The Sky Between the Buildings LP
Weathered Pines debut release, The Sky Between the Buildings, is the first offering from Dejlig Records, the Vancouver-based sister label of Nominal Records. This 11-song album of lovely country songs is available on vinyl and includes a digital download coupon. Artwork for the record was designed by Marissa Johnson and Yani & Miko.
Weathered Pines was formed in 2006 by lead vocalist and songwriter, Marissa Johnson, who has performed live and on record with No Kids (Tomlab). The original line-up had Conrad Dykman on drums and Steve Matheson (Ghost House, Healthy Students) on bass, who were later joined by Bryce Janssens (formerly of The Fine Options) on lead guitar. As soon as the roles were filled, Weathered Pines hit the ground running, playing shows and writing enough songs to record a full length album within two months of formation.
With influences such as Neil Young, Elvis Costello and Gram Parsons, Weathered Pines blends bottom-of-the-bottle country with a hint of rock ‘n’ roll grit. This has led them to be equally as likely to appear on a bill next to country sweethearts Carolyn Mark or Jenny Whitely as they are next to total rockers Vancougar or the Tranzmitors.
Initial pressing of 519.
BREAKING NEWS: Marissa Johnson is also the bassist/vocalist of new Hardly Art recording artists Dizzy Eyes.
BEATROUTE April 2010
The Sky Between the Buildings
Vancouver band Weathered Pines leaves us with a debut album that lingers like lilacs and talcum powder.
The Sky Between the Buildings breathes the dusty air of musicians well-seasoned: with smooth transitions and gorgeous swells, Marissa Johnson's vocals never sound off, they just sound right. The band, rounded out by Steve Matheson on bass, Conrad Dykman on drums and Bryce Janssens on lead guitar, follows effortlessly from subtle and serene to wise-crack whiskey brawling, always with uncomplicated honesty. Sensed are the must-exchanged smiles during this live-off-the-floor recording. Musicians that play off each other in such a carefree manner are a rare breed.
Johnson's father helps out with some guitar handiwork and, along with her step-mother, is responsible for the album's artwork. In the last notes of "Six Feet Down" you can hear the porch, the open sky, the stars, the full moon, and perhaps a phantom coyote howl. Makes me wonder what sordid country tales this west-coast band still has tucked away: they do stay up later than the rest of us.
- Jody Glenham
BALLAD OF A LADYMAN
Weathered Pines-Sky Between the Buildings
Now that I switched my "who i'm in love with" band (the first one was the sandwitches, check out my post), I figured it was time to share the old one with you all. Here's the old band, Weathered Pines.
Weathered Pines are from Vancouver, and it's a mix of country, rock, and folk. Not something you come across alot, especially with female vocals. It still has a very indie sound, however.
For the most part, it's remorseful, reminiscent music, great for that time a couple weeks after you've broken up- you've moved past the anger but are still a little sad, lonely, and confused.
The Sky Between the Buildings is their debut LP, and it comes with my highest recommendation. It's seen no blogging or love, no hype or buzz. Which in a way think is all for the better, for it really lets the music talk for itself. I look forward to what comes next.
Check out their myspace and keep the music alive.
EXCLAIM! May 2010
The Sky Between the Buildings
By Josiah Hughes
Marissa Johnson is a mainstay in the Vancouver, BC music scene. Between her time with punk bands like Dizzy Eyes and the Bad News Babysitters, alongside her increasingly busy role as a touring member of No Kids, she finds the energy to write songs and front country powerhouse Weathered Pines. Along with contemporaries $100, they're ditching the posturing of alt-country for the earnest heartbreak and honesty of antique country music played right. Adorned with creative compositions, top-notch instrumentation and Jesse Gander's warm production, Weathered Pines create the perfect atmosphere for Johnson's rich, timeless voice to shine. Across The Sky Between the Buildings, Weathered Pines demonstrate their abilities as a top-notch country act while retaining unassuming honesty. If you're interested in quality, straightforward country played well, this is your best choice in 2010. (Dejlig)
THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT
Weathered Pines makes an emotional statement on The Sky Between the Buildings
By Jenny Charlesworth
The Sky Between the Buildings (Dejlig)
Vancougar keyboardist Megan Johnson isn’t the only one from the Johnson clan with serious musical chops. Kid sister Marissa clearly wound up with the performer gene as well, and this debut from Weathered Pines more than proves it.
