Join Woodland Telegraph as they explore screen culture in a pixilated landscape of folk songs. Summertime circuitry, springtime computers; folk music for a screen generation.
While the preceding albums in the trilogy explored the Rocky Mountains and prairies, Screendeath Summersong steps into a world where the lines between nature and technology are blurred. Travel through a landscape where circuitry grows from trees, folk songs melt into pixels and we see screens instead of peoples eyes. These are folk-roots songs about constant digital connection; about what happens to our online lives when we die. Songwriter Matthew Lovegrove set out to explore screen culture through the lens of Canadiana roots music: “We spend so much of our waking life on screens, but there doesn’t seem to be too many folk songs about it. I wanted to create a musical and lyrical landscape where I could engage with these ideas in a meaningful way.”
On Screendeath Summersong, Woodland Telegraph hack the folk genre by mixing in field recordings from big box stores and ambient soundscapes, creating a world where folk music blends with the digital. From hazy summer pop songs like summerblood to the darker roots sound of factory work; Woodland Telegraph shine a light on our digital age with rich imagery and harmonies. By the second half, we move closer to the heart of the album where we have a choice: to fully embrace our lives on screen, or find another way.
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Formed in Vancouver in 2008, Woodland Telegraph performs Canadian folk/roots music inspired by the landscapes and stories of Canada. Their debut album Woodland Telegraph sings Revival Hymns was named the #1. Canadian Album of the Year (CBC Galaxie Folk/Roots charts) and was put forward for the 2009 Polaris Prize. Revival Hymns spent two months at #1. on the !Earshot folk/roots charts and received critical acclaim from the Toronto Star, Vancouver Province, Red Deer Advocate and influential music blog Herohill. Revival Hymns marked the first album in the Canadian Landscape Trilogy, a series dedicated to capturing the beauty of Canada’s landscapes and culture in song.
In 2010, chief songwriter Matthew Lovegrove moved to Lethbridge Alberta to research and write songs for From the Fields, an album depicting the rolling farmland and prairies of Canada. Awarded an Alberta Foundation of the Arts grant for the album’s production, Woodland Telegraph began recording at the Warehouse Studio in late 2010 for an early 2011 release. Penguin Eggs magazine lauded the album’s “sparkling, energetic and breathtaking acoustic arrangements”, while the Toronto Star ranked the album #4. on the Anti-Hit List. From the Fields charted highly on !Earshot charts and received significant airplay on regional and national CBC stations.
In 2011, Woodland Telegraph was asked to appear on popular east coast music blog Herohill’s Gordon Lightfoot tribute album which was launched by CBC Radio 3 on Canada Day. Later that year, the band was commissioned by Alberta Parks to produce an album about the Willmore Wilderness Park in order to raise money for children’s nature activities. Songs for the Willmore Wilderness was made available via the Gateway to Nature smart phone application and songs from the album were featured on the documentary Wild Alberta: The Willmore Legacy.