Hamilton hangs with Regina librarians

by Chris Morin

Wednesday 9
The Artful Dodger

For his fifth full-length album, Woodpigeon leader Mark Andrew Hamilton set his sights on Saskatchewan for inspiration, collaborating with some familiar faces for the quirky Thumbtacks and Glue.

“I wrote a big piece of this album while I was in Regina, of all places,” says Hamilton. “I was hanging out with the Library Voices people and I wrote a bunch of songs in Carl’s house. The results were a little more abstract.”

Heralding from Calgary, Hamilton’s songwriting typically never quite settles on one direction or another. On Thumbtacks and Glue, Hamilton’s distinct vocals maintain a steadiness throughout. There are plenty of orchestral pop moments that heap layers upon layers of instrumentation on top of one another, and Hamilton says he might have Library Voices to blame for that one.

“There’s another version of the record called the ‘Queen City version,’ which I actually recorded with those guys,” he says. “It’s essentially a demo of the actual album where those people are playing on the songs.”

There are plenty of worldly influences on the album as well. Hamilton says he wrote the track “The Saddest Music In The World”, for example, on a ferry terminal in Dublin.

“I tend to move around a lot, and right now I’m figuring out where I would like to live next,” says Hamilton. “At some point I’d like to live in Istanbul. I had been there for a month after leaving Vienna, and I got to see the riots that were happening there. Not that I enjoyed that experience, but it gave me a chance to look at the city in a very different way.”