Fronting a country outfit isn’t the easiest of jobs. Too much southern twang in your voice and you run the risk of coming across as contrived, an imposter cashing in on Neko Case’s ingenuity. Vocalist-guitarist Johnson sidesteps this minefield with remarkable ease on The Sky Between the Buildings. Belting out tuneful numbers that feel so authentic you’d swear that the brown-eyed beauty had grown up in a little farmhouse near North Dakota, the singer plays the role of Weathered Pines’ heroine effortlessly.
Whether crooning about rusty pipes and creaky floorboards on the sleepy waltz “Six Feet Down” or pulling a page from Chan Marshall’s songbook on “Me & the Sea”—a track that evokes the same lonely desperation heard on Cat Power’s piano-driven ballads—Johnson never breaks character. Her dazzling performance would not be so convincing, though, without the efforts of her bandmates: bassist Steve Matheson, drummer Conrad Dykman, and lead guitarist and harmonium player Bryce Janssens. Their extraordinary talents bring Johnson’s evocative imagery into focus, adding texture and dimension to her sentimental scenes.
Rest assured you don’t have to count Gram Parsons or Emmylou Harris as personal heroes to find The Sky Between the Buildings satisfying. The record will please anyone who reveres these country legends, but it’s interesting enough to entice all sorts of listeners.
Weathered Pines The Sky Between the Buildings LP
December 18th, 2009
It’s a little known fact that The Aural Kinetic can see into your future! “Oh yeah? Prove it!” Okay, here goes! You will fall in love with Weathered Pines sixteen seconds into their first song, “Solitaire”. Click!
“Last night you were drunk upon my porch,
Wishin’ that the sun would rise again…”
Ta-daa! Done and done. Now I know what you’re thinking. How did they do that? Well I’d tell you but this article isn’t about our amazing and mystical powers, but rather the sheer awesomeness that is Weathered Pines first release The Sky Between the Buildings (Dejlig Records).
Any band claiming to be influenced by Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons and Neil Young had better bring the country in a big way, and in all respects Weathered Pines have crafted an LP that does not disappoint. Not only is this a country music album, but a true and authentic country music album at that! All the major themes that you would expect to find are represented here: Love and heartbreak, good fortune and hard times, hope and despair. The duality of country itself is evident in the music, lyrics and song titles (“Head in the Clouds” and “Can’t Win”, for example) but the real selling point of this album is the voice on Marissa Johnson.
How in the world a girl from Vancouver ended up with such a perfect voice for country singing, we’ll never know. She’s fantastic throughout the album, but it’s tracks like “Head in the Clouds” and “Me and the Sea” – songs with a sparser and quieter musical arrangements – that she really shines. Depending on the song she is at times crystal clear (“Solitaire”) and at other times rough around the edges (“Can’t Win”). It’s an exceptional performance from start to finish, and one which I personally feel shows Johnson’s commitment to the band and the history of the genre. And if her performance on “Sad Song” isn’t every bit as good as anything Emmylou Harris has recorded, I’ll eat my hat.
But what would a country band be without the players? Johnson herself plays rhythm guitar throughout the album and really holds everything together with a style that’ll remind you of Johnny Cash. Bryce Janssens’ lead guitar and old-school solos (“Six Feet Down”) are a flawlessly executed necessity, and Steve Matheson is an absolute gem on the bass guitar. Check out his bump-ba-bump-ba-bump on “Don’t Be Late” in particular. It’s great stuff in the vein of Marshall Grant from the Tennessee Three. And last, but far from least, is Conrad Dykman on percussion. Country bands, almost more than any other genre of music, need a solid man on the kit and Dykman delivers in the grand tradition of “Fluke” Holland from the original Sun recordings.
If not for the fact that The Sky Between the Buildings has an official release date of January 25th, 2010, this would have certainly placed highly in our top five picks of this year. It’s an amazing effort on the part of the band and the newly minted Dejlig (pronounced Dai-lee) Records, and hopefully we’ll be hearing a lot more from both in the very near future. Great job you guys!