Memphis on singing by fun & grief

Tim Fraser for National Post

Tim Fraser for National Post

Torquil Campbell, left, and Chris Dumont

Mar 14, 2011 – 5:35 PM ET
| Last Updated: Mar 14, 2011 5:07 PM ET

Performing a sound check during a Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, usually a bike float divided from where his day band, Stars, recently sole out Massey Hall, Torquil Campbell seems awfully during ease.

“Feel giveaway to use some reverb on a vocals,” he says to a sound man, a few hours before holding a theatre with Memphis, who expelled their third album, Here Comes a City, progressing this month. “You’re blending a stone ’n’ hurl guitar band. You can put Auto-Tune on my donkey and we’re good.”

Campbell, 38 — a Toronto local who detonate on a stage in 2001 with Amy Millan on Nightsongs, a initial manuscript from Stars — annals on a side with Chris Dumont as Memphis, a “rock ’n’ hurl guitar band” that expelled their hallucinatory initial manuscript in 2004.
“We were unresolved out together in New York in a ’90s, removing high and anticipating a approach we wanted to sound,” says Campbell, after with Dumont during The Rivoli, a bar on Queen West where Campbell says Stars used to play to an dull residence with Metric and Broken Social Scene. “The band’s an forgive to keep a loyalty in a benefaction instead of a past given when we stop doing things with your friends, all we do is play locate up, and we still have some removing to know any other to do.”

Memphis creates jangly, unusual guitar cocktail that Campbell will tell we is equally shabby by The Smiths, The Sundays and pot from a seashore of British Columbia. “Every summer, Chris would live with me and my lady and we’d fume a outrageous doobie and get on a bikes and float around Vancouver, play song on acoustic guitar and glance during a trees,” Campbell says.

However, when it came time to record Here Comes a City, a guys found they no longer had a summer to spend in a stupor: Campbell’s mother was pregnant, and Dumont was operative with a New York City’s Metropolitan Ballet.

“We had to quarrel for this record,” says Campbell, who adds that violation their spree might indeed have softened a band’s sound. “The initial twin annals are lovely, though possibly we live on a west finish of Vancouver or we don’t. This record’s a small some-more concept out of necessity.”

If a record’s some-more universal, it’s also a small some-more blue. Here Comes a City was created and available not usually while Campbell’s mother was profound with Ellington — a singer’s initial child — though also while he was anguish a detriment of his father.
“In some ways, it was a misfortune year ever, though we also have some-more pleasing memories from that year than I’ll ever have in my life,” Campbell says. “Grief is not a conflicting of fun — it’s a identical knowledge in some ways — and while we was creation this record, we was going by fun and grief during a same time.”

Songs such as The End of a World Today, Way Past Caring and I Am a Photographer constraint some of a confusion of a twin experiences. For Campbell, who has expelled 3 albums given Jun — in further to The Five Ghosts by Stars, he also done Dead Child Star with Julian Harris Brown — song is a approach of pity ideas with his friends.

“I am my friends and we always have been. That’s a vibe of this whole scene,” says Campbell, who adds that Stars are merely on hiatus, as Millan and bandmate Evan Cranley design their initial child. “I’m not impossibly assured and we consider Chris is a same way, and actually, so is Amy — we find a certainty together. It’s a routine of twin people anticipating one voice.”

Here Comes a City by Memphis is out now on Arts Crafts. Their debate starts in Ottawa on Apr 6. Visit for finish dates.

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