Danielle Hamel delves into her re-imagining of indie pop classics on the followup album of her award-winning electropop project It Could Be Franky
Danielle Hamel isn’t one to stand idly by and let the prime creative years of her life pass her by. No, Hamel is what we call driven. Multi-faceted and dangerously talented are terms that work as well.
Music to move you
Herald readers will likely remember our conversation with the singer-songwriter in December, where we discussed all ages concerts and family-oriented pop rock through her project with husband and longtime collaborator Matthew Thomson, Land of the Lakes.
Fast forward to the sleepy winter months of March and Hamel is at it again, following up her award-winning debut for her electropop project It Could Be Franky with an album of covers that would make even the most jaded salt dance.
From REM, Kate Bush and The Clash to Modest Mouse and Selena Gomez, Hamel puts her own definitive stamp on 11 re-imaged indie favourites from the 1980s to modern day.
“Most of these songs I’ve lived with since my teens and they mean a lot to me and now they mean more because I’ve dissected them and ingested them and regurgitated my own version of it,” Hamel tells The Herald. “It’s rewarding in that sense. I feel like now I know the songs inside and out on a level that I didn’t before.
“I like a cover song that completely re-interprets the song. The kind that when you listen to it, you don’t even know what song it is until the singing starts. That’s what I tried to do with most of these songs. And I chose songs that I love but also lent themselves well to the style of songs I like to make.”
The collection, titled We All Know How This Will End, follows up Hamel’s 2016 ECMA nominated debut Your Friends Don’t Buy It At All, which was spontaneously written and recorded in the month of February 2016 as part of the local RPM Challenge.
‘A natural fit’
“This one is the opposite of an RPM where it took working on it off and on for about two years,” Hamel explains. “It’s tough when you feel you’re over-thinking or going back and tweaking too much. That becomes the problem I guess. I’m happy to say it’s out and coming out and is as ready as it will ever be.”
Hamel worked with Thomson on the record at Insert Name Here Productions in St. John’s, with her partner-in-crime handling recording, mixing and mastering, while also lending his considerable expertise to help navigate those difficult sonic pathways.
“He’s just such a resource,” says Hamel on her work with Thomson. “He’s a multi-instrumentalist himself and I really leaned on him for his taste on drum beats. A lot of times he’d add sounds I never would have thought off or just light drum patterns. When it came to the vocal processing I really leaned on him for advice.”
Hamel describes her work in the electropop field as ‘a natural fit,’ combining her training with classical piano with the self-described minimalism-infused, avant-grade synthpop stylings that have earned considerable critical praise. And that’s not even taking into consideration how much fun this stuff is live.
“People dance, which I’m very appreciative of, because it makes it so much more fun to be on stage,” Hamel says with a laugh. “I find the more I play the more I even want to step back and just sing and interpret and be expressive with the music. The music itself is so high energy and expressive. You can’t just stand there and sing it, which I appreciate.”
We All Know How This Will End was released on digital platforms on March 16th, with an album release party scheduled for March 29th at The Ship with Kira Sheppard and DJ Hearnia.
With this passion project of influence-spanning tunes that stretch across a lifetime of listening set to drop, Hamel is already excited to get back in the game and treat fans with a new crop of original material.
“This is supposed to be a small diversion. Everything takes longer than you think and now I’m two years in. I underestimated how much work it would be to do a project that wasn’t an RPM and not have that deadline looming over you. Doing it in a more thought out way. From here on now that I have that out of my system it’s all about thinking of new original work.”
For more on the album and It Could Be Franky visit the official social medias and website itcouldbefranky.ca