Even the title, India, Seattle feels like a story on itís own. Victoria BCís Mike Edel couldnít have named his sophomore release more poetically.
Two polarized locations on opposite ends of the earth, one crawling with colours and noise and the other lying silent and blue in the corner of America. Part of growing a little bit older, a little bit wiser is the awareness that comes inside growing spaces. Nearing thirty, on the exhaust of a brutal four year touring schedule, Edel settled inside these spaces to create his finest work yet.
Born and raised in rural Alberta, Edel has the work ethic to prove it. Quickly gaining praise as an unwavering visionary artist in Victoria, his work paid off quickly. Chosen as The Zone @ 91.3 Band Of The Month in early 2011 and placing fifth in the 2012 Peak Performance project in 2012 made way to endless touring. Hundreds of shows across the United States and Canada as well as appearances at the Victoria International Jazz Fest, Rifflandia Festival and Tall Tree Festival garnered praise for his live shows. In 2013 CBC recorded and released one of his live shows to their audience of thousands across Canada. Later that year his single The Country Where I Came From was chosen as the Times Colonist Single of The Year, helping him secure performances with Platinum selling songwriter Serena Ryder.
In 2014, Mike Edel came home to Victoria to an unfamiliar tide, the changing directions and the spaces between. In the small wood-walled studio of JUNO-winning producer Colin Stewart (Dan Mangan), the two toiled among the dials of vintage analog recording gear to produce the very image of Edelís place in the world at the time it found him. Itís in the spaces and the contrast that the record comes to life. On Julia the chorus splits the meandering details of a relationship with ďI know itís only two weeks in Calgary,Ē and somehow Edel communicates that itís going to be longer and further away. In one of the most emotionally charged moments of the record during Thought about July, Edel paints an image of an island of separation - ďI thought an island was far enough away, you called me on the weekend, you wanted me to stay,Ē and again in East Shore West Shore, ďYou can blame in on the vast expanse, to the cold prairie towns but you just canít.Ē
Thereís something about the way Edel presents personal experiences; he projects universal understandings of love and beauty, pain and confusion, the knowledge that all precious things are only precious because they can be lost. It feels a little bit like growing up - like the moment when everything that felt so close as a young person is all of a sudden so far away. Itís the comfort in finding that you arenít alone. Thereís a humanity in these discoveries, and listening to India, Seattle feels like taking part as Edel discovers it for himself.