Starting off the week on a relatively tranquil note by way of Woodpiegon, from a session recorded for Marc Riley at BBC 6 Music on February 24, 2009.
Woodpigeon are an Indie-Pop/new-Folk/Anti-Folk collective founded in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It is led by and performs the songs of Mark Andrew Hamilton. Woodpigeon have released six studio albums, and a number of EPs, and Hamilton has worked with over 75 collaborators both on record and in live performance. Live, Woodpigeon is often a solo project incorporating loops and layered vocals.
When asked about the band’s name, Hamilton explains: “I’ve always been in love with the word Woodpigeon for as long as I can remember. When you write it in cursive, it looks like a rollercoaster.”
The band’s sound has been compared to Sufjan Stevens, Grizzly Bear, Talk Talk, Camera Obscura, Simon & Garfunkel, Wesley Willis, and Belle & Sebastian, amongst others. Band leader Mark Hamilton’s main lyrical influence is The Kinks.
Woodpigeon’s origins are found with primary songwriter Mark Andrew Hamilton writing songs in Edinburgh, Scotland. At this time, the band was named Woodpigeon Divided By Antelope Equals Squirrel and consisted of Hamilton alongside Steve Kaye and Malcolm Benzie (who went on to form Edinburgh slowcore band eagleowl and performs with Withered Hand). Hamilton states that he “was far too scared to ever sing, so all we ever played was a couple of stupid instrumentals and our only “performance” was in the streets of Edinburgh.” Eventually, Hamilton returned to Canada, and started afresh, with the shortened band name, Woodpigeon. Other band members fell in place, with Hamilton noting that: “the way it came together was simplistic: friends started hearing my songs and offering their services.”
The band’s first full-length album, entitled Songbook, was released in late 2006. Following its release, the band opened for Broken Social Scene, Iron and Wine, Grizzly Bear, and Calexico. With their popularity growing, Woodpigeon toured the UK, Ireland, and Germany in 2008. That October they performed a pair of “Homecoming” shows in Calgary and Edmonton as an opener for Iron and Wine.
The band self-released an album, Treasury Library Canada, in early August 2008, selling nearly all 1,000 hand-folded copies within a fortnight. The band also re-released their debut album Songbook in the UK on September 29, 2008. Treasury Library Canada was officially re-released in February 2009 as a double album with the ukulele-based Houndstooth Europa collection as Treasury Library Canada c/w Houndstooth Europa, and was long-listed for the 2009 Polaris Prize. Woodpigeon played with acts as varied as The Constantines, Plants & Animals, Mount Eerie and Grizzly Bear, and Hamilton served as the curator of the first annual Sled Island Festival in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
This session coincides with that re-release and the subsequent tour in February of 2009.
Still together. A side-project, Frontperson released a debut album in September of this year. Lots going on and a lot to listen to and enjoy. Starting with this 2009 session for Marc Riley.
Hit Play and relax.