Mark June 17 on your calendar and make a date to check out The Crackling at Black Pirates Pub. The band emerged on Canada’s music scene in 2010 while touring for Dan Mangan and released its sophomore album, Mary Magdalene, at the end of April. The album is getting rave reviews and CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos says, “This might be my favourite band in Canada right now.”
Recorded over the bleak winter months, Mary Magdalene, delivers a darkened warmth and offers a palette of stories that takes the listener into a world of contrasts via exceptional musicianship and artful songwriting. Such contrasts are also illustrated beautifully in the album’s art which features a commissioned painting of Mary Magdalene by Vancouver artist EC Salazar. The Cracking frontman Kenton Loewen explained the artwork to CBCMusic.ca saying “there’s this wonderful theory that Jesus never actually died, that he and Mary sustained life and moved to the south of France and travelled, and you get that sense visually from the cover of the record, the concepts of the Magdalene are usually limited to the disciple/prostitute realm, and I’m enjoying knocking that down and playing around.”
Led by Kenton Loewen on vocals and guitar, The Crackling brings together Tyson Naylor on keys, piano and accordion, Jeremy Page on bass, Gordon Grdina on guitars and vocals and John Raham on drums. Experienced road warriors, many members of The Crackling divide their time playing in Dan Mangan’s touring ensemble.
The name The Crackling refers to songwriter Kenton Loewen’s favourite sound, the sound of burning. From gentle taps of smoking wood, to violent sparks of exploding pine cones and falling branches, the sounds evoked from the idea of crackling set the tone of the album. This album is about the sounds of change, natural and flowing or sudden and vigorous, but above all stimulating and honest.