Danielle Hamel and Matthew Thomson are daring to be different in a time where all too many artists are content to play it safe.
The husband and wife pairing, better known by their stage name Land of the Lakes, have been adventurous and creative to their approach to their lives as artists, an effort that has paid off with multiple MusicNL nominations, a Borealis Prize Longlist and selections for the Nickel Independent Film Festival and St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival.
Hamel and Thomson released their debut album to praise and fan fare in 2015. Rather than going back to the well that brought them critical success, the pair opted to take a different approach, releasing a kid friendly rock album Pink Rabbit in the winter of 2017.
Hamel shares that the change in direction was partially an effort to involve their children – now four and six –in their musical lives.
“It was partially to show our own kids that you can write a song, here’s how it works and you can follow every step of the way,” Hamel shares.
“It’s an idea, now it’s a song, and it de-mystifies the whole process for them. It personalizes it when you realize that that’s how you do it. It was almost to bring our kids along for that ride. It worked. That RPM was 2017 and then in 2018 our oldest son did his own RPM. From that point on he will have his own ideas for a song, like ‘I can do that’ … It makes it tangible or doable.”
Land of the Lakes are set to follow up their highly successful all ages performance in 2017 with a showcase at the LSPU Hall on December 8th with the acclaimed Banana Vacuum, which features eight year old vocalist Mark Cherwick. And they’re awesome!
“I think it’s going to be a great energy,” Hamel says. “Talk about trying to get our kids to pick up an instrument, what is more inspiring or accessible than seeing an eight year old on stage doing it. The sense of ‘I want to do that,’ I hope it really inspires people to pick up an instrument and write a song.
“It was such a success last time,” she adds of performing for all ages. “We filled the room, which was unexpected. You book these shows but you’re not sure. In our experience, anytime you do something for kids, parents are starving to expose their kids more to the arts. As a parent I am. My kids are taking dance recitals. When the Festival of New Dance came through, my son is in dance, you need to see dance, because then you know that this exists out there in the world. You need to see it to want to be it. A place where kids can get exposed to the arts is the whole idea.”
For more on Land of the Lakes visit their official social medias and landofthelakes.ca. Tickets for December 8th’s performance with Banana Vacuum are available here.
Stay tuned to The Herald for our complete interview with Danielle Hamel and Land of the Lakes!