Marchildon!’s Please Pass The Potatoes sounds something like 6o’s Lou Reed being backed by The International Submarine Band. Passionate and poetic, loose and literal, this odd coupling of styles is what allows Marchildon! to not only discover new musical territories , but to speak directly from the heart. Please Pass The Potatoes is Marchildon!’s personal account of love, devotion and family.
Marchildon! is the solo side project of Purple Hill main man, Owen Marchildon. This is the third album under the Marchildon! monicker.
Northern Transmissions- Owen Marchildon debuts “Sweet Potato Kisses”- Video Premiere
April 12, 2018
Owen Marchildon’s new album Please Pass The Potatos was recorded and mixed in various spaces throughout Toronto by long time collaborator Jordan Bruce, the 7 song album finds Marchildon! “reflecting on the simplicity of happiness, seen through the lens of family life.” The album is out May 4th. Today, Owen is sharing his brand new video for “Sweet Potato Kisses”, and a few words from him and his uncle.
John Paul and Owen Marchildon on “Sweet Potato Kisses”:
“Today I wanted to show you a video for my song ‘Sweet Potato Kisses’. The song is from my tenth album Please Pass The Potatoes, out May 4th. The video was made by my uncle John in the 80s. So I’ll let him take it from here
My name is John Paul Marchildon. I’m Owen’s (Marchildon!) uncle. I bought a video camera back in the mid eighties to film family get togethers. As with a lot of things i’ve acquired over the years, the camera and all the footage found its way into a box in the basement. We received an email from Owen about a year ago wondering if we still had the old footage of him and his cousins on his grandfather’s farm and the time spent up in Penetanguishene for family reunions. I had completely forgot about the video camera. I also thought it was an odd request. But then again it’s Owen. He’s always up to odd things. Anyways, my wife Mary dug it up out of the basement and sent it Owen’s way. Owen digitized the old VHS C tapes and had his friend Valerie Callam edit the old footage to a couple of songs he’s putting out. Maybe it’s an album. I don’t know. Owen’s always up to something.”
Independant Clauses- Single Review “Sweet Potato Kisses”
April 19, 2018
“Sweet Potato Kisses” – Marchildon! There are not nearly enough songs of paternal love in the world. Marchildon! has set about fixing that in a small way, as this tune unabashedly celebrates the daily life of a father taking care of a child and the joy it brings (as well as the chaos, mess, and everything else). This is also a great folk-pop/indie-pop song musically–it consists entirely of acoustic guitar, shaker, and Marchildon’s great vocals. It’s simple, sweet, and very worthwhile. You keep on keepin’ on, Marchildon!.
Music Musings and Such-INTERVIEW: MARCHILDON!
April 21, 2018
IT is great discovering an artist…
who has had a long career and continues to make bold and fascinating moves. I have been speaking with Marchildon! about the new track, Sweet Potato Kisses, and what we can expect from his album, Please Pass the Potatoes. He tells me about fond music memories and the new artists we need to check out.
The Canadian songwriter reveals the inspiration behind his latest single and how that amazing and nostalgic video came to be; what the scene is like in Toronto right now; if he will come to the U.K. and play – he ends the interview with a cool song.
Hi, Marchildon! How are you? How has your week been?
I’m well. This week has been exciting. It feels good to release new music.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’ve been making music in Toronto for about sixteen years. The music I write and perform is Rock ‘n’ Roll songs sprinkled with a velvety Country tinge. I began playing bass in the critically-lauded, now-defunct Math-Rock quartet, From Fiction. While playing in From Fiction, I was encouraged to pursue my own projects. I had never really played the guitar before with songwriting as a focus. I quickly realized how fun and creatively rewarding it was.
So; ten full-length albums and one E.P. later; I think it’s fair to say that I’m happily obsessed…
Sweet Potato Kisses is your new single. What is the derivation of the track?
Sweet Potato Kisses is a song I wrote for my son, Charles. I quit my full-time job to take a part-time job on weekends when he was a one-year-old. I stayed home with him during the week when my wife went back to work. He loved mashed sweet potatoes for lunch. He’d have this orange sheen around his mouth and then he’d kiss my knees while I played the guitar for him, which he loved.
