There hardly seems to be a local show these days without the presence of singer, musician, songwriter and enthusiast of all things tack, Paris Pick. In her six years of living in Whitehorse, Pick has gone from being the new kid in town to one of the most prominent and popular musicians in town, all because of her relentless work gigging, busking, recording, promoting and organizing shows.
One might think a bit of a break or slow season would be in order after the gig-packed summer Pick has just had, performing solo as well as fronting her eponymous soul/pop-rock outfit Paris Pick & the Pricks, and making up one half (sometimes a third) of new swampy, spacey rock act Swamp Sex Robots. Yet, for Paris Pick, what might look like a constant grind never loses its excitement and only increases her drive.
“Ideally, each time you play, you’re going to bring something new to the table,” said Pick. “You’re going to have some new material to bring to the crowd, especially when you have the same people supporting you over time. You want to give them something fun.”
Pick’s new album, Feeling Love, is ready to launch, and after a tour through British Columbia, from late October to early November, she’ll be hosting a CD release concert at the Guild Hall in Whitehorse. Though Pick was once known as Paris Vagabond Gypsy, the pirate frontwoman and ukulele player of Ukes of Hazard, her new endeavours will see her moving away from her old image and assuming a new musical identity under her birth name.
“I felt encouraged to make a new album now that I’m going by my birth name,” said Pick. “I’m rebranding myself to be able to play solo more often. I’m definitely hoping this new album helps me pursue more festivals and showcase opportunities with a band or as a solo artist.”
The credits of Feeling Love look like a who’s who of the Whitehorse music scene. Having recruited some of the finest talents in town for this album, along with her own, of course, it’s going to be a record that will have to find a place on the shelf of every local music supporter.
Pick, herself, has handled lead vocals and electric ukulele, with Soda Pony’s Patrick Hamilton and Aiden Tentrees on drums and percussion and bass; and on keys and vocals, respectively. Two horn players, who are known for their work as part of Major Funk and the Employment, have lent their chops to Pick, as well—Adrian Burrill on trumpet and Olivier de Colombel on saxophone. Guitarist Zacharie Pelland, who has played with Pick for some time and is also part of acid rock group The Sputnik Experiment, delivered the electric guitar parts for the album, as well as some vocal duties. The impressive roster is rounded off by Keith Todd on trombone and Sarah Hamilton on strings. The album was recorded at Old Crow Recording Studios and produced by Patrick Hamilton.
Aside from the lineup, one talking point on Feeling Love is the direction in which Pick’s songwriting has gone. Pick said that while working out at the mines, she was been writing a lot of music inspired by how she was feeling at the time and that writing music was a good way to escape the work life and get her creative juices flowing.
“I’ve realized my songwriting has developed in a more soul direction,” said Pick. “My writing skills have changed over the years, for sure. It’s more soul now, but it’s still pop.”
Paris Pick & the Pricks official Feeling Love LP Release Party takes place November 16 at the Guild Hall. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and Selina Heyligers-Hare will kick off the evening with a solo set starting at 8 p.m. Space is limited, so attendees are encouraged to get their tickets now. Earlybird tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite and come with the CD, Feeling Love. Tickets and CDs are also available at the event. Several of the musicians who played parts on Pick’s album will be performing with her at the show.
“It’s going to be an epic dance party,” said Pick. “It’ll be a good opportunity to get your dance on!”
For more information, visit Pick’s Facebook page at facebook.com/ParisPickAndThePricks.