From Mike Edel
Even the title, India, Seattle feels like a story on its own. Victoria’s Mike Edel couldn’t have named his sophomore release more poetically.
Two polarized locations on opposite ends of the earth, one crawling with colours and noise and the other lying silent and blue in the corner of America. Part of growing a little bit older, a little bit wiser is the awareness that comes inside growing spaces. Nearing thirty, on the exhaust of a brutal four year touring schedule, Edel settled within these spaces to create his finest work yet.
Born and raised in rural Alberta, Edel has the work ethic to prove it. Quickly gaining praise as an unwavering visionary artist in Victoria, his work paid off quickly. Chosen as The Zone @ 91.3 Band Of The Month in early 2011 and placing fifth in the 2012 Peak Performance project in 2012 made way to endless touring. Hundreds of shows across the United States and Canada as well as appearances at the Victoria International Jazz Fest, Rifflandia Festival and Tall Tree Festival earned praise for his live performance. In 2013, CBC recorded and released one of his live shows to their audience of thousands across Canada. Later that year, his single ‘The Country Where I Came From’ was chosen as the Times Colonist Single of The Year, helping him secure performances with Platinum selling songwriter Serena Ryder, Vance Joy and Josh Garrels.
In 2014, Mike Edel came home to Victoria to an unfamiliar tide, the changing directions and the spaces between. In the small wood-walled studio of Juno-winning producer Colin Stewart (Dan Mangan), the two toiled among the dials of vintage analog recording gear to produce the very image of Edel’s place in the world at the time it found him. It’s in the spaces and the contrast that the record comes to life. On Julia the chorus splits the meandering details of a relationship with “I know it’s only two weeks in Calgary” - and somehow Edel communicates that it’s going to be longer and further away. On one of the best moments of the record Thought about July it is literally an island of separation, “I thought an island was far enough away, you called me on the weekend, you wanted me to stay” and again on East Shore / West Shore “You can blame in on the vast expanse, to the cold prairie towns but you just can’t”
There’s something about the way Edel presents personal experiences in a way that project universal understandings. Love and beauty, pain and confusion, the knowledge that all precious things are only precious because they can be lost. It feels a little bit like growing up - like the moment when everything that felt so close as a young person is all of a sudden so far away. It’s the comfort in finding that you aren’t alone. There’s a humanity in these discoveries, and listening to India, Seattle feels like watching Edel discover it for himself, and the product is a little bit of each of us.