JPR Live Session: Mike Edel

Jun 10, 2016

Mike Edel couldn’t have named his sophomore release more poetically. Even the title, India, Seattle feels like a story on its own. Two polarized locations on opposite ends of the earth, one crawling with colors and noise and the other lying silent and blue in the corner of America. Part of growing a little bit older, a little bit wiser is the awareness that comes inside growing spaces.

Nearing thirty, on the exhaust of a brutal four year touring schedule, Edel settled inside these spaces to create his finest work yet. Born and raised in rural Alberta, Edel has the work ethic to prove it. Quickly gaining praise as an unwavering visionary artist in Victoria, his work paid off quickly. Hundreds of shows across the United States and Canada as well as appearances at the Victoria International Jazz Fest, Rifflandia Festival and Tall Tree Festival garnered praise for his live shows. In 2013 CBC recorded and released one of his live shows to their audience of thousands across Canada. Later that year his single ‘The Country Where I Came From’ was chosen as the Times Colonist Single of The Year, helping him secure performances with Platinum selling songwriter Serena Ryder.

In 2014, Mike Edel came home to Victoria to an unfamiliar tide, the changing directions and the spaces between. In the small wood-walled studio of Juno winning producer Colin Stewart (Dan Mangan), the two toiled among the dials of vintage analog recording gear to produce the very image of Edel’s place in the world at the time it found him. It’s in the spaces and the contrast that the record comes to life. 

There’s something about the way Edel presents personal experiences in a way that project universal understandings. Love and beauty, pain and confusion, the knowledge that all precious things are only precious because they can be lost. It feels a little bit like growing up – like the moment when everything that felt so close as a young person is all of a sudden so far away. It’s the comfort in finding that you aren’t alone. There’s a humanity in these discoveries, and listening to India, Seattle feels like watching Edel discover it for himself, and the product is a little bit of each of us.