Weaves: Pulling Tracks

The unclassifiable band from Toronto haven't found a genre they couldn't bend.

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May 6 2014, 3:27pm

Since their encounter two years ago at a bar, Jasmyn Burke and Morgan Waters birthed the band Weaves along with drummer Spencer Cole, bass player Zach Bines, and Bram Gielen on the organ. The music the quartet would create over the course of those couple of years was an endless paradoxical realm of sounds coming from the vividly chilling vocals of Burke and the satirical punk intensity of Waters' guitar ripping and head banging. Their progressive energy has crossed the boundaries of neo-pop, rock, and R&B, and into an indistinguishable genre that embodies all types of music. Now, after having television hosts coin their sound as “psychedelic 3D sounds,” and touring around both Ontario and Brooklyn, Weaves has recently released their new self-titled EP that experiments and dips across genre lines in a balancing act between of laxity and concentration, without all of the pretension and exclusivity that normally accompanies a buzzing indie band.

The basis of Weaves’ musical ideologies stem from Burke’s solitary thought process, which serves as a base for future projects, before the band comes together to incorporate their individual contributions into what will eventually become a song. “I usually take my own time in the studio, where I’ll come up with like six different ideas of new songs, and then (the band) will come in and fix it up,” explains Burke.

The finished product is often layered with eclectic sounds that incorporate everything you love and may have forgotten about, and it doesn’t just stop at the sonics. The band’s visual identity evokes feelings of nostalgia in listeners for things they may have previously forgotten existed, like the Von Dutch gorilla. This unchained mindset that allows them to have fun while making music and provides a more accessible experience for their live shows, where the crowd participates along instead of feeling isolated in some of elitist display of music. Waters mentions how “all our shows differ according to the way we feel, depending on the venue, and the crowd.” Some nights they’ll pull out the pastiche of the classic rock band, and other nights, they let their pop sound coast through.

Balancing their lives between their day jobs, each member of the band dedicates priority to their music, despite tight and differing schedules. With Burke working at a restaurant and making homemade peanut butter on the side, to Water being editor and producer of his own show, The Amazing Gayl Pile, it can be hard to find time to make music. Their schedule doesn’t look like it’s about to clear up either as the band has been touring, answering phone calls, getting emails, and trying to find time to work on future projects after the post-album craze dies down.

Weaves, along with other Toronto artists that are stuck between definable musical categories, are redefining the expectations of audiences in the local music scene. Still in the young stages of genre mixing, their sound borrows and embodies an unclassified category that samples and creates a chopped up version of every type of almost every style. Working with the likes of the neo-soulquarian group Bizzarh and friends Odonis Odonis, it is listening to everyone and everything that inspires Weaves’ ability to create music. “We want to be able to play with a variety of artists and sounds, not just be a band playing with other bands.”

As they end their tour, Weaves is ready to commit the majority of their time to meeting at their studio to work on a future full-length album. And if Jasmyn Burke has it her way, there wouldn’t be a single genre that the band doesn’t. “Moving on, we want to meet more often to work on our music and eventually release something completely different and experiment with even more sounds!”

Evelyn Kwong is a writer living in Toronto.

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