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Meaningful Music about Death and Love

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Monday May 14, 2018

From Edmonton Journal

Royal Wood bringing meaningful music about death and love to Winspear
By: Fish Griwkowsky

Walking his guitar case down the street like a cheerful busker, Royal Wood arrives alone at Allard Hall at MacEwan University, seemingly up for anything. And why not — he’s passed a lot of major milestones lately. Wood’s 10th album was just released by Outside Music in April, for one. If you could mash-up all the new songs into a sticky ball and taste them, you’d probably say the thing’s bittersweet — down to its title Ever After the Farewell, its ambiguous cover image of two tenuously connected hands.

[…] Out on the town before those psychological game-changers burrowed into his life, Wood randomly heard U.K. singer Jamie Scott’s song Gold. Loving it, he downloaded the whole record and discovered his friend Ron Sexsmith doing a duet with Scott. Wood called Sexsmith up to get the lowdown on this talented overseas cat, and was offered an introduction.

Our protagonist was heading to the U.K. anyway to shake up some publicity, so he and Scott decided to meet, “maybe write a song. I didn’t plan to make a record.”

Now this part is not made up, I checked — Wood has for years spoken of the Beatles’ 1969 album Abbey Road as a high-water mark among his primary influences. As Scott was giving him a tour of his studio, there was one of Elton John’s pianos — pretty cool — but also a familiar-looking piece of imposing studio gear. “I was enough of a studio nerd to recognize the console as an EMI console. I didn’t realize it was literally the console on which Abbey Road was recorded and mixed. John sat there. Paul sat there. George Martin worked it all.

“I lost my mind. It was the most cathartic, perfect place that I could be in. I’d come into the studio early every day and just sit there with my coffee and say, ‘This is it, this is where all the sound came from.’”

Making his own songs, he was affected by the history. “You can’t help but have those thoughts as you’re writing and working, even sitting having the music come back for the first time through the speakers, running through all that analogue gear. “You just feel ghosts — you do the whole time.”

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