Minor Matter play EP release concert in support of Saskatoon’s Third Avenue Centre

Indie chamber group release the blissfully eccentric Concept of a Knife EP

Minor Matter, a Saskatoon orchestral indie pop group, will be releasing their debut EP, Concept of a Knife, during a concert in support of Saskatoon’s Third Avenue Centre.

The band, led by front man Jeffrey Popiel, will be performing at the venerable Third Avenue United Church on Thursday August 22 as part of the PROMS series. Admission is by donation, with a portion of the proceeds being used towards re-purposing the building into a concert hall.

“Supporting the Third Avenue Centre could only be a great thing, the way we see it,” says Minor Matter front man Jeffrey Popiel. “As a non-profit organization holding one of Saskatoon’s remaining historical buildings, they would maintain it as a well-used, spectacular concert hall.”

The Third Avenue Centre group has submitted a proposal to purchase the Third Avenue United Church building. The group plans to preserve the heritage aspect of the building.

Popiel says that the hall would provide a much-needed venue for both concertgoers and musicians in Saskatoon.

“For Minor Matter, this space provides opportunity to spread out, and take advantage of the aural and visual ambiance.”

On Concept of a Knife, Minor Matter combines light-footed orchestral instrumentation along with unorthodox folk pop song structures. Songs like ‘Walls of Love are comprised of dense harmonies that are whimsically playful – it’s complex, and sometimes outright bizarre, music that’s also easy to digest.

Along with sparse percussion and assorted woodwind instruments – the roll call on the EP sees an oboe, a clarinet and a bassoon being invited to the party – Concept of a Knife is a blissfully eccentric listen.

“For most of the arrangements in Concept of a Knife, as with any band, we had to work with limitations of available skills,” says Popiel. “As things stand, each member of the band plays a dedicatedly crucial part in the music. We are fortunate enough to have found each other to pull this together, because there’s hardly any overlap in what we each play as our main instruments.

“All of it is arranged in a way we could perform and have it sound very close to verbatim in a live setting, but we always make sure to change things up a bit at our shows.”

Describing the EP as a collection of overlapping stories, Popiel says the group is looking forward to playing in the cultural landmark that is the Third Avenue United Church.

“Our live show is going to be quite the hullabaloo. For the first time in Minor Matter, I’m breaking out the tuba, and Skyler our bassist is playing the baritone ukulele,” says Popiel.

“We try to keep our songs pretty distinct from each other to maximize dynamics, and with 15 instruments among five musicians, it should be pretty easy to understand how.

“We end up providing a little bit of something for everybody.”