INTERVIEW: S.K. Wellington

Hi Sarah, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey! Thanks! I’ve been doing well. Getting this new release into the world has been a real labour of love and it’s been really fun to release it and just enjoy sharing it with folks.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Moments Bliss”?

Moments Bliss is a song all about embracing the moment and finding joy in your immediate. It really speaks to rest and how important it is to not get too caught up or lost in the hustle and grind of daily life. It’s in those moments of being grounded and carefree that I feel we can really connect with the things that keep life sweet.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

I was coming out of a time of burnout. I had lost a lot of joy and passion in life and had really just been getting through the days for a while. Once I realized this I took some time off of work and music to go and rest and explore what I wanted next. I went and spent a couple of months on Salt Spring Island. I realize it was such a privilege to be able to go and do something like that. I tried to capture the experience of what it was like to truly unwind, let go, and rediscover being connected with myself in Moments Bliss.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

There is a conceptual plan to release a video! But it’s not booked yet. Stay tuned!

The single comes off your new album Where The Earth Meets The Sea – what’s the story behind the title?

I was having a terrible time coming up with an album title. I finally thought I had settled on “resurgence”… then someone told me it reminded them of the Independence Day film and I quickly decided that wasn’t the right direction. Ha! I started going through all of the lyrics and the line “Smoke fills my lungs where the earth finally meets the sea” from Moments Bliss really popped. I thought about how much time I had spent crafting these songs at the waters edge and decided it was a meaningful title for the collection on the EP. It’s a beautiful space to spend time – grounded on land but right at the edge of such a powerful body of water. I felt it represented a lot of the experience of rediscovery on the island.

How was the recording and writing process?

While a lot of these tunes were started on island, almost all of them were actually completed once I returned to Calgary. I didn’t actually spend a whole lot of time writing on Salt Spring. More just noodling around with chords and really enjoying jamming and playing with no agenda. The songs really started to flow upon my return to home and routine. The recording process was totally different from anything I’d ever done before. Travelling to Winnipeg and working with all session players was a real departure from my prior recording experiences. It was exciting and challenging and surreal at times.

What was it like to work with The Bros. Landreth and how did that relationship develop?

That relationship was brokered through the producer of the EP, Mike Little. He had a real vision to get me out of my comfort zone and to push me to do something different. He knew the sound we were going for and had worked with Murray Pulver and the Bros. before and saw it being a really natural fit for what we were going for. He totally made the right call. The chemistry between Dave Landreth (bass) and Ryan Voth (drums) from playing together with the Bros. Landreth was really apparent as they tackled the tunes together. They’d also worked with Murray lots and there was a real camaraderie and optimism in the room as we worked the tunes out.

How much did they get to influence the album?

The whole formation felt really organic. They certainly brought their styles to the table and we had fun trying on different parts for songs. Moments Bliss went through a few different variations before we found the sound I felt was the right one. I’m a Bros. Landreth fan so it was also neat to get to hear some of their signatures weave into the songs.

What aspect of nature and the sea did you get to explore on this record?

I think my experience of the island in general is really woven into every song on this EP. Each song captures a slice of my experience on Salt Spring and most of my time there was spent outdoors. I’ve always had a big fascination with water though and it’s often the muse in my writing. I also play in a duo called Lighter Than Arrows and water is a main theme in many of those tunes as well. From the still times where it almost looks like glass to the roaring waves and the way the tide can creep in and consume the land – I love the way water shows up in so many different forms. I find it mysterious; wild and scary and soothing and calm all at the same time. I LOVE that the track Salt Spring Island kicks off with owl sounds. The owls around my tent on the island would sometimes be so loud at night that I’d have to wear earplugs to bed! One night they were so noisy they woke me up out of a dead sleep. I was so out of it and tired but I remember thinking how spectacular it was. I pulled out my phone and just took a voice recording that I named “owl conference”. I sent it to Mike and said “I really think we need to incorporate a bit of this into a tune somehow.” And here you have it!

Any plans to hit the road?

Just came off of a tour in BC and played the home town release show. Taking a bit of time to catch up on life and then hope to play some more shows around Alberta and then possibly head East (Ontario) early next year. The UK is also on my radar for some shows so I’ll be keeping my eyes out for festival opportunities there for next summer.

What else is happening next in S. K. Wellington’s world?

Hoping to get some music videos out into the world soon and plan to release a little vlog series where I talk about each of the songs and break down the lyrics. Playing around Calgary and hoping to play some festivals next summer. Really just trying to enjoy the whole process.

Vents – thanks so much for taking the time to connect on the EP. And thanks for your continued support of the local music industry!!

Listen to ‘Moments Bliss’ now at Soundcloud or Spotify

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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