Political Seance Go the Extra Mile With 'Extra Sensory Perception'

On the formation of a London, Ontario supergroup and their plan to sell old textbooks as concert merchandise.

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Dec 15 2014, 9:37pm

Some might find the idea of a band from London, Ontario a "supergroup" to be a stretch, if not an outright oxymoron. But that’s what the kids there are calling Political Seance, a noisy but tight four-piece whose members—Jordan Pearson, Davita Guslits, Sam McDougall, and Michael Brewer—also play in local faves New Zebra Kid, Halcyon, S.M., and Moon Hag.

Guitarist and vocalist Jordan Pearson admits that the "supergroup" label is a bit of a joke, but says that it also points to real energy on the ground. “That we came together on this is indicative of where the London scene is heading," says Pearson. "In my mind, we’ve got one of the best, most active, and supportive scenes in the country right now. I’m not exaggerating.”

The proof is in the porridge: their excellent debut recording, Extra Sensory Perception, dropped on Bandcamp on December 4 and it masterfully showcases complimentary but diverging tastes, from punk to synth pop. Lyrically, they’ve got their finger on the pulse, probing anxiety, apathy, politics, desire, and the impossibility of authenticity all in a fiery, six-song onslaught. The anomie-filled opener “I Can’t Be, But I Want to Be True” alone is worth the click.

As Pearson tells it, the story behind their name highlights what might be their trademark ability to get at the complex and the fun in a single stroke. "A spectre is haunting Europe, and the world, we might say. But really, Sam was probably inspired by the pile of old political science textbooks sitting in his kitchen at the time. We joked that our merchandise would be old textbooks we were trying to get rid of at our first shows.”

That goldmine of a merch plan notwithstanding, don’t expect these folks to quit their other non–day jobs. “I can’t see us dropping our other bands entirely, because they’re as important a part of what we do as Political Seance,” says Pearson. “That being said, we’ve been playing shows in Toronto and Montreal, so there’s a good chance we’ll be doing a lot more playing around in addition to writing and recording.” There’s lots of London-Ontario music to go around, then, “supergroup” or no, and that’s a good thing for all involved.

Henry Svec is a one man supergroup - @performingtime