So, the song was right in front of me. He’d just stare at me with those big blue eyes. The song is about when a parent finds focus with their child and appreciates the time spent.
The video was shot by your uncle in the 1980s, is that right?! Was it hard digging it up – or was it something you had safe and treasured?
Yes. My uncle shot the footage on a VHS-C video camera in ’85 or ’86. I emailed my Aunt Mary around a year ago inquiring. They miraculously had it in a long-forgotten box in their basement. It was like receiving treasure! Really meaningful. I digitized the footage and then my friend Valerie Calam edited it.
Please Pass the Potatoes, your eleventh album, is out on 4th May. What sort of themes are addressed throughout? I sense a ‘potato’ theme shaping up…!
The album is about the simplicity of happiness, the relaxing joy of monogamy and a driving ambition for self-awareness; all seen through the lens of family life. As for potatoes, they are really easy to grow. You are very likely to end up with accidental potatoes. Just like a surprise pregnancy!
Is it hard coming up with new angles and materials so far into a career?! Does music itself give you constant inspiration?!
Not at all. I swear by a Lou Reed lyric from that Velvet song, Some Kinda Love: “Between thought and expression lies a lifetime”.
Yeah; I just love music. My evenings are mostly spent listening. It’s easy these days to keep up with what’s out there. I believe constant inspiration comes from constant repetition and practice. I believe everyone has a creative muscle. You just have to take the time to exercise it…
As Lou said: “The possibilities are endless”.
Toronto is where you are based. How would you describe the city’s music scene right now?
The Toronto music scene is constantly shifting and full of surprises. It’s a wonderful place to live and be creative. There are so many pockets with different scenes. I can go watch a Roots band or attend an Ambient music night. Whatever your flavour.
The scene is overwhelming with talented people, young and old. It’s exciting!
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
The same thing I’ve always hoped to achieve: giving my current musical project existence and then moving on. It’s very important to eventually get away from what you’ve been attached to creatively. Start from scratch; turn your eyes into a blank canvas and go for a long walk.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Definitely, the time spent in Chicago recording the From Fiction L.P. with Steve Albini. He was such a great person. Watching him work was inspiring; one of the most articulate people I've ever met; hard-working and to the point. I had serviced my Fender Bassman before leaving for Chicago.
Right when we were about to hit the record button, he came in over the talk-back and said: “Something doesn't sound right with your amp, Owen”. So, down he came along the winding stairs in his mechanic suit and took the grill off my amp. He got me to hit a couple notes. It was discovered that one of the two speakers on the amp wasn't working. So, I ended up using one of his homemade speakers, which sounded way better. So much chunk and aggressive low end. We were all amazed.
If you could select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
Have Moicy by Michael Hurley, The Unholy Model Rounders, Jeffrey Frederick and the Clamtones.
This is my all-time favourite Folk-Rock album. Listening to this album made me realize that you can write songs about anything. As long as you mean it. Also; Jeffrey Fredrick doesn’t get enough credit. His songs are clever and heartfelt.
Top Track: What Made My Hamburger Disappear by Jeffrey Frederick and the Clamtones
Crazy Rhythms by The Feelies
I love a jingle-jangle sounding guitar. It just doesn't get any better than this: a real meditative listen from beginning to end.
Top Track: Forces at Work
Cowboy in Sweden by Lee Hazlewood
This album blends cowboy songs with Psychedelic production; well-written songs that exist in a world of their own. Everyone is always talking Phil Spector production: I say ‘Lee Hazlewood production!’.
Top Track: The Night Before
Are there tour dates coming up? Might we see you in the U.K.?
I will be playing The Cameron House in Toronto on May 4th to celebrate the release of Please Pass The Potatoes. (I’ll be playing on) Saturday, May 12th in Hamilton at the Capitol Bar. Opening acts for the shows: Julie Kendall (1977) and Jose Miguel Contreras (By Divine Right)
Unfortunately, no U.K. shows.
Is the stage somewhere you love being? How does it feel getting up there and playing songs to the people?
I was involved in a lot of theatre during my teens and early-twenties. Some film as well. I took acting in college. I like being on the stage. Playing songs in front of people is fun but what I love more is spontaneous banter. If I’m on top of my game with the stage banter, I find it fuels my band’s performance. It makes everyone loosen their grip and relax into their parts.
