Greetings from Winnipeg

Folk trio the Crooked Brothers releases its new EP via postcard

Winnipeg folk/roots trio the Crooked Brothers have combined its love of art, music and snail mail to create Postcard, its brand new EP and first release since 2011’s Lawrence, Where’s Your Knife?

Formed in 2007, the group is comprised of Jesse Matas and former SubCity members Darwin Baker and Matt Foster who take turns playing guitar, harmonica and banjo, among other instruments.

The new EP lives up to its name since it really is a series of postcards which contain a link where people can stream or download three new tracks online.

“Jesse is really skilled with putting together visuals and we all like the idea of pairing art and music together,” says Foster, 29. “We just thought it would be a cool idea to curate a bunch of images from our friends from all across the country, put them onto postcards and release them with our music.”

While the idea for the EP was conceived before Canada Post announced it was going to phase out home delivery, Foster says he wants to bring some attention to the situation and hopes people might mail the Postcard EP to family and friends.

“We definitely feel passionate about writing letters and correspondence in that old school way. It’s a lot of fun and it always feels good to get something in the mail,” Foster says. “We’ll probably be the last generation of people who knows what it’s like to get mail delivered directly to their door, which is kind of insane. We’re trying to make people aware it’s happening and encourage them to enjoy it while it lasts.”

The Crooked Brothers selected five postcard designs, with only 100 printed of each. They can be purchased on the band’s current Western Canadian tour before eventually ending up in the band’s web store (crookedbrothers.com).

Two of the postcards were designed by Matas, while the other three were created by Kyle Sheurmann, Jenny Ritter and Caroline Mousseau, artists who are friends of the band.

“It’s pretty hard to pick a favourite, but my friend Kyle from Toronto did a beautiful oil on linen painting of mountains and it’s just super gorgeous,” Foster says.

As for the music, the band recorded the three songs last winter in a log house north of Winnipeg near Selkirk, and just released a music video for one of the tracks, “There Ain’t No One”.

“We shot that all over the world really. We lugged the old 8mm camera with us when we were touring through Europe, Cuba, up into the Yukon and Northwest Territories,” recalls Foster.

Ultimately, Foster says Postcards serves as a bit of a teaser for the band’s next full-length record, which should be released in the fall of 2014.

“It’s from the same sessions. We ended up with extra songs and not all of them fit into the full-length so we decided to release them separately on an EP,” he says.

Published in Volume 68, Number 19 of The Uniter (February 5, 2014)

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