Oldfolks Home in action (Silas Chipelski)
My life was a constant reminder of my mistakes and our relationship and that was all I knew. This record has helped my find closure in a relationship that felt like it vanished into memory.
—Ricardo Lopez-Aguilar, musician
Everything you need to know about Black & Blue, the forthcoming sophomore album from Oldfolks Home
-- aka local folktronica experimentalist Ricardo Lopez-Aguilar -- is
neatly summed up by its title.
It's a raw, personal album, with Lopez-Aguilar baring his heart in more ways that one.
Musically, the new effort eschews the bedroom electronics that informed his 2008 debut, We Are The Feeding Line, for more organic, acoustic sounds.
Lopez-Aguilar also took a more straightforward, singer/songwriter approach to his songs; who knew there was such a great voice buried under all that reverb?
"This album feels more true to form. I normally write songs on an acoustic guitar, in the quiet moments when I take some personal time, then start layering things on top of that. I wanted this album to feel more like those moments alone. I wanted it to be personal and less intrusive," he says.
It certainly is personal; for Lopez-Aguilar, Black & Blue bears the bumps and bruises of a difficult divorce.
"It wasn't my intention to write about my divorce, but it was all I knew for a while. My life was a constant reminder of my mistakes and our relationship and that was all I knew. This record has helped my find closure in a relationship that felt like it vanished into memory. I have learned to accept, reflect and forgive with these songs."
Of course, Oldfolks Home had lots of musical support. Pals Michael Petkau Falk (Les Jupes), Keri Latimer, Shaun Gibson (The Details), Nomad, Emma Quackenbush (Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra), Dan Werb (Woodhands), Tess Kitchen (E.S.L.) and Anastasia Chipelski helped Lopez-Aguilar realize his vision.
Still, it remains very much his record.
"I really challenged myself and was challenged by (former drummer) Shaun Gibson to really work out the arrangements and think about how every element adds to the song. It's interesting for me to listen to it because I am taken back to those moments in my life. Every time that happens, I would through those feelings a little more.
"This album is my therapist."
Black & Blue is recorded, but Oldfolks Home still needs money to finish and release it. Lopez-Aguilar is playing a fundraising concert November 15 at The Pyramid Cabaret with guest performances by Keri Latimer and DJ Hunnicutt.