Memoryhouse Makes (Chill) Waves
March 23, 2012
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The dream-pop group from southern Ontario, Memoryhouse, originally started as an art project. The group is comprised of Evan Abeele, a music school graduate, and Denise Nouvion, a photographer. Abeele began by making short tracks to be featured in Nouvion’s short films and photo exhibits, but eventually, the two began to add Nouvion’s vocals to Abeele’s minimalist instrumental tracks. In the past few years since Memoryhouse’s conception, the group has come a long way. After their self-released EP The Years gained significant attention, the duo was signed by Seattle’s Sup Pop Records.
Memoryhouse operates on the idea that music and photography can be linked, and many tracks they record are inspired by photography that they choose to write about.
“When people think of music today, they try to compartmentalize it into different genres,” says Abeele. “I think the sound we have right now fits ‘out’ of time, but, obviously, is still ‘in’ our time. It’s something that could have happened many years ago, but it also sounds contemporary.”
It’s been quite the journey from a suburban family home to the big stage for Memoryhouse. Abeele and Nouvion have had to adapt their original style to one that fits the demands of a major performing group. In an effort to make their songs better suited for live performances, the band dropped their signature reverb sound and effects in favor of stronger and more intimate vocals.
The Slideshow Effect, which was released in late February, is Memoryhouse’s first full-length album. It features ten dreamy, upbeat, and well-constructed tracks written and performed by Abeele and Nouvion, with the accompaniment of their newly recruited bassist Barzin Hassani. The new, clearer vocals along with less effects have steered the group in a direction that they never imagined their music would go in. “The album is a big leap for us” says Nouvion, “but it’s also a completely organic one”.
Before getting signed by Sub Pop, Memoryhouse went on multiple international tours. The adjustment to live performances definitely came with a learning curve, but Memoryhouse improved on their performing techniques and style. After getting signed, Memoryhouse started their first major tour. And now that that they’ve toured over 20 major cities all over the world, they’ve already announced another major tour with Washed Out, who’s popularity rose exponentially earlier this year.
It’s been five years since Memoryhouse came together, and it’s hard to say where Memoryhouse will be five years from now. With a sound like theirs that is still developing and changing, the future for Memoryhouse will most definitely be an interesting one.
Images by Denise Nouvion