An upcoming album release from Kamloops band The Houses (Where We Grew Up) has folded other local talent into the mix.
Welcome to Kitimat is a six-track EP being released in collaboration with Divine Bovine, a local label that has brought recording space, distribution and other talents to the table.
Divine Bovine's Emilio Pagnotta of Mother Sun and Echo Beach, among other projects, hosted the band at his studio. He also mixed the record, made his own musical contributions and created the video for the album's first single, Memphis.
Something new on this album for The Houses is the inclusion of four other collaborators, including Pagnotta and his two other Mother Sun bandmates Alex Ward and Jared Doherty, along with Lacee Smith.
"It's not something we've really done before," said The Houses drummer and keys player Sean Schneider.
Schneider said working with Divine Bovine brought a real communal feel to making music, and he plans on further collaborations following this experience.
"Really, by collaborating with people you realize how important it is in the music scene to support each other and work together," he said.
The album has been in the works for the past two and a half years and is based on themes by The Houses' other member, Rob Wikstrom.
Schneider said Wikstrom's upbringing in Kitimat inspired the record, which is a "a combination of fact and fiction," that works through some darker topics on the emotional side of things.
"With this one, since it's a lot more raw on the emotional side of things, not having the big Vancouver studio polish on it was something we thought we could do," Schneider said.
The band was originally planning for a full-length follow-up to its first LP release, Dying (2019), but the pandemic got in the way.
Schneider said without being able to travel, the duo wanted to produce something more shorter ahead of getting back on the road.
That full-length album is already written, according to Schneider, and is something the band plans to pursue after it can return to live shows.
As part of the album's release on June 25, Schneider said a pre-recorded performance or live stream is in the works, but might not happen until after that date. Updates will be posted to the band's social media pages and the album will be available on all major streaming services.