Interview: Flying Hórses
"I wrote 'Tölt' during a time of reflection on my own childhood. The entire record ended up feeling/sounding like a soundtrack to the past"
Since the release of Flying Horses’ debut album, Tölt, Jade Bergeron hasn’t stopped. A few weeks ago, the video for the title track, ‘Tölt’, was premiered via The FADER, and a second video for the track ‘Attic’ released on March 23rd. Jade has also been busy working on her sophomore album and will be releasing a single very soon. I had the opportunity to ask Jade a few questions about the videos, the new single and the new album.
(((o))): On February 23rd, you released a video for the title track Tölt from your last album by the same name. Was it always your intention to create a video for this track and why did you choose this track in particular?
I wrote ‘Tölt’ during a time of reflection on my own childhood. The entire record ended up feeling/sounding like a soundtrack to the past. I used a lot of instrumentation that represented the innocence of being young and wide-eyed. When Alex [Alexandre Richard from Quebec production house Cinearcale] approached me with the idea of making a video/short film for that particular track, he already had a lot of great conceptual ideas, and before even bringing up what the track represented to me, he was already story boarding about a childhood trauma. We connected on the video, immediately.
(((o))): I read that Cinearcale produced the video. Aside from the musical contribution, were you also involved in the production of the video? The video shows two children who are estranged from the world but find friendship and happiness with each other only to be hurt by their peers. The music is a perfect soundtrack to the story portrayed in the video. Was this what you always envisioned the video to be about?
My contribution to the video was limited. Once Alex and I went over the storyboard together, he began casting calls for the actors, and it wasn’t long before they [cast] them. Spent some time in the fall working on production and the post-production happened in the winter. The whole process was really amazing. Both young actors really did a great job, and I’m so grateful for the level of professionalism the entire team demonstrated throughout. It’s been an honor working with all of them.
(((o))): You will be releasing a single soon, April I believe? What is the title of the track? Is this a teaser for an upcoming album? I read that you worked with Efrim from Godspeed You! Black Emperor on this single? How did this collaboration come about?
I was invited to go work at The Banff Centre back in October, for their Independent Music Residency. Waking up every morning to clean, fresh air, in the middle of the mountains, and to be surrounded by talented, inspiring artists was so amazing. I had my own studio, with a grand piano, harpsichord, vibraphone and a few percussive instruments. The other musicians in my residency we’re singer/songwriters and we’re working on two or three shorter songs, but I decided when I got there that I was going to compose one, longer instrumental, movement. I had written a small part of the new track over in Iceland but the entire rest of the movement happened really organically during my first week in Banff.
Being back in nature, really brought the song to life. I had heard about the residency through Charles actually, and being a fan of his post-rock band DO MAKE SAY THINK and of his work in general, I applied. I guess both himself and Brendan Canning thought I would be a good fit for the residency. I ended up meeting a classical guitarist and experimental cellist, Alex Mah out there, who was there working with Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) and after hearing him play, invited him to record cello on my new piece.
Charles played horns and a few other musicians also contributed to the movement. I wanted the entire recording experience to feel organic, and stress-free. The new movement was mixed by Efrim (Godspeed You! Black Emperor over at Hotel 2 Tango in Montreal and I just got the master back from Biggi (Sigur Ros) in Iceland. It’s a pretty heavy listen, but it’s colorful and it represents a really important recent-time in my life. We are shooting a short film/video for the single right now in Iceland. I’m very excited about the whole thing. It’s going to feature a very well-known actor/model in the Icelandic community, so I’m really glad to be working with this team, overseas. The new movement and video should hopefully be out in the spring.
(((o))): On your last album, aside from the piano and cello, you incorporated instruments such as the wurlitzer, celesta and glockenspiel etc. These instruments were woven in so perfectly and added greatly to the mood of the album. It was great to hear them being used. Will there be any such surprises in the new single? Can you tell me what fans can expect to hear from this single? Will the sound be completely different from the last album?
The new single stands on its own. The instrumentation is: piano, vibraphone, cello, cornet, guitar, double bass, bass drum and other random instruments and effects. It’s too soon to tell what the next record will sound like, I’m still writing it. Chances are some of the elements from the debut record will follow me into the next one. They are sounds that I’m really attached to.
(((o))): On March 23, 2017, you released a second video. This time for the track ‘Attic”. Did Cinearcale produce this video as well?
‘Attic’ was produced by Antoine S. Legault from Lonely Fire Productions.
(((o))): ‘Attic’ seems heavier, darker and sorrowful compared to ‘Tölt’. Is this why you chose this track for the second video, as a contrast to ‘Tölt’?
The song is one of the last tracks on the record. I never really intended for it to end up there, actually. It’s quite dark, heavy and creepy and I think is a transition between the really optimist, innocent, lullaby songs that start off the album, and the new single I’ll be releasing sometime in the spring. I wrote it while I was reflecting on memories (much like ‘Tölt’). The video opportunity came about organically, this past winter. I sat down with Antoine back in December and we talked about making this short film/video that was kind of dark, creepy and mysterious. Coming out of a bit of heaviness myself, I decided to focus the story on loss and melancholy. Antoine came up with the storyboard and we shot the video in one afternoon in an abandoned house. It was freezing cold and creepy, but it was a really awesome experience.
(((o))): You mentioned that album ‘Tölt’ was written during a time of reflection of your own childhood and that it ended up feeling like a soundtrack to the past. How does it feel to have the soundtrack you created come to life on screen?
I feel humbled and totally honoured to be working with such next level teams. They are really talented, creative and inspiring.