PHOTO CREDIT : Dan Haber // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
Released today, the title track to Chris Velan's latest album, Amateur Hour, hits the ground running with a guitar-propelled dance beat that builds inexorably towards its crescendoing release. The upbeat production contrasts the song’s more slow-burning subject matter. Velan explains, “Both in its title and lyrics, the song came to encapsulate for me the themes of the album, representing them in this imagined, psychic space; Some dingy bar with a tiny stage where we all assemble as eternally helpless beginners, forever witnessing each other’s efforts to surrender to that inescapable truth.”
For his new album, Amateur Hour, Velan began by writing songs about a relationship and all the emotional baggage that comes with it; desire, love, resentment, pain. But soon he realized that the relationship he was exploring was the one with himself.
Due out September 14, Amateur Hour unfolds like a series of monologues in a one-act play where the characters are locked in a room and forced to respond and react to unexpected news, discovering that what they thought to be true of themselves was in fact not.
The album was recorded in a winter week in Velan’s studio with an all-star team of Montreal artists; Bucky Wheaton (Land Of Talk, The Luyas, Timbre Timber), Mishka Stein (Patrick Watson, The Barr Brothers), Michael Feuerstack (Land Of Talk, The Luyas, Bell Orchestre), Max Henry (Suuns), and Tom Mennier (Martha Wainwright). Recorded by Rod Shearer, Amateur Hour is Chris Velan's most accomplished and most personal album yet. The snowy, pastoral setting did nothing to temper what is essentially a pop-rock record with life-giving sounds, sometimes incendiary and explosive.
MORE ABOUT CHRIS VELAN
Chris Velan, has always been crossing borders with his brand of world music-influenced, singer-songwriter pop. Drawing comparisons to the smart, genre-mixing writing of Neil Finn, Nick Lowe, and Paul Simon, Velan has toured throughout North America with festival performances at The Lincoln Center, Sundance Festival, Montreal International Jazz Festival, and Osheaga.
As a producer, he has worked with Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars and Haitian music collective, Lakou Mizik.
Velan’s single, "Un-American Gothic", from his sixth album Glow, was in CBC Radio 2's Top 100 Songs List for 2016.
AMATEUR HOUR TRACKLIST
01 All Time Record
02 You Can Talk
03 Everything I Have Is Stolen
04 Amateur Hour
05 Cola Wars
06 Only One
07 The Holdout
08 Danger Dreaming
09 Night Caller
10 Black Eye
11 I Was Born To Leave You *
12 You Never Happened *
* bonus track
Sep 27 - Wakefield, QC - The Blacksheep Inn
Sep 28 - Toronto, ON - The Burdock
Nov 1 - Montreal, QC - Petit Campus
Nov 2 - Frelighsburg, QC - Beat & Betterave