After nine years in a band, songwriter Bryce Jardine, made the decision to go solo. He quit his warehouse job, moved into his sister’s apartment while she was away on a long-term business assignment, and worked for the next eight months on a number of songs that had been, “driving me crazy”. Guitar in hand, he wrote relentlessly, often through the night, on images and melodies that would... more
After nine years in a band, songwriter Bryce Jardine, made the decision to go solo. He quit his warehouse job, moved into his sister’s apartment while she was away on a long-term business assignment, and worked for the next eight months on a number of songs that had been, “driving me crazy”. Guitar in hand, he wrote relentlessly, often through the night, on images and melodies that would eventually become his debut album, The Kids Are Gone.
“I tried to make music that reflected who I am, where I grew up, and the people I’ve known. Rather than having all the answers, I was more concerned with just asking the questions that most of us ask at the pivotal times in our lives, Who am I? Where am I going? And what could I possibly have to offer? I believe honesty and simplicity resonate within all of us. I had been posturing in song as well as my personal life; it was time for that long hard look in the mirror. Like so many young men, I was pretending to be someone I wasn’t – tough, knowledgeable, confident, wise in the ways of the world – while usually recovering from the last piss-up. Unable to pretend any longer, unable to hold on… I let go. The tower of bravado and self-deception, built on a foundation of bullshit, came tumbling down. This album is the soundtrack of a young man wandering through the rubble of broken dreams in pursuit of something, anything real. These songs have given me a remarkable sense of hope.”
Bryce grew up in a household that was no stranger to illness – ever since he can remember, his father has had a chronic neurological disease which can be life threatening.
“We’ve been through many scares, which have put my dad in the hospital seemingly every year; it’s a source of great anxiety. My world, my sense of security, could change in an instant.”
In the track, Death In Life, Bryce salutes the boy in the window with the big blue eyes.
“I was a young kid, riding in the back seat of my parents’ car, headed west on a road trip, listening to Neil Young. My forehead pressed against the window, my mind miles above in the clouds, a “feeling” came over me, then just as quickly as it came, it passed. As a student, I got more than my fair share of criticism for “not being present”. The kid riding in the car could not have understood the depth of Neil’s lyrics, a simple and powerful message I still carry with me. “I’ll always be a dreamin’ man, I don’t have to understand, I know it’s alright.” Something in me came alive that day. I’ve been chasing that elusive feeling ever since.”
Peer conformity, the suppression of self, a foreboding sense of sudden change, embracing dreams – these ideas are all central to Jardine’s songs. He is quick to acknowledge that none of these songs would have been fully realized if it hadn’t been for the enormous contributions of several remarkable musicians.
“I found Derek Downham (The Beauties, Six Shooter Records) via the internet, and decided he would be the right man to produce the record. He had a certain fire in his eyes, and in the studio he was the most intensely talented musician I’d ever met. Derek taught me more in six weeks of pre-production than I had learned in the last six years. He also brought in his colleagues who made tremendous, valuable contributions. Juno Award Winner, Serena Ryder, lends her gorgeous voice to two songs and Aaron Goldstein (City and Colour) applied his amazing talents on pedal steel.”
His new record, The Kids are Gone, is moody, passionate and real, ranging from the quiet and reflective to full-blown joy. Evocative lyrics, sharp imagery and metaphorical twists, often playful, create subtle external and internal landscapes. Though he tackles tough, often dark issues, we are left with a sense of optimism and resilience.less