FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 5, 2023
TORONTO ON -- As half of the rising alt-country duo The Goddamsels, listeners around the world are quickly getting to know and love Mallory Chipman as one of the vital new voices on the Canadian scene. Now, the ever-prolific Alberta singer/songwriter is taking flight—metaphorically at least—on a new solo project, As Though I Had Wings, an EP reflecting her love of nature, and specifically, birdcalls.
As Though I Had Wings is out today via mallorychipmanmusic.com, Bandcamp and all streaming platforms. Mallory will be performing a handful of shows to launch the EP (see tour graphic below).
Each of the four songs on As Though I Had Wings is based on sounds of birds native to Alberta, all of which are endangered or threatened, such as the burrowing owl, the black tern, the red-winged blackbird, and the peregrine falcon. Mallory says that the inspiration for the project struck one day when she heard a common birdcall and it suddenly reminded her of a film score buried deep in her memory. From there, she began tuning in more closely to birdcalls on her regular hikes, while thinking of how to transcribe them into playable music by establishing a key and making sense of their rhythm.
Mallory says, “Through the process, the birds enchanted me with their melodies. I began to write music behind them and around them, wondering perhaps if by doing this, I could capture a sense of the reverence I had for these feathered creatures, and maybe even inspire some attention to their circumstances, many of which are compromised at the hands of habitat loss and destruction.”
As such a personal project, it made sense for Mallory to serve as her own producer for the first time on As Though I Had Wings. The songs were laid down in April 2021 with engineer Scott Franchuk at Edmonton’s Riverdale Recorders. Accompanying her were Brett Hansen on guitar, Nico Humby on bass and backing vocals, Esther Forseth on backing vocals, and Jon Guenter on drums. For Mallory, the sessions were a way to maintain her creative energy during the pandemic, but perhaps more importantly the songs reconnected her with the feeling of writing and performing as a true solo artist.
On “Cradle Me,” it’s certainly evident how bird song pushed Mallory’s voice in new directions and new heights. As simply a songwriting experiment, the results are stunning, but on another level, Mallory’s approach perhaps opens up previously unexplored ways of thinking about melody—melodies that only birds can produce. As Though I Had Wings presents many other such questions, but the answers are invariably embedded in four songs that together comprise some of the finest folk-rock currently being made.
Mallory Chipman is available for interviews and on-air appearances.