Artist Feature 011: Snowday

Oct. 5. 2015

Photo: Curtiss Randolph

Photo: Curtiss Randolph

On this edition of Music Monday.. we sit down with Toronto chillout duo: Snowday.  Cam Sloan and Chad Skinner have been making music together in various projects, since meeting in high school in Ottawa many years ago.  From Hip-Hop, to sampling, to eventually teaching themselves to play a number of instruments, Snowday’s organic approach to chillout music has been a long time in the making.  Their rich musical background and various influences can be heard in their 2014 debut album: As We Travel.  Now, a year later, we warmly welcome their second release: Evoke.  

So you guys just released a brand new 5 track EP entitled “Evoke”.  Talk to us a bit about the process behind the album and how you guys got hooked up with Hybridity music for the release?
We do have a new EP out called Evoke. The process for the album was really natural. We just kept writing and recording new music and it came together in form of this new EP.
As for linking up with Hybridity Music, we sent a demo over to them of the album and the whole team really enjoyed it, so we decided to partner up on the release. It was great because we were coming out west in the summer on tour and we got to meet everyone in person leading up to the release.

The album features a lot of dynamic, organic sounds… mostly from acoustic instruments.  Is this a direction that Snowday will continue to head?  Or will we see more electronic elements similar to previous releases?
You’re likely going to continue hearing these acoustic sounds on future recordings. Our studio just keeps filling up with more acoustic instruments – piano, guitars, drums, etc. – and it’s really a lot more enjoyable to play and produce using these instruments, instead of doing everything from synthesizers and samples. That said, we still enjoy working with those instruments/tools as well, so I imagine the integration between electronic and acoustic elements will just keep getting stronger over time.

Was there a planned concept to the album?  Or did it just come together naturally?
Though it certainly feels like there was a planned concept, there wasn’t. These are all songs that we wrote over the past year or so, with no specific idea or direction in mind. At a certain point, we had somewhere around 12 or 15 total tracks and thought we had some great material to put together for a release, so we listened and listened, and overall we really felt these five tracks were very cohesive together.

Where was most of it recorded?
The entire album was recorded in our Toronto studio in the west end.

ADSR Artist Feature of Toronto-based Snowday.

You mentioned some favourite instruments in your studio last time you came to Vancouver.  Both the Rhodes and upright piano can be heard throughout the album… any other pieces of gear you can’t live without?
We have a bass guitar – I don’t even remember the brand – but it has made a world of difference to play a real bass instead of relying on synth basslines like we did on our previous release. We also rely on a ton of random percussion instruments to fill out the recordings.

Talk to us a bit about your music space in Toronto, and the current state of music in the city?
We really lucked out in finding this studio a couple years ago. It’s a large 1200 square foot space in the west end of the city that we use for living, recording, and putting on events. The building is filled with many great businesses and people, including a photography studio, a parkour gym, a skate shop, and a brewery. Above everything else, it is an inspiring place to write and record music.

Canadian artists you’re really digging at the moment?
Pick A PiperThe VisitLoopsy DazyRiver Tiber

Any collaborations currently lined up?
We have a song with Kaleigh Watts in the works right now, but it’s a long process because we’re not based in the same city. Hopefully that will be complete soon enough though. Other than that, we’re just focusing on our own music right now.

Talk to us a bit about your recent cross Canada tour…. 
This was the first larger tour we’ve done and it was an amazing experience. We brought along our photographer/videographer friend Dan Kaufman, our drummer Tait Rowsell, and violinist Jessie Lyon, and drove across the country in a converted delivery van. We installed beds/seating and used it as an RV basically. It was a great way to get around. We had a ton of space, so along the way, we picked up many hitchhikers and met a lot of great people.

In terms of the actual performances, we played shows and festivals all the way west from Ontario to BC. It was really incredible. Some crowds were light and others surprised us. Each one was special though. We can’t wait to do it again, hopefully next summer.

Where to next?  What does the rest of 2015 have in store for Snowday?
We have lots of new music recorded already, so now we just need to put the final touches on it and get it ready for release. We’re constantly working on new music as well, so really for the rest of 2015 we will just keep writing, recording, and fine tuning until we have our next release ready.

Parting words?
Thanks so much for this. We can’t wait to come back to Vancouver. We had such a great time. Hope to see you again soon.

We look forward to it guys, but til' then we’ll just have “Evoke” on repeat :)
Connect with Snowday on Bandcamp, Facebook, and their website. 

Also see the custom painted vinyl sleeve’s below that Chad painted for their first album: As We Travel.

Snowday As We Travel custom painted vinyl sleeve.
Snowday As We Travel custom painted vinyl sleeve.