Inuvik musician Abe Drennan is gifting northerners a new EP this holiday season, featuring musicians and producers from across the Northwest Territories.
Light of the Season, released on Saturday, uses NWT Arts Council funding to unite six artists from three communities, collaborating remotely using Google Drive.
Fort Smith producer Andrew Shedden of Bell Rock Recording worked on the project alongside lead guitarist Jim Black from Fort McPherson, Inuvik’s Ryley Blake on bass, Fort Smith drummer Joey Roy, backing vocalist Marie Villebrun MacDonald from Fort Smith, and Drennan himself on rhythm guitar and lead vocals.
Drennan says the song’s creation dates back six years, when he first wrote it for a coffee house at Inuvik’s East Three Secondary School, making this weekend’s launch that much more exciting.
“About two months ago, I sat down and thought, you know, I really want to release it,” he said.
“I often thought I wanted to do something more with it, but then I sat down, rewrote it, and got it ready for this EP project.”
Creating music with artists across the territory isn’t necessarily easy, but Drennan said northern musicians in isolated communities are used to the challenge.
“I recorded my second album here in Inuvik in the Igloo church, and there’s no producer up here,” he told Cabin Radio.
“It was all done remotely so, having done it before, I was able to iron out the process with this album.”
A music video is on the way too.
“I haven’t decided if I want to release it on Saturday, at the same time as the EP, or if I want to wait a little bit and release it later,” Drennan said.
“Either way, it will be released because it was just so much fun to make. I won’t give too much away, but let’s just say that there are a few costumes involved in the video.”
Light of Season is released on December 17 – Drennan’s birthday – and can already be heard through his website.