classic songs from The Strokes, Tame Impala, Arctic Monkeys and more – what was your reaction to that?
Wow, that’s pretty cool. Didn’t know that – love all of those bands so anything alongside them is amazing.
I’ve read that you said ‘#53’ stems from ‘existing on the road, and existing at home’, how did you transform these feelings into such an energetic song?
I think when you come home there is a bit of a depletion of the body and mind. You’re exhausted from travelling, but at the same time your brain was kind of on overload, so I think when we came home I was somewhere between delirium from being on the road and eagerness to write again. So somewhere in that muddle I started reflecting and just spewed out how I was feeling and how it had all affected me in a way.
Music is kind of like the ocean, You need all different kind of organisms in there to make it work
‘Scream’ features Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq, how did this come into being?
Tanya! The best. We met her while on a flight to Iceland Airwaves (also the best festival). And we just sort of gravitated towards each other. That was about two years ago and we had wanted to figure out a way to collaborate so when this song happened it felt like she needed to be on it. She also performed her parts in two takes it was really special to watch. She is playful and spontaneous in a way, so she looped in her first take and created this rhymic wall that just took over the speakers while we were listening in the studio. She is a force.
Despite receiving high press praise, you’ve spoken of having no fear or pressure towards making your recent second album, what do you think contributed to this?
Umm, I think y’know in retrospect the fear kind of settled in after the album was made and almost put into the world, ha. I don’t like to overthink the writing process. It’s really about listening to sounds and then that sound instigating words and so I just try and let it happen — not hold back. But it’s still scary putting an album out. It’s your feelings all out there for people to consume and that can be kind of daunting. I just try and block that out so that it’s more of a healing process when I’m alone in a room writing.
I heard in your Stingray interview that you met in quite unusual circumstances – could you tell us a bit more about that?
American Idol style. Everyone auditioned in a house. And then we made Weaves! Secret’s out.
Who influences you, sonically? You’ve mentioned that you have different tastes, is this an advantage or disadvantage when it comes to creating the band’s sound?
Umm, the more variety the better! Music is kind of like the ocean. You need all different kind of organisms in there to make it work. And some are still unknown and that’s the most exciting. Never knowing the full spectrum of what’s to come or hearing something fresh or really old – it’s all welcome in our band.
Geek freak pop rocK
How would you categorise your music?
Geek freak pop rock.
2017 has seen some brilliant releases from many Canadian artists such as Arcade Fire’s Everything Now and Alvvays’ Antisocialites, who are your fellow Canadian contemporaries, or who do you admire?
I mean, those two for sure. Grew up listening to Arcade Fire. I even turning down a family vacation to Florida because I had tickets to see Arcade Fire, and I still don’t regret it! Ha, we also love Tegan and Sara, Grimes, Tanya Tagaq, Feist…lots of amazing women in Canada!
Your Europe/UK tour is underway, and I hope it’s going well! What’s next for Weaves after this tour?
Well, we will be touring a lot more in 2018 but truthfully…I kind of started thinking of themes for our third album. I really want to just go hide outside of the city and learn more about gear and just challenge our band to make better songs. Grow! Like a flower!
Weaves perform at Bristol’s Crofters Rights on the 20th November, and tickets and the band’s second album Wide Open can be bought here