Interview by Karmin Yu. If you’re seeking some calm and soothing tunes to go with those warm summer nights, then I suggest you check out Rosie June. Hailing from British Columbia, this young singer-songwriter dropped by Montreal earlier this summer to open Hey Ocean’s show as part of their tour. In addition, she also sat down with us to discuss her experience on tour, her new album and her developing projects.
To begin, can you introduce yourself?
My name is Rosie June and I’m a musician from Lantzville, B.C. and I just released my debut record, Listening Post, on Tuesday, June 17th.
How about a quirky fact about yourself?
I haven’t slept in four days!
How has tour been with Hey Ocean and HIGHS?
It’s been great! They’re the nicest people I know; they’re really really sweet. So, it’s been really easy to be with them and I’m really grateful to be on a tour with them.
How does it feel to be the only solo artist playing on this tour?
A lot of the guys from Hey Ocean are backing me up now, which is really nice. So, it doesn’t feel very different, I guess. They’ve been so kind to me and we’ve become friends. So, it’s just a nice fun band being around together.
Who or what are your musical influences?
I love a lot of the lo-fi 80s dream pop stuff and weird music from the early 90s. So, those would be my biggest influences.
You just mentioned your new album, how has the reception been so far?
It’s been really nice! My management team, Bandwagon Management, released it as a co-release with Brendan Canning’s label and his is called Draper Street Records. Brendan Canning is from the Broken Social Scene and he’s the nicest guy ever! It’s been really fun! We’ve collected a lot of remixes to release with it at this time around. So, whenever you get the CD, you get a code and you type in all these remixes as well. It’s nice to create little treats like that for people.
How was the writing process behind it?
I write with my producer, who’s also my co-writer, Jonathan Evans, and he lives in Ottawa. So, we recorded the whole thing together when I left college after one year. I think the best ones that we’ve come up with together are the ones that you don’t need to realize they’ve happened until they’re finished being written and you’re like: “Oh yeah! That’s cool that it just came out!” It was really easy because we’re good friends as well, so it’s nice to work with your friends.
What is the meaning behind the album title?
I always thought it was a really dreamy title. Not that I can compare myself to her at all, but it was kind of a tip in the hat to Bjork’s Post I thought it was a great title. So, it’s just a dream pop record and I just wanted a title that would make you think of that before you listen to it.
What is your favourite song to play live?
Right now, it’s so new still, but I really like playing “Lion On Your Side” with them [Hey Ocean]. I think we all mesh really well together.
Speaking of “Lion On Your Side,” can you tell us the story behind it?
It’s when you’re in an atmosphere kind of mood and when you’re taking everything in (maybe silently). That sounds a little pretentions, doesn’t it? But it’s just about letting life happen to you and maybe a little bit of melancholy thrown in there, but in a nice and happy way.
To change it up a bit now, which city would best describe your music?
Wow, that’s tough! I would love to say London. Again, with all of those early band influences, a lot of them came out of that area. So, if I can even throw myself in that city, that would be crazy! I’m loving Montreal though, I’ve always wanted to live here.
If you were to have one of your songs featured in a movie, which song and movie would it be?
The second track of my album is called “Sound Out” – we actually got a video coming out next week. It sounds like a German disco song to me and it would be cool in Sofia Coppola’s Little Mermaid movie that is going to come out. I don’t know why, but I always picture water when I listen to the guitars.
What’s next for Rosie June?
We’ve got this music video coming out next week, which I’m excited for. I’m playing a show in Vancouver next week with the band. We’re also going to have an album release party back home. I’m just finishing up on a new EP and we’re going to get that all ready to go and get new music started for the next project!