Back in a previous life, I used to be a recruitment officer for a Southern Ontario university best known for turning out math and engineering geeks and this guy. I am a graduate of said university, albeit one with an Arts degree in Drama and Theatre Arts, so I guess I was qualified enough to sing the school’s praises and do so in any improv situation. I would spend the better part of the fall each year criss-crossing the province doing presentations to high school students charged with the decision of a lifetime: to whom do I wish to financially in-debt myself to for the next phase of my life?
What does all this have to do with music? Honestly not a whole lot, but there is a connection. One of the school’s I routinely visited was Bishop Morocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School in Toronto, which is located at the intersection of Bloor and Dundas and best known as an arts school, featuring music, dance and drama programming that other schools don’t. I loved going there to visit and meeting the kids, because finally I wasn’t being inundated with questions about what it takes to get into chemical engineering; I got to talk about what I was studying, what I loved about my university and about what these students loved to do. It was the highlight of my fall.
So when a brand spanking new single crossed my desk with the name Bishop Morocco on it, I had to give the disc a listen. Turns out the band is a two-piece, Jake Fairley and James Sayce, friends from high school (!!) who ended up reconnecting in the Netherlands. Both guys were active Toronto musicians (Fairley in the band Fairmont, Sayce as a former member of both Tangiers and the Deadly Snakes) before decamping to Europe. Distancing themselves from everything going on back at home, the two started working on new material that reflected and melded their influences: Americana style alt. country pop and British new wave bands of the 80s with a healthy dose of epic, Badalamenti-esque brooding and detachment. Think Twin Peaks’ soundtrack hooks up with Pretty In Pink’s soundtrack in a dark alley at night. The full results will be available on June 1st when Bishop Morocco release the debut LP on Hand Drawn Dracula.
For now, you can enjoy “Last Year’s Disco Guitars” in all its incarnations below, or go get it for free right from Hand Drawn Dracula’s website:
MP3: Bishop Morocco “Last Year’s Disco Guitars”
MP3: Bishop Morocco “Last Year’s Disco Guitars (Graham Walsh/Holy Fuck remix)”
Video: Bishop Morocco “Last Year’s Disco Guitars”
Myspace: Bishop Morocco
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