Vancouver-based rockers High Love are gearing up for a show at the International Beer Haus on June 21st as part of their western Canadian tour.
Formerly known as Rend, band members decided the time was right for a brand new moniker that better reflected their sensibilities as a group. Their latest single, No Longer Yours, was released earlier this spring and is a compelling sample of what awaits fans this fall when a full-length disc will be launched.
No Longer Yours was produced by Howard Redekopp (Dear Rouge, Mother Mother, Tegan and Sara). He’s also producing half the cuts on the upcoming project while the band is overseeing the other half.
In the meantime, members – including frontwoman Carol-Lynn Quinn, are excited about the changes and about what lies ahead for the talented four-piece.
“We were Rend all the way up to this year – we just announced the new name probably two months ago,” said Quinn during a recent chat. It’s the same line-up that the band has been for the past three years, so needless to say Rend fans don’t need to fear any sweeping changes to the band’s ‘heart and soul’.
“There are about three different ‘Rends’ throughout the world, and this new upcoming record is definitely the most representative to where we want to go musically and sonically,” she said, adding that folks also sometimes made the assumption they were a metal band. “So we were thinking if there was a time to change the name, it would be before we release this new music. We just thought it was the right time,” she said, pointing out how the new name really does exude a new, fresh kind of positive accessibility.
In terms of crafting the new disc, it was all about heading into the studio and giving themselves the permission to have no boundaries.
“We’ve really felt the freedom this year to be like, let’s just go in there and create something that is true to us.”
Musically, the goal was to nail down a number of sonic contrasts, she added.
And to help guide the production process, the band typically likes to take new material on the road and test it prior to recording it.
“You can start to see what connects with people and really get a feel for it.”
Meanwhile, there were a number of highlights from last year for the band including playing festivals such as the Alianait Arts Festival in Iqaluit, Nunavut, the Edmonton Rock Music Festival (Randy Bachman, Kim Mitchell), Beaumont Blues Fest (Royal Tusk, Sloan) and the TD green room at JUNO FEST 2016.
Also, they landed the 2016 Edmonton Music Award for Rock Recording of the Year and the 2016 Hot Factor Award.
As to the sound of the new disc, their web site invites fans to, “Imagine ambience to rock and roll. Organic to electronic.
“It showcases their alternative rock sound mixing soulful vocals with rhythmic loops, cinematic pulsing synth, gritty bass and electric guitar.”
For Quinn, much of the joy of music stems from songwriting and being able to offer fans something so personal – something she has crafted herself.
“I’m a songwriter and I love writing,” she said. It adds a stronger dimension of connection to the material as well. “So when you are touring and you see people singing along to your lyrics – my whole reason to write songs is to affect people positively.
“Music has always been something that has pulled me out of stuff that I’ve gone through,” she added. “It’s also really great having people come up to us and say, ‘This song helped me get through a particular moment in my life, or helped me feel what I was feeling without me knowing it.
“I also just can’t stop writing – it just happens every couple of days,” she pointed out with a laugh.
That desire to write songs extends back to childhood – and she also was pretty young when she started to teach herself piano and guitar.
And of course there is that powerhouse voice which was further developed during studies at Edmonton’s Grant MacEwan University. That’s where the initial line-up of the band first connected as well.
“I was this kind of loud, boisterous rock and roll singer even when I was this tiny little nine-year-old,” she recalled. “I didn’t quite fit in with the choirs.”