From shining beacons to meeting metal

Ohbijou return to Winnipeg with another dreamy disc

  • Stand and deliver: The members of Montreal’s Ohbijou. – Supplied

Well, it’s that time again. We’re hurtling towards the year’s end at breakneck speed and, according to the doomsayers, the apocalypse.

Yes, the time has come to gather your prized possessions, call in any last minute favours and most importantly, pick what album you want playing when the mushroom cloud hits and the floodwaters set forth.

You might choose Metal Meets, the dreamy third release from Toronto’s super special septet, Ohbijou. We wouldn’t blame you. On the new album, Casey Mejica’s otherworldly vocals are paired with swirling reverbs and dizzying new heights of pop orchestration; enough to make you forget the end is nigh.

Initially, it may seem like a departure from their signature sound, but Mejica believes it to be “the most logical step for (their) sound.”

And, two whole years and a lot of growth have come to pass since their last record, Beacons. Mejica attributes the overall maturation to wisdom gained on the road and in those suspended blocks of time spent in transcontinental flight.

“We were very much located in a certain geography in Toronto,” Mejica says. But, eventually “our lives started to splinter from those places and that geography.”

These splinters run through the album, which reads like a travel diary rife with musings on the meaning of time and place on identity.

The singer/guitarist noticed a pattern.

“In (my) travels, and in (my) experience mentoring young Filipino girls, there is this common theme of always feeling in between and not knowing where home was.”

Mejica drew inspiration from both getaways close to home (Niagara) and legendary, far off places.

Sligo is named for an Irish county-town which offered an incredible mythological story.

“(I) love it when places come with stories or create an environment to create stories.”

However, not all memories from the tour vault are whimsical or lighthearted.

“We went to Japan and played a show in this town Sendai,” says Mejica. When the tsunami hit, it was one of the first towns to be swept away.

The gang took to the wild to pen tracks for the album, by renting a cabin out in Dyer’s Bay, Ont.

“It’s that proverbial band story where bands go away and the boys grow beards.”

They also got a little help from Jace Lasek (Besnard Lakes), with whom they recorded at Breakglass studios in Montreal.

Mejica describes the experience as “this crazy juxtaposition.” They had a great time recording, but describe their album as “kind of moody.”

The album title, Metal Meets, came about as Mejica was trying to find a way to articulate relationships.

“We’re really proud of this record and want to share it,” Mejica says.

So put it on, watch the world burn, and let the steady thump of the bass - like a telltale heart - assure you that it will all probably work out, maybe.

Published in Volume 66, Number 11 of The Uniter (November 9, 2011)

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