By Regina Sienra
By late 2010, Library Voices were already acquainted with long tours. As they crossed North America, the band took a two week break from shows to work on what would become Summer of Lust, their sophomore LP. Written at a little town hall in Kronau, Sask., – a hamlet 20 minutes east of Regina -, Summer of Lust was produced by The Besnard Lakes’ Jace Lasek and recorded at Breakglass Studio in Montreal.
“I regret that we didn’t devote more time to making the album – that we didn’t grow it more organically”, told singer Carl Johnson to OurBasement, looking back at Summer of Lust five years after its initial release. “We had a lot of the song ideas around then but we spent all of our time frantically touring”. Still, Johnson holds dear to the memories of the recording process.
“Songs like ‘Generation Handclap’ and ‘Me, Myself and ID’ just sprung up from jamming together there in those two weeks”, said Johnson. “It’s so chaotic trying to write with 7 people all making noise in a room with the specter of a looming, immovable deadline over their head.”
The band booked some shows for the drive between Regina and Montreal, which had them frantically rehearsing at hotel rooms before hitting the studio. “Once we started tracking the songs came together”, added Johnson. “I think big part of that was Jace [Lasek]. The studio felt like home […]. Also you never knew who’d be stopping by, whether it was [Lasek’s partner and Besnard Lakes bandmate] Olga or Kevin Drew. It was a tough process getting songs out of what we had but I have nothing but the fondest memories from that period.”
Summer of Lust was released in Canada on August 23, 2011 by Nevado Records, and it was published in the US two months later on Dine Alone Records. The album would get positive reviews south of the border. Chicago-based blog PopMatters gave it 7 stars out of 10 and alluded to its “utterly refreshing” sound. The Consequence of Sound review stated that “This album doesn’t have a dull moment, leaving the listener energized and anxious to push repeat” and praised the heartfelt lyrics and the big instrumentation.
Library Voices’ second LP reaffirmed their position as a spearhead of the prairie music scene, as well as it strengthened its visibility as a reliable Canadian band with a fresh approach. The band would distance themselves from the pop elements to make room for heavier sounds on subsequent releases, adding “versatility” to their ever-growing repertoire of virtues.
As a side note, how does Johnson feel about “The Prime Minister’s Daughter” (A song inspired by the comments made by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper on how “ordinary people” didn’t care about arts funding) now the song is – in a way – obsolete? “We don’t ever play it live, but I still enjoy it when I hear it once in a blue moon and I’m glad we made it”, Johnson points out. “I wish we’d maybe been a bit more upfront, more often about our political feelings but c’est la vie”.