SATURDAY, JUNE 22 • 4:15PM
MAJOR LOVE is the moniker of Canadian songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Colleen Brown – and a collaboration featuring Alberta rock darlings Scenic Route To Alaska with Ontario’s Elijah Abrams. Co-produced by Jesse (& the Dandelions) Northey, and Aaron Goldstein (Daniel Romano, Altameda) – they’ve made an album of ‘soulful pop-rock music for their hoser friends’.
With versatile songs and a voice akin to Joni Mitchell, Colleen Brown is relentlessly unafraid. In 2015 she released her 4th solo studio album ‘Direction’ – co-produced by Joel Plaskett – topping college radio charts, and touring Canada, Germany and the UK. Kerry Doole of exclaim.ca says ‘she is the rare vocalist that impresses equally on vibrant soul and quiet folk…travelling in Brown’s Direction is one very pleasing trek.’
The self-titled debut album ‘Major Love’ is the first under this moniker, and was conceived in the lamplight of London’s Bedroom Bar during their first tours overseas. Edmonton rock trio Scenic Route To Alaska were also wrapping shows in Germany and the UK, promoting their newest album. The two acts found themselves on the same dimly lit stage in Shoreditch, 7000 kms from their home-town, bonding over an appreciation of vintage Harmony guitars, singalong pop/rock anthems and an affinity for the spacious, soulful recordings released on the Stax and Motown labels in the 1960’s and 70’s.
An album was tracked live off the floor a month later, during a summer heatwave in Edmonton’s True North Studios with Jesse Northey (Jesse and the Dandelions) on keys and faders. Contributions from multi-instrumentalist Elijah Abrams followed, with mixes and co-production by Toronto- based pedal steel guru Aaron Goldstein, along with Kenneth Meehan (Daniel Romano) and the singalong single ‘So Good’ mixed by Brooklyn’s prodigious hit-makers Gus van Go and Werner F. The album was released on Cowboy Junkies’ imprint Latent Recordings (Warner) Aug 24, 2018. The first two singles ‘Tear It Down’ and ’So Good’ have both been embraced at CBC Radio 2 and enjoyed some initial commercial radio crossover. The album debuted at #19 on the earshot National College Radio charts where it has ranked for more than a twelve weeks in the Top 50.
Two other songs from this album have also been lauded for their song-craft. ‘Motherland’ – written essentially as a love-letter to Alberta – won a province-wide songwriting contest in 2015 through the ATB competition, to the tune of $10,000; and the powerful ballad ‘I Love All Of You’ was a finalist in the Unsigned Only International Songwriting Competition for 2017.
These songs thrive at the intersection between Brown’s resonant vocal expression and SRTA’s spirited swagger…music to move body and soul.