Towers and Trees CD Release
Party (with Chris Ho)
Where: Canoe Brewpub
When: Tonight, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $10 at the door, includes free copy of EP
Bouncing around from home to home can inspire feelings of rootlessness. But in Adrian Chalifour, it also inspired music.
"That's definitely a theme I see on this album," he said. "That idea of home or sense of belonging - and either not knowing where you belong or wanting desperately to get from where you are to somewhere else. That's all very prevalent in there and that's because that really was my experience for a few years."
Now back in Victoria for the foreseeable future, the singer-songwriter is releasing Broken Record, his debut six-track EP of songs, which he wrote during a period of movement. Chalifour, who grew up in Victoria and graduated from Lighthouse Christian Academy before moving on to the University of Victoria, spent several years moving with his wife around the mainland, with stops in Vancouver and Kamloops.
"It's not like I was a vagabond or anything, but we lived in a few different places in a few different years. And I kind of lost a real sense of any one place feeling like home."
Without a sense of home, things like towers and trees symbolized familiarity and inspired his title - which would grow from a solo project into a collective of local musicians.
"For me, the name Towers and Trees just sounded like home," he said. "It sounded like B.C. It sounded like the coast. So it just made me feel warm and fuzzy, I guess."
Regular movement meant that he fell into a bit of a funk when it came to doing anything with those songs, and he lost some confidence. But what would become Towers and Trees has given him new grounding.
It began when friend and producer Ben Lubberts suggested they try recording a few of the tracks in a simple, first-take-off-the-floor style. But their excitement grew as they progressed and they invited several other artists to add their touch. The group that will play tonight will be a sevenpiece, including Ben and Andrea Lubberts, Donovan Rush, Dave Zellinski, Kiana Brasset and Olivier Clements.
Chalifour said that while he tried to incorporate driving rhythms in the tunes, in the style of Arcade Fire or Mumford and Sons, his biggest influences are songwriters like Leonard Cohen and Hawksley Workman.
"The thing that most inspires me about them is their dedication to songwriting. Just the idea of joining words and music in a way that's totally unique to the experience that you're trying to describe or capture - that's what I aspire to," he said.
Though Chalifour grew up in Victoria, cutting his teeth performing at his local church before joining a group called Solomon Wells in university, he had a sense for a long time that he needed to be somewhere else.
"That was the goal: finishing UVic and getting off the Island; getting off the rock and playing music," he said. Though he idolized cities like Montreal, the subject of one of his songs, he said he now sees Victoria differently.
"The idea behind that song - of moving on to greener pastures - I've sort of achieved that," he said. "I'm feeling like I'm somewhere where there's opportunity, which I never really thought before. ... There's such an incredible music scene going on here and so much talent that it's exciting to be a part of that."
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