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Photos by Kristjanne Vosper, 2024.

ABOUT EARTH BALL

EARTH BALL are a wild ensemble from Canada, mainly based on Vancouver Island. Their inception was serendipitous, emerging out of necessity when Isabel Ford, John Brennan, and Jeremy Van Wyck needed a name for a gig. What began as a pragmatic solution blossomed into an artistically conceived project. Embracing complete improvisation, free expression and a truly psychedelic sound, the group's lineup expands for different projects and now features Kellen Maclaughlin on Guitar and Liam Murphy on Saxophone. Each member brings a diverse musical background, having been part of various bands such as Shearing Pinx, Plan Your Future, Kamikaze Nurse, Eschatons and Psychedelic Dirt. Their individual collaborations with artists like Deerhoof, Raven Chacon, Chris Corsano, William Hooker, and others enrich their collective experience, forging a powerful musical force.

Earth Ball's live shows epitomise their commitment to spontaneous composition, offering audiences a unique experience at every performance. Notably, their opening act for the legendary experimental duo Wolf Eyes in August 2023 underscores their standing in the psychedelic music scene. As Earth Ball continues to push the boundaries of improvisation and sonic exploration, they remain a guiding light for those seeking a transcendental musical experience.

In a relatively short span, Earth Ball has achieved remarkable milestones. Their first cassette 'Fruiting Bodies', released in 2021 under Misophonia Records UK, was followed by the self-released album 'Go to Earth.' The creative momentum continued with the digital and cassette release of 'Have One' in 2023. Earth Ball's dynamic presence has reverberated across the west coast of Canada, with plans to extend their reach to the east coast and the UK in 2024. The upcoming LP 'It's Yours', scheduled for release in May 20th 2024 under the UK label Upset The Rhythm, marks a significant step forward.

EARTH BALL RELEASES

'It's Yours'

A Need To Cool Down

UTR164 | LP | 6 tracks | Buy

December 2012 I showed up totally exhausted in Vancouver BC after touring stupidly and relentlessly for however many straight months and got a job at a call centre raising money for the Red Cross. It was a scent free office but one time this woman cooked a piece of fish in the microwave for 10 minutes on low and hot boxed the whole office - we got sent home early no pay. There was the other woman I named the Call Centre Coltrane because her pitch and routine usually involved improvised flights of fancy that went off in both directions at once somehow landing back down with a credit card number and a donation. I used to sleep under the desk. I was there a few months and at the time I reconnected with John Brennan who I had played with briefly in Montreal at the Mutek Festival. In Montreal John was running an experimental music night at a burrito shop downtown called Garbage Night. While in Vancouver I began connecting with the music scene there and would go hang out with the Shearing Pinx lads who I think lived with Sydney the bass player at the time. I knew Nic and Jer from an AIDS Wolf Tour and was so stoked to get to know them both better. I really fell in love with that era of Vancouver's music scene. Fast Forward to today. 2024

Actually it was the dying days of 2023 but you get it and John asks if I'll sit in with Earth Ball and I keep thinking about Earth Balance, the vegan butter everyone eats here. I brought my aching bones and my ipads on the beautiful ferry named the Queen of Oak Bay and out to Nanaimo BC, home of the nanaimo bar (a dessert treat - special to this region - that seems to be more popularly found under the weird glass sneeze guards in office building deli's out east in Ontario.... anyhoops ). No one in Nanaimo wants to talk to me about the famous treat. I asked a couple of people. Silence. Nanaimo is like London, Ontario but more fried and by the sea. The town is filled with blown out old sea dawgs with tin coffee pots and loose leaf tobacco, then there's the usual streetfolk you find in this part of the Canadian Pacific Northwest and a bunch of bohemians who I guess have left Vancouver behind - that fine city having become uninhabitable for those not making over 100k a year. And then up the way are all the retirees.

Yup Nanaimo is a strange one. They mined the shit out of this region and Nanaimo is surely haunted by those buried in mining shafts or maimed by the heavy machinery or blown up by accident in the explosives store house. And when Earth Ball fire up the amps in Izzy and Jer's basement you can hear the voices of the ghosts hum through electrical lines and out the speakers, Kellan's hued feedback, Izy's sturdy basslines, Jer's paperbag guitar tone and rumble pack zaps, Liam's (aka the Kid) sheets of sound and Brennen's multidirectional drums.

You wouldn't guess Earth Ball was auto-composing and from what my rat brain can tell - the lyrics are improvised too...Improvising lyrics and singing them is the hardest thing to do in all of music.. Izzy and Jer are pros. And their attitudes are pro too.

The live show is scorched and without naming names they've been known to make headliners nervous. Lucky ones will get to see them live as they tour this beast of a record entitled 'It's Yours' (out May 17th on Upset The Rhythm) and I hope I'm one of them.

LINKS

It's Yours / UTR Bandcamp

Bandcamp

Instagram

Discogs

PRESS

THE WIRE

Album review

THE QUIETUS

Interview

THE QUIETUS

Columnfortably Numb

ZEN SOUNDS

Interview

THE ORGAN

Album review

RAVEN SINGS THE BLUES

Moon FM premiere

CAFE OTO

Biography

RECORD TURNOVER

Track premiere

COMPLETE MUSIC UPDATE

'A Need To Cool Down' review

ROUGH TRADE

'It's Yours' review

VIDEOS

MOON FM

A NEED TO COOL DOWN

EARTH BALL - LIVE!