Jodi and Jean-Guy Roy of Federal Lights (Federal.lights.org)
Jean-Guy Roy of Federal Lights feels it's essential to express the full gamut of emotions in his music. His songs often move from happy to sad and he likes it that way.
"They definitely go together," he says. "I think you can find happiness in sad situations and vice versa. I think that the two go hand in hand and I love the full spectrum of human emotions, whether it's sad, happy, angry, whatever. You have to embrace them, you have to accept them."
Roy started exploring those deep emotions in the refuge of his basement in 2010. After the breakup of his former band The Morning After, and after a couple of years off, he felt the need to return to making music.
"I retreated down to the basement," he says. "That was the only spot in the house that was available to me and that was the only refuge I had because it's kind of a gross, dank basement and the kids don't go down there."
Now Federal Lights is set to release its first full-length CD, We Were Found in the Fog. The songs on the album find him more relaxed than before, exploring a deeper vocal style.
"With this new project I decided to start writing songs that were a little more mellow," he says. "I was way more mellow."
Joining Roy in his band are bassist Rob Mitchell of The Attics and drummer David Pankratz, formerly of Quinzy. He also recruited his wife, Jodi Roy, into the band to contribute vocals, keyboards and that characteristic tinkly glockenspiel sound.
"It was her idea [to join the band]," he laughs. "I realize now it was a no-brainer."
Songs from the album received immediate attention. The single "I See Love" debuted as number one on CBC Radio 3 charts and stayed there for a few weeks.
The song also came out as a performance video on the Loft Sessions earlier this week.
Federal Lights releases We Were Found in the Fog on Aug. 27. The release concert takes place on Sept. 12 at the West End Cultural Centre.
Before then, hear Jean-Guy Roy in conversation with guest host Bruce Ladan on SCENE On Air. The show airs every Saturday from 5 - 6 p.m. on CBC Radio One, 89.3 FM/990 AM/97.9 FM in Brandon.