This was the second time that I have had the pleasure of doing an interview with Thorin Loeks. The first time, which was in June last year, he had just released his first album, Thirsty Hearts.
Since then he has been writing more music and working hard on his second album, Shine Through The Dark. It’s now a year later, and he is gearing up to release it.
Along with taking five courses in the Communications program at Capilano University in North Vancouver; working at the Lookout Society, a charitable organization who support adults with no or a low income who have few or no housing or support options; and spending around 20 hours in the studio, Loeks has a full calendar.
But he says that if you are busy doing the things you love, that’s a meaningful use of time.
The first album was an all indie-folk album. With the second album, the main genre is still going to be indie-folk, but he is adding more genres, instruments and sounds – he is expanding and exploring new areas.
“I really think it’s building off the momentum of the first album,” he says. “But even with the indie-folk, I’m incorporating a lot more instruments.”
The album is going to have five indie-folk songs, two blues songs and one “kind of electronica, sort of soulful alternative song,” as Loeks calls it.
“Blues is something that has always spoken to me, so being able to share that with a greater audience will be exciting and then also kind of showing ‘Hey, I’m interested in other genres and this is something that has been on my mind.’”
The circumstance under which his electronica song, “Letting it Go,” was written, is a story of it’s own. Loeks said he had the lyrics in his head for the last couple of months, but didn’t finish writing the lyrics until he was on the bus heading to the studio.
“And I got to the studio, and recorded the vocal track – I had just finished writing it as I walked into the recording booth,” he says.
“The thing that I find with creativity – especially with my music – is that it’s constantly evolving. So each song is like a living thing that will continue to take shape. And sometimes the foundation will always be there, but then other elements and lyrics will sort of evolve over time a little bit and become more refined.”
Loeks said that the songs are almost like children, having a little life of their own.
He is excited to bring a bunch of contributing musicians into the studio with him for this album.
Joining him will be Ben Ryan on the electric guitar, who is also releasing an album with the same producer, David Tallarico. Ryan’s roommate, Brandon Christie, will play the drums and Loeks friend, Johnson Cheung who is from Singapore, will be playing the violin.
Loeks has also been involving his two sisters with his album. His sister Kaija will be singing the background vocals on his song “Coming Home.” His other sister Kita, will be doing the album art.
“So I have both my siblings involved,” Loeks says.
Along with adding more genres, instrument contributing artists, Loeks will also be adding soundscapes.
“I’m also going to be adding some soundscapes, so there is going to be some nature sounds, to kind of add more of a four-dimensional feel,” Loeks says. Some of the songs, for example, will have ocean sounds and the sound of wind through the leaves.
“I’m just excited to pour my heart and soul into this and continue the journey,” he says.
“As far as I can tell, there is no one song in the same key on this album. So my voice really changes through each song. You can still tell it’s my voice, but I think I really explore vocally with my voice, like all kinds of different styles and sounds. And there is going to be a lot more throat singing, which I think will interest a lot of people.”
Loeks started to teach himself how to throat sing about 10 years ago after seeing an episode on National Geographic where he heard “Tuvan” throat singing (which is the style he is singing) for the first time. He says that he was spellbound and knew that he wanted to learn this.
So, he listened to recordings, watched videos and spent many hours experimenting before figuring out how to produce and play with the overtones.
Someday, he says, he would like to go to Mongolia and learn properly and more expansively from some of the masters there.
He feels like he has always had a calling for doing music.
“I knew that I had something meaningful to share and I always knew that I needed to do something like this, and now that I am doing it, it feels like I’m supposed to be doing it,” Loeks says. “It really is a sense of such deep satisfaction to integrate my music, I mean, it’s such a seamless whole, my adventures and the music and my passions in regard to philosophy, life and society and all those things, really are cohesive in my writing and photography.
“Music is a way that can really bring people together, regardless of language barriers, regardless of distances and differences between us, we can find that around the world there is some incredible common bond we have with music. Yet, at the same time, incredible variation and that is a beautiful thing about it.”
Loeks is going to be releasing his album May 18th, with a album release show in Vancouver at the Anza Club. The evening is going to start with a songwriter circle which then will be followed by Loeks performing music from his new album with a full band. If everything goes according to plan, albums will be ready to for purchase online two days before the release party.
For more information on Thorin Loeks’ music or to buy the new album, go to www.ThorinLoeks.com or his Facebook page.