It’s good to revel in life’s rare occurrences. Finding a twenty in your jacket pocket, getting lost only to realise you’ve found a shortcut, or spotting a small herd of deer in a field as you speed by nearly oblivious. It’s these occurrences that help us to occasionally surface from the mire of the routine, to realise the beauty in the monotony. Something new rises up, graceful and honest. Each anomaly forcing upon us a fresh perspective, a new opportunity to let something original change and shape us, if only a little – enter Hark the Herons. Stop. Breathe. Feel. Listen. Love.
Early in 2009 three time Juno award winner Glenn Lavender and long time friend Kalyn Allan decided to join creative forces in what seemed like a long shot, trying to write a song for a made-for-TV movie. Unfortunately, it really was a long shot and the duo was beat out by the talented Michael Buble in landing the spot. Not easily defeated, Glenn and Kalyn sensed that they had hit on something rather promising and decided to continue writing together. Throughout the following year many writing sessions transpired, many hours and seasons expired, and thankfully, many more songs were inspired. As the songs began to take shape, so too did the idea of creating a new band. “We felt like we had some really cool songs with kind of a Sufjan Stevens meets Feist sound to them and thought it may be something people could really connect with.” says Glenn. Writing sessions turned to recording sessions and 9 months later Hark The Herons – Under Skies at long last, hatched.
The home-grown approach Hark The Herons took to the recording and production of Under Skies really stemmed from Glenn’s ten-year career in the Nashville-based music industry. Having been around that proverbial block five times over, Glenn happily plunged into the project – no record company, no management or big studio required. Home-grown quite literally, as most of the album was recorded in their respective homes in Cambridge Ontario. The duo also invited the help of family and friends on many of the tracks; the use of traditional Salvation Army brass instruments pays a little homage to Glenn and Kalyn’s upbringing in the Sally Ann, the place where their musical talents were first indulged. Also appearing on the album is Glenn’s high-school mate and accomplished local musician Mark McIntyre on upright bass. Kalyn says, “We wanted this album to be an organic journey, starting with raw emotions that were crafted into words and melodies, and onto becoming a story that people could relate to– a feast for the heart, mind and ears”. Fait accompli – with brass and strings and banjo, a little accordion and melodica, and the rich textures of Kalyn’s vocals weaving and floating on top of it all, this album is not only a stocked pond, but also a safe place to land. As Nashville mixing engineer Todd Robbins said, “This project is going to turn some heads – it is killin’!”