For all of its bullshit, blinding promotional blandness and its manipulation of public consciousness, music genring can aid music listeners navigate the stormy seas of seemingly endless artists and sounds. Perhaps such genring by name has helped to launch exciting new musical ventures (as is the case in Dance-rock with Joy Division and Gang Of Four, correct?).
So let’s go right ahead then and say that Waterloo, Saskatoon-based Kay the Aquanaut’s new album, is unabashedly and quite brilliantly, a folk-hop record; not mere complementary byproducts of each genre, but a merging of the potent function of early 1960s, socially blossoming folk à la Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Joan Baez, and of course, poetical rhetoric of Dylan with the keen hip hop sensibilities Kay possesses. And Kay the Aquanaut unwaveringly follows this folk-hop trail, if the album’s call to “open up your soul” on the blistering “Glory” is any indication that Kay carries on with his forebears’ like-minded virtues. “In life you get dealt the cards, and you play them,” he says.
Waterloo is a work inspired by travels and the corruption witnessed across the globe, including Kay’s eleven month residence in Taiwan, and an 2010 spring European tour which brought him to Waterloo’s main producer, French DJ Raphaël Zoën. “We hooked up the European tour in March. We bro’ed down, and then next thing we knew, we had fifteen songs finished, and a few from Factor.”
They wasted no time concoting Waterloo once Kay returned to Canada. “Within the first week of being back, I’d already written three or four songs.”
“It was time to do something new,” he continues. “I don’t know, I’m the mindstate of hard work, keep up the grind and record as much as I can, when I can, cause who knows when you can’t do this anymore, and I enjoy what I’m doing, so I’m not going to stop.”
And why would he? Waterloo will certainly draw new fans to this artist’s expressive output.
Recordings were also captured in the form of a Kay the Aquanaut/Def3 and Zoën collaboration. “I extended my stay, in France for another week after the tour, and schemed on a bunch of songs, we actually recorded a bunch of songs with Def3 too… we’re all busy.”
As Kay speaks, he’s also pondering on a fresh beat he’s been working on with Factor earlier in the day. Factor is roaming about, talking on his iPhone. He turns our way and says, “is this the new beat?”
“Yeah, it’s a banger man.,” Kay replies.
“All I know is that it’s good man, you know what I mean?”
“Yeah, we’re just doing a little interview right now,” Kay mentions.
“Oh I hope I didn’t interrupt anything!” Factor interjects. He quickly turns, heading back into the kitchen. Friendship and artistic interplay abound.
Listening to Kay the Aquanaut’s worldly flow makes for compelling listening, wherever one may be on this planet. While homegrown, his lyrical portraits span the world, and Waterloo, released today (Tuesday, March 29th) on Portland’s artistic collective Circle Into Square, serves as an auditory passport. “Throw your headphones on, put your iPod on and go for a walk,” Kay says. “It’s a footwalker album.”
“I’m stoked on it, shit.”
March 31, 2011 – Amigos Cantina | Saskatoon, Canada
April 1, 2011 – The Freehouse (Albert St.) | Regina, Canada
April 5, 2011 – La Mine | Strassbourg, France
April 6, 2011 – Rossli | Bern, Switzerland
April 7, 2011 – GalaHala | Ljubjana, Slovenia
April 9, 2011 – Jazz Keller | Krems, Austria
April 10, 2011 – Tabacka | Kosice, Slovakia
April 11, 2011 – Nu Spirit | Bratislava, Slovakia
April 12, 2011 – AZ Conni | Dresden, Germany
April 13, 2011 – Druckluft | Oberhausen, Germany
April 14, 2011 – Astra Strube | Hamburg, Germany
April 15, 2011 – Zoro | Leipzig, Germany
April 16, 2011 – Oettinger Villa | Darmstadt, Germany
April 20, 2011 – Twenty-One SoundBar | Paris, France