Batten down the hatches and Let The Storm Come with the debut album from Hamilton’s Ash & Bloom, out June 24th. The powerhouse duo, comprised ofMatt McKenna and James Bloemendal, have spent years perfecting the songs featured on their debut LP, including the comedic gem, Heaven is a Ghost Town – a light-hearted, foot-stomping, witty take on afterlife – and the title track, and fan favourite, Let The Storm Come. The new album includes co-writes with some of Canada’s finest – Peter Katz, Caroline Brooks (Good Lovelies), Julie Crochietere and Rob Szabo. Before the album drops, Ash & Bloom will hit the road to share the new songs with audiences across Canada and continue their journey down under to Australia in the fall. Tour dates are listed below.
Let The Storm Come features 12 original songs whittled down from hundreds written over the years. Since the duo met, a decade ago, they have been busy collaborating – first in Hamilton-based band Garner and then moving on to become the duo they are known as now – continuously honing their songwriting skills along the way. The new album includes the heavy-hitting ballad Let The Storm Come, which boasts incredible songwriting and vocal aptitude. While If You Stayand You Need More Than Love, both live on opposite ends of the love spectrum yet both deliver a large dose of ear candy to listeners. Ash & Bloom have crafted a sound that requires two people playing and singing together – a sound reminiscent of Simon & Garfunkel and Iron & Wine.
“Before we recorded the album our producer suggested we watch a documentary called, “The Harmony Game” about the making of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” It was inspiring to see how Simon & Garfunkel worked and how challenging the process was. They sang all of their songs on one mic, but when you do that there’s no way to hide bad pitch, blending, or a bad take. It really makes you feel like you’re in the room for a show hearing the beauty and humanness and that’s what we wanted to do. So we did the same thing.”
Their live show leans into synergy as their songs turn audiences into unsuspecting choirs. In 2013 the duo joined Justin Hines on The Vehicle of Change Tour as support and also taking part as Justin’s band throughout the tour. The North American tour was an experience like no other, with over 80 stops, travelling over 20,000 km and 100% of ticket sales from each show going back to local charities. The band successfully helped raise funds and awareness in each city they visited. They eagerly await sharing their debut album with fans, new and old, across Canada this summer!
UPCOMING CANADIAN TOUR DATES
May 30 Guelph, ON @ Jimmy Jazz
June 4 Kingston, ON @ The Mansion
June 5 Ottawa, ON @ Mugshots
June 6 Montreal, QC @ Burritoville
June 7 Quebec City, QC @ Le Knockout
June 10 Truro, NS @ Champion’s
June 11 Pictou, NS @ Pictou United Church
June 18 Quebec City, QC @ L’agitee Bar-Coop
June 19 Sherbrooke, QC @ La Petite Boite Noire
June 20 Mansonville, QC @ Mississquoi North Volunteer Centre
June 25 Hamilton, ON @ Casbah
June 27 Thornbury, ON @ Bruce Wine Bar
June 28 Toronto, ON @ Rivoli
Aug 8 North Bay, ON @ Raven & Republic
Aug 10 Sudbury, ON @ Fromagerie Elgin
Aug 12 Marathon, ON @ The Golf Hut
Aug 14 Kenora, ON @ Lake Of The Woods Brewing
Aug 15 Winnipeg, MB @ West Broadway Community Ministry
Sept 9 Kindersley, SK @ TBD