Frontperson is the new project from Kathryn Calder (vocalist and keyboardist for The New Pornographers) and Mark Andrew Hamilton (who has released 6 albums as Woodpigeon), forging a union between two of Canada’s finest songwriters. The duo is set to release Frontrunner, their auspicious debut, on September 21st via Calder’s own Oscar St. Records.
The song "Young Love" details the uncertain yet exhilarating feelings that arise in the early stages of a relationship, as Kathryn Calder explains "'Young Love' was one of the last things we finished. It was kind of tricky to get right because it is a delicate song. Lyrically, I was trying to capture the feeling of meeting someone and those first days when everything is kind of unsettled but yet you also know it’s the right thing. I remember the final glue to the song - when it felt like we had figured it out - was when Mark and I played our guitars together into one microphone, inspired by an early Leonard Cohen kind of sound. There was something kind of lo-fi about playing the song that way that really worked."
The video by Lorenz Tröbinger conversely exists in the tender twilight period of a relationship, "Before I even listened to 'Young Love' I had this thought in my head about how songs are often so very personal, sometimes specific to the musician‘s life and past and how at the same time music videos usually aren’t. At least not in the same way as songs are as they don’t usually reflect on the filmmaker’s life as a song might reflect on the musician’s. So it was clear to me that the film I wanted to make in response to Mark’s and Kathryn’s music would come from such a personal place. The film is about me and my boyfriend James in London and our relationship that we decided to end when I left the city. About the sadness that came with knowing that the other person would soon be far away (we shot the video a week before I left) but at the same time about the beauty of making the most of the time we had together and separating on the best of terms - Knowing that we would always have a very special friend in the other one. I feel that this kind of separation, when life is taking you in different directions, is somehow more typical for the first couple of relationships in a person’s life, typical of young love. If we had been ten years older, perhaps we would have decided differently, who knows, but for now, it was the right decision. The film is a document of and a tribute to the year that we got to spend together and to the love between us - love that hasn’t ended but that is going to take on a different shape now."
Be it Calder’s fluttering vocals on "Young Love," the crashing percussion and crumbling instruments of "This City Is Mine," the hushed and pulsing elegy of “Insight," or the layered queer epic "He Follows Me," Frontrunner marks Frontperson’s rich and multifaceted musical territory.
For the making of their debut album, Frontperson were joined by Melissa McWilliams (drums, drum machine), Jen Sévertson (bass, also of Peach Pyramid), Clea Foofat (cello, also of Raleigh and Dojo Workhorse), Foon Yap (violin), Marek Tyler (percussion, also of nêhiyawak), and producer Colin Stewart (The Cave Singers, Dan Mangan, Black Mountain).