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Calgary’s Raleigh dives into new sonic territory with Powerhouse Bloom

By Matt Hume, October 26 2017 — 

A sound exists within the wave of psychedelic indie rock, somewhere in between Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Tame Impala, personified by Calgary quartet Raleigh. On Sept. 29, the group released their third full-length record, Powerhouse Bloom — an album developed during the band’s residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Founding member Brock Geiger says the environment and wide time-frame allowed the band to craft a polished record.

“We feel really good about it and nothing feels compromised on it,” Geiger says. “In the past you would book a studio and you’d go in and you’d have two weeks to try and get it done. This time we didn’t put any limitations on ourselves and made sure we were fully satisfied with what we were putting out. It feels good to have given ourselves the luxury to do that.”

During the Banff residency, Raleigh worked with a wide range of Canadian talent. Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning and Charles Spearin of Broken Social Scene were producers and mentors throughout the album’s production. The sound engineers present were also high-calibre, including Graham Lessard, who has worked with Timbre Tambre, and Shawn Everett — known for Grammy Award-winning work with Alabama Shakes. Powerhouse Bloom’s final mixing day brought back Lessard along with Tragically Hip producer Nyles Spencer and Preoccupations producer Scott Munroe.

Geiger says the extra time and resources allowed the band to branch out from the sounds of their previous work.

“We’ve used the studio as more of a tool and it’s quite a bit richer sonically. There’s more experimentation with additional elements with effects on vocals and weird, atypical sounds,” he says.

The atypical sounds also bring new life to their live performances. With stranger effects and a more electronic tone, Raleigh’s shows have taken on a new character.

“This last month of touring we’ve really aimed to translate [our performance] in a way that represents the record as accurately as possible,” Geiger says. “It’s bringing up a lot of effects processing and live sampling to kind of make sure we’re hitting the whole sonic spectrum that’s presented on the record. It’s pretty much a full-fledged electric show now and it really translates with a lot of energy.”

Their Canadian tour began with 10 days in Western Canada followed by seven shows in Ontario and Quebec. After completing a final stop back in Calgary at Ironwood on Oct. 26, Raleigh is off to Europe to deliver their sound worldwide.

Powerhouse Bloom is available now on Spotify and Bandcamp. Stay up to date with Raleigh through Facebook and Twitter.

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