Gratus Fest



The Graffiti Gallery // July 12

Big Names // n/a

Local talent // An Animal, Philia, glenn murray, TWIN and Absent Sound.

Cost // Free admission.

Regular downtown parking rules apply.


This July, hypno-folk duo TWIN will release North Americana, a record that’s inspired by the project’s canoe tours, and serves as the follow-up to 2012’s Sharing Secrets with Strangers.

“When I was on tour with my other band Absent Sound, the idea just popped into my head that a canoe tour could be done and five years ago we did the first one from Brandon to Winnipeg,” founding member David Fort says. “I’ve been canoeing since I was a kid, I used to lead canoe trips up in Saskatchewan so it’s something I’ve been into for awhile and enjoy doing.”

Instead of just getting in a van, TWIN will kick off the release with a canoe tour from Flin Flon to the Pas starting July 19 and the next month it will be paddling down the Assiniboine River before doing a CD release show in Winnipeg on August 16.

The duo is also gathering footage on the Assiniboine for a documentary that’ll eventually be released through the MTS Stories From Home series.

“We’ll be doing interviews with the people we’ve met along the Assiniboine from Brandon to Winnipeg like farmers, this woman in Portage la Prairie who’s 85-years old, people around the military base at Shilo, that sort of thing. I’m always impressed with the people we meet along the way, these trips have revitalized my hope in the human spirit and that kind of thing,” he says.

“When we were doing the Sacramento River we noticed how much alternative, off-the-grid living that’s going on. Different communities are forming on the fringes of towns that used to have a big industry and we’d run into them along the way and see what’s going on. You hear about that stuff and then you see it happening, people reacting to losses and finding new ways to come together.”

Fort admits that all the canoe tours the band has been doing have a direct influence on its newest record.

Sharing Secrets with Strangers is probably more Dave Fort-centric while North Americana is more travel and river reflective for sure. It’s a bit of a play on Americana music and country and folk and all that. There’s a Winnipeg song, a Sacramento River song, a Los Angeles River song, an Assiniboine River song and a Mississippi River song. All the songs aren’t necessarily specifically about those rivers, but each one is inspired by our experiences on them.”

TWIN’s newest release was just recorded this past winter with Micah Erenberg and is being mixed and mastered by Jeffrey Patterson from Home Street Recording.

“It’s going to have twice as many songs and it varies in the fact that (violin player) Brooklyn Samson is full-time with the band now and plays a huge role in the writing process. Not that people weren’t co-writing with me before, but she joined the project two years ago and has been on the rivers with me writing these songs.”


Visit for more info and visit for a free download of TWIN’s “Heart of the Continent” from North Americana.

Part of the series: 2014 Summer Festival Guide

Published in Volume 68, Number 28 of The Uniter (July 2, 2014)

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