A brand-new album produced by a Vancouver band serves as the culmination of three years of work, the hours of many creative minds and a triumph over depression.
Feel free to take a listen while you read on.
Kathryn Sutherland is the lead singer for the band Blue Dirt Girl formed in 2015 with long-time collaborators and fellow East Vancouver musicians Albert Klassen and Jason Overy. In 2016 they dropped their first album Crazy Beautiful containing songs driven by smooth grooves, jazzy instrumentation, a hint of soul and lead mostly by Sutherland’s vocals. The band’s most recent EP Nothing is as it was dropped last March and features an almost entirely new sound.
The saxophones, hand drums and calypso rhythms of Crazy Beautiful were replaced by steady rock grooves, dirtier guitar solos, and a general nod to Sutherland’s most formative musical decades: the 70s and 80s.
"I knew I wanted something different and I'm in love with my wah peddle and my whammy [bar]," Sutherland said in a recent interview with Vancouver Is Awesome.
The album derives its title from a lyric from the EP’s second track, I Don’t Mind. Sutherland says she wrote the lyrics “nothing is as it was” for the tune after coming out of a depressive period in 2019.
In August of 2020, the EP’s four songs were recorded with an extra member, Grade 11 student Max Evans who Sutherland described as a “60-year-old pro lead guitarist locked in a 17-year-olds body.”
"I knew magic was happening,” Sutherland said of the recording experience. “It was three days and it was 32 degrees and we had no air conditioner and it was just magic."
Other artists who brought the EP to life included Kiki Yee, an East Vancouver artist who created original sketches for the album’s cover and singles. Josh Klassen from Vancouver Island was also commissioned to create four reaction painting videos for each of the EP’s tracks. Four more young Canadian artists were also involved in creating music videos for each song.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Sutherland says the EP’s release was a tad bittersweet.
"I was overjoyed and then I came down a bit because I couldn't do a release which I really wanted to do with the guys and Max," she said adding the group performed the songs at a virtual show instead.
If you dig the Blue Dirt Girl’s latest tunes you’re in luck. The group is back to rehearsing online and is continuing along the path of this new sound. To listen to more of the band’s work you can check out their website or on Spotify.