Marker Starling & Ian Daniel Kehoe
8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
£7 adv / £9 otd
After recording and performing for many years under the name of Mantler, Toronto’s Chris A. Cummings changed his band name to Marker Starling in 2012. A solo performer for much of his career, Cummings was frequently seen playing Melancholy Party Jams on a Wurlitzer electric piano, with drum machine accompaniment.
After a longtime association with Germany’s Tomlab label, who released the second, third and fourth Mantler records (SADISFACTION, LANDAU and MONODY) Cummings began working with Tin Angel in 2010, when they co-released MONODY and released fifth album ROSY MAZE to great acclaim in 2015. In 2016 ROSY MAZE was released in Japan by 7e.p. Records, who also brought Cummings to Japan for the first time.
Cummings has collaborated with the German band Von Spar, contributing vocals and lyrics to four songs on their album STREET LIFE. His song “Deep Background” was recorded by Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier and will appear on her upcoming solo record FIND ME FINDING YOU.
Now with the release of TRUST AN AMATEUR his eighth full length as Marker Starling, Toronto troubadour Chris A Cummings captures in crystalline pop a time in his life full of birth, death, life, loss, endings and renewal. Reeling from the death of a close friends and collaborator, two years after the birth of his first child. He asks questions about morality, searching for their answers on tracks led by gorgeous drifts of airy Wurlitzer keyboard calm. TRUST AN AMATEUR is both minimalist in sound, but profound in message: an expert songwriter pushing his poetry to a brave new existential brink.
It seems now that Ian Daniel Kehoe has been hiding in plain sight. A classic songwriter pulling from a seemingly endless supply of hooks, dancing through his debut video in silver face paint and an assortment of wide shouldered sports jackets, Kehoe appears somewhat like an apparition, an emissary from a better world.
SECRET REPUBLIC, Kehoe’s debut under his own name, is an entirely self-assured first record, ten confident, immaculate pop songs, drenched in analog synth and punchily articulate in their pursuit of love, beauty and rhythm. Recorded and performed entirely by Kehoe himself, the record is an introduction to this world, one where melody reigns supreme, every love is a true love, and the singer searches endlessly for “prizes through the mazes of the jungle, prizes at the tips of the poles.”
While SECRET REPUBLIC may be a debut, Kehoe has appeared on the musical scene in various guises. For the past few years, he has toured extensively as a drummer for Andy Shauf (Anti Records), The Weather Station (Paradise of Bachelors), and Julia Jacklin (Polyvinyl). Before that, he was bassist and songwriter in Attack in Black (Dine Alone Records), while releasing several records as Marine Dreams (You’ve Changed). But SECRET REPUBLIC is something entirely new; the debut of Kehoe as a preternaturally confident front man and producer, with a tight grasp on every musical weapon at his disposal.
Kehoe has always been a disciple of pop music, in the most traditional sense of the word. A lover of Nick Lowe, Harry Nilsson and Cindy Lauper. Kehoe adheres to the idea that music should be moved to, danced to, sung along to. Many of the songs on SECRET REPUBLIC are constructed as crowd pleasers, songs to be played from bleachers, soundtracks to first dances and first kisses, songs that could sit alongside ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ on a radio DJ playlist circa 1983. But to Kehoe, this is both the most serious thing in the world, and also not serious at all. And this is borne out on SECRET REPUBLIC, a record which could soundtrack a love either deep or glancing, a record both heavy and feather light.
The Tin At The Coal Vaults