This is usually followed by stage moves and newfound postures. That’s when you know the show is cooking. That combination is what I live for when playing live.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
I would say just focus on your body of work and try not to get too obsessed with the notion of ‘making it’.
IN THIS PHOTO: CupcakKe
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Oh yeah. Here’s a list of artists I admire from this year so far:
Cupcakke, Sidney Gish; Shopping, Onyx Collective, Nap Eyes; TNC6, Maxo Kream; Birthing Hips, JPEGMAFIA; Ought, Loma; Jennifer Castle, No Age; Rolling Blackouts Costal Fever, Cut Worms; The Men, EMA; Portal, The Soft Moon; Lea Bertucci, Tal National; Iceage, Beach House; U.S. Girls, John Prine, Parquet Courts; Suuns, A.A.L; Mark Renner, MorMor; Colin Fisher, Victime; Dick Stusso, Abyss X; Park Jiha, Grouper, Kraus; Eric Chenaux, Andre Ethier; Wand, Snail Mail; Kilchhofer, Jenny Hval; Vive la Void, Jean Grae; Quelle Chris and Kamasi Washington.
IN THIS PHOTO: Jean Grae
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
It’s not really something I like to get away from. It’s always on my mind because it’s the only thing in life that I’m in total control of. No one’s telling me what to do with it because it’s inside my head. It’s my own private playful secret. It brings me great joy.
How do I unwind? Listening to records. It slows everything down.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
So Hot (Wash Away All of My Tears) by Spacemen 3. Thanks a lot Sam. This was fun!
super world indie tunes-A whistling swan couldn’t sound better than Owen Marchildon-Single Review “Sweet Potato Kisses”
April 27, 2018
Call me a sentimental fool [You’re certainly a fool. Ed] but I love this. Here is the wonderful, country-tinged ballad “Sweet Potato Kisses” from Owen Marchildon. Speaking of children (?) Owen said “The song is about my son. I quit my job and took part time work on weekends to spend Monday to Friday with him when he was 2. He loved mashed sweet potatoes for lunch. I was just sitting there, looking at him. He was kissing my knee with sweet potatoes pasted all over his face, looking up at me with his big blue eyes. I said “hey! This is a song!” So I grabbed my guitar and wrote it in about 15 minutes. It was an inspiring time.” It certainly is and it’s a tune as well. Now, as if that wasn’t sweet enough the story continues “The song is from my tenth album Please Pass The Potatoes, out May 4th. The video was made by my uncle John in the 80s.
What more could you want? Joyous, life-affirming and quite beautiful. Triple Class.
Folk Radio U.K.-VIDEO PREMIERE: MARCHILDON! – HOCKLEY GOLD
by Alex Gallacher 1 May, 2018
For the past 13 years, Owen Marchildon has been hovering silently in the subconscious of the Toronto music scene. Writing, recording and performing his velvety flavoured country tinged rock n’ roll songs to both local and international applause. Based in Toronto for most of his artistic career, Owen began playing bass in the critically lauded now defunct Last Gang Records math rock quartet From Fiction. In the years since the breakup of From Fiction Owen’s creative output has been prolific to say the least.
Having released nine full length albums and one E.P. under three different monikers independently, Owen has always approached recording his solo material with an energetic, transcending mentality. The latest solo instalment to the Marchildon! repertoire is an album entitled ‘Please Pass The Potatoes‘. Taken from the album, watch his video for Hockley Gold, on which Owen shared
“The song is about a love affair I had with a beer. A delicious lager called Hockley Gold. It was a small brewery that opened up 20 years ago in a place called Hockley Village. The songs movement tries to evoke the initial feeling you get when the warmth of alcohol hits your blood stream for the first time. Funnily enough, the footage for this video was shot on my grandfathers farm, at the foot of Hockley Valley. Shot in 1985 by my uncle John.”
Recorded and mixed in various spaces throughout Toronto by long time collaborator Jordan Bruce, the 7 song album finds Marchildon! reflecting on the simplicity of happiness, seen through the lens of family life. The album is out May 4th.