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There are many strange band names out there and I’m sure all of you know some of them. Today you can add another one to your collection. The band I’m talking about is called Canadian Island which is the project of Oliver Hasse from Canada…haha, just kidding, from Germany – that’s right, Germany. Seems very strange but at least in one of his tracks we find out that “there’s an island in Canada / Where everything is fine / Where you leave your soul to rest.” (from Island In Canada). Good to know that anywhere in world there is a wonderful place like this. So why not in Canada, I’m asking myself.
Oliver started playing guitar in 2005, got addicted to it, wrote many songs and travelled through the country playing his tracks everywhere one wanted to hear them. 2009 he decided to pick out a bunch of them and put them together for a first release he called Oneirology – the scientific study of dreams. Two versions of the album saw the light of day whereas the second one got one track more, a whole new album artwork and was re-mastered too.
The tracks on Oneirology are stripped down to acoustic guitar and cello on some tracks (played by Mathias Marggraff). It’s very hard for me to not say what I think describes the album best – but I have to do it anyway. I think Canadian Island is the easeful German version of the early Songs: Ohia (also a very strange name, isn’t it). Uhhhh…yes, I compared Canadian Island to Jason Molina, one of the greatest living musicians. Maybe the word compare is not the right one here, because comparing something with something else always has a valuation in it. Maybe I should say the band reminds me of early Songs: Ohia, doesn’t this sound better? Yeah, maybe. But don’t be afraid to find out for yourself – I just add a track from Songs: Ohia’s self-titled album released back in 1997.
Hasses’s record itself starts with a strange intro of guitar sounds modified by different effects. As the intro goes on you can hear a structure in it and then the effects disappear and you dive into an ocean of dreams surrounding the Canadian Island. You will find lyrically colored songs, sometimes quiet, sometimes a bit louder but most of the time they are both. They are affective but not as affective as Jason Molina’s performance on, let’s say The Lioness. Canadian Island is not as emotive but very emotional though.
I was really astonished to find out Canadian Island was a band from Germany and it surprised me even more that the first release of Oliver Hasse is such a great one. You can pre listen the whole album on Last.fm and you’ll find some interesting insights on the band and the album on Canadian Island’s MySpace site. Just give it a try. Don’t forget to e-mail Oliver and buy your copy of the album from him.