Entertainment
courtesy Chris Graham/Alex Cairncross

Library Voices

Pioneers of Regina indie aren't all dusty pages

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Canada has several cities that are famous for churning out reputable indie music. Regina is not one of them. Library Voices, however, are doing their best to put their city on the map.

"I don't think it's ever really gotten the credit it deserves as far as an arts and music scene," says synth player and lyricist Michael Dawson of his hometown. "They just announced that the Juno Awards are coming there next year, and little things like that that will help put it back on the map."

It was through this community that the different members of Library Voices -- there are seven in all -- met and decided to join forces.

"It sort of made sense to start a band with people we knew we'd get along with really well," remarks Dawson. "I've been in much smaller bands that are much harder to work with."

Library Voices have been together for two-and-a-half years and have released two albums in that time -- their most recent being this August's Summer of Lust -- in addition to an EP and a 7-inch.

"With [full-length] Denim on Denim, we got lost a little bit in technology and in having free reign over a studio and having a pretty strong voice in what we did, and we sort of ended up working on it forever, going back and making changes and writing a lot of it in the studio," shares Dawson.

The band found that the songs didn't translate from the record to live shows well, something they kept in mind while making Summer of Lust.

"We were very conscious [of the fact] that we just wanted to . . . go into the studio and more or less just try and capture that excitement, that energy when we play live onto a record," said Dawson.

Library Voices wrote Summer of Lust in Kronau, a small town of 250 people outside of Regina.

In May 2010 their rehersal space in Regina flooded, destroying their equipment and leaving them in need of a new space. They were unable to find somewhere in Regina but found a creative home in Kronau instead.

"I think that it was awesome in that it was just very isolated," says Dawson. "We didn't have cell service or internet, just the seven of us hammering out these songs and a gentleman who ran a gas station around the corner [who] we'd go and see to get coffee a couple of times a day."

The band has developed a reputation for being well-read which, according to Dawson, may be related to their name.

"There have been a number of occasions where librarians have come out to see our band," laughs Dawson.

"You read what you love, but then at the other end of the spectrum you have all these other people who know more about literature than you ever could quizzing you and picking your brains a little bit," said Dawson.

Dawson said he likes to read contemporary fiction, including that of authors like Douglas Coupland.

"There are standard [books] that I've read and I've loved for sure. I do try to stay on top of it and it's something that I really do enjoy," said Dawson.

But Library Voices are more than bookworms with a penchant for indie music, as their name suggests, and even further from men with less-than-honourable intentions, as their most recent album name implies.

"We played a lot of bocce ball this summer, that's sort of a weakness for sure," explains Dawson. "The name of our album may be a little misleading in how we spend our recreational time. More crosswords and bocce ball than anything too lusty."

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