Kalle Mattson, Patterson Hall & Pith and the Parenchymas @ Zaphod’s, Feb. 15

Kalle Mattson
Kalle Mattson releasing his third studio album to the world. Photo Credit: Owen Clayton

Zaphod’s hosted the advent of Kalle Mattson‘s third studio album on Saturday last. The album was released on Tuesday the 11th of February to the joy of many. Now the band has started a four-month tour that will take them across Canada and into Europe before it’s over.

Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold is a different album than Kalle’s first two. An album populated with haunting horns by JF Beauchamp and more than a touch of synthesized pulses, Kalle’s voice has also matured, in sound & lyrics. Some new songs still have the joyful percussion of his singles like “Thick as Thieves” but the overarching theme is darkness. Songs like “Amelie” & “A Love Song to the City” are small windows into a personal tragedy Kalle suffered at the age of 16, and come across powerfully on the new LP.

The subject of mourning probably connects well with those who haven’t felt a similar loss, but for those who have lost a parent it rings true. The catharsis of writing a song or a story to deal with grief can be powerful, as I hope it has been for lyricist Kalle. His darker songs are just as enjoyable as his catchy tunes, such as “Pick Me Up,” and this song was really enjoyable to watch live. There’s also a nice visual contrast between guitarist Rory Lewis’s clean-cut demeanour and drummer Kyle Woods’s resemblance to a civil war veteran in all his scruffy glory.

I love you Woody.

Kelsey Miki
Kelsey Miki of Patterson Hall serenading Zaphod’s. Photo Credit: Owen Clayton

The night also showcased Patterson Hall, a multi-talented group with a wide range on the scale of musicality. Their three vocalists are the opposite ends of the male voice spectrum with a smooth feminine cry in between. A six-piece band that tours Ottawa and with their first EP just out in December, I hope we hear more from this collective soon. This EP, simply named O, is the epitome of DIY: a burnt CD-R with a photocopy of the lyricists’ notebook pages.

A quick little tunage before a couple songs and the band wowed the small crowd. Two sets of potential harmonies of girl-guy duets, one which worked well and another that was slightly off, only because it would seem that Josh White has a voice powerful enough to silence the other two. Their depth was refreshing and their physical involvement in each rendition was passionate, particularly Patrick Bonne’s, who was melting onto his keyboard & synthesizer.

Pith and the Parychemas pulsating.
Pith and the Parenchymas pulsating. Photo Credit: Owen Clayton

Opening the night was Pith and the Parenchymas. These are two words starting with “p” that mean spongy animal or plant matter, or the connectivity therein. Also, possibly bone marrow or the pulp of a fruit. There’s nothing soft about the three guys’ sound that invades a room when they’re on stage. They are frantic and elusive, each implanted with a dial-up modem in their larynges. Their odd titles & experimental folk songs are really fun live.

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