When things are going well…change everything. It’s a lesson learned from Old Man Canyon, the much-anticipated new album Delirium requires deep headphone contemplation. It’s multi-faceted dream pop that has evolved sonically and lyrically from the songs that garnered Old Man Canyon early recognition and praise.
Born from the inner mind of front man and Vancouver-native Jett Pace, Old Man Canyon emerged on the alternative scene in early 2012. The debut EP Phantoms and Friends earned rave reviews from the likes of AudioTree, “Their authentic approach to musical creation puts poignant thoughts above contemporaries. The willingness to break folk rules contributes to this authenticity.” Songs from the EP were featured in the MTV series Awkward, Showtime’s Shameless, Bravo’s Suits, ABC’s Pretty Little Liars, and FX’s Sons of Anarchy. The band also received notable praise from celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, and the title track reached over a half million views on YouTube.
Pace started Delirium in the solitude of his basement, recording all the instruments in a tiny studio. He ended up with over 300 songs. “From there, I just picked the ones that vibed well together,” he says. “The process of recording… it’s sometimes lonely, but that loneliness provides something, too: it’s very freeing. I can create everything on my own and how I want.”
Then Pace threw an audible: he moved the recording to down to Lost Arc in San Diego, drawn to the studio’s vast array of vintage musical equipment. While Phantoms and Friends is rooted in a folk-pop sound, comparable to acts such as Chet Faker and Fleet Foxes, Delirium is an evolution in style and genre, bringing new elements that are in-line with the goals of the live show.
Delirium finds Pace phasing in vintage synths and electric instruments. “My writing process and interests have completely changed, so inevitably the dynamics and energy of the songs have changed,” says Pace. “There’s really no acoustic guitar in the new stuff— the new songs incorporate my obsession with vintage synthesizers and groovy dark riffs. I think this album will be a departure in ways from the past songs, but also not far enough so that one can’t hear it’s still the same band and creative spirit.” It makes for a hazy, psychedelic kaleidoscope. Pace wraps falsetto vocals and noise into “Sugar City,” but lightens the mood with a funk/disco undercurrent on “Always Love.” Synths dominate “In My Head,” while a bit of 70s John Lennon sneaks into “It Just Comes and Goes.”