Pale Air Singers : s/t

2009 | CD/Digital | 018

A collaborative recording project between The Cape May and Run Chico Run, the Pale Air Singers’ album is rich with layered, vocal harmonies and complex interplay of rhythm and instrumentation. The album – recorded in two intensive and hazy sessions in the bands’ respective locations in Calgary and Victoria – hints at the output of each band while reaching a place where neither have ever travelled. Interweaving guitars, gloomy trumpet spells, vaudevillian keyboards, and scattered, dub-like drum shuffles punctuate the album, while the vocalists from both bands weave stories of unrequited passion and too-soon-forgotten outcasts.

The album showcases Clinton St. John's distinctive voice as it depicts multi-faceted stories rich with characters; the vocals of Matt Skillings and Thomas Shields take these hard-luck souls through a landscape of cabaret-infused pop wreathed in melodies and layered with delicate voices.

The album opens with a stomping rhythm, the sound of boots on a piano body in an old garage; here, St. John's warm throaty tenor chronicles a character armed with an unflinching yet nihilistic altruism that could rival any great American folk hero. Elsewhere, delayed analogue synths, rolling, deeply-resonating bass lines, and panned drum shots construct an instrumental backdrop to a rich interplay of voices, only to later end in a wash of delayed electronic pulses and grating, metallic swells.

Written and recorded in a collaborative and improvisational fashion with very few expectations on genre or style, Pale Air Singers' self-titled album is a meandering and colourful road trip with five fiercely creative individuals.

Track Listing

1. Convict Escapes
2. Swill and Grits
3. The Moving Floor
4. Horse Trade
5. cubby, he chopped me down
6. Reeling Mind, Glistening Face
7. Alomeia
8. The Last of Jim Prior
9. Staggered Marionettes


"There have been a few albums that I have mentioned so far this year as being on my ‘short list’ for later consideration as the best of 2009, and this one is solidly near the top of that list."
- Citizen Dick

"In the track “Swill and Grits,” lead singer Clinton St. John warns, “there is no lock that will keep you like his grip.” In all likelihood he was referencing the strong musical and lyrical grip that Pale Air Singers have on its listener."
- Melissa Kim, Spill Magazine

"Combining the talents of Victoria’s Run Chico Run and Calgary’s The Cape May, Pale Air Singers make their super-group status work."
- Patrick Boyle, FFWD, April 2009

"...complex, atmospheric, and just a little bit disorienting."
- Alex Varty, Georgia Straight, April 2009

"Who says that all the Canadian talent is from the East??"
- Slowcoustic, April 2009

" beautiful progressive free flowing stream-of-consciousness pop"
- BabySue 5+

design + development: Structured Abstraction

Produced In Co-Operation with promofact