Glasgow-based Canadian Josh Thorpe announces the release of his album Love & Weather, out on 5th February 2021via Unusual Music Exchange. Thorpe takes cues from Toronto’s underground music scene ranging from Eric Chenaux to Sandro Perri and Jennifer Castle. Merging this sound with the likes of Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile and the sonic experiments of the ’60s and ’70s, Thorpe has cultivated a unique collection of songs for adventurous listeners. With this announcement and the release of single Manhattan, The Fountain caught up with Josh to chat about the singles and the community the Glad Cafe provides.
TF: You have a new single out, what has the reception been like to Manhattan?
To my delight, the first things that got published were a snapshot of me and our dog Gus and a story about my teacher’s rear end.
People seem to like the scronky guitars and unusual words. The talk-singing is novel for some. I didn’t realise until recently that talk-singing is kind of hot right now. But it’s not just one thing; it has huge range.
Lots of comparisons of course. Sonic Youth meets Johnny Cash? Why not! If anyone’s interested in what I’m actually listening to on a regular basis though, check out Unusual Music Exchange: an online magazine without journalism, a space for new sounds, a de facto label…
TF: How would you sum up the record in one sentence?
“Colorless green ideas sleep furiously” was this idea by Noam Chomsky’s that you can have straightforward grammar with meaning that’s totally baffling, and Love & Weather is something like that: almost stupidly simple in its structures, but pretty complex and experimental in spirit and sound.
TF: What is your plan for the remainder of the year, after this release, I noted an LP?
Yes, probably three LPs. Unusual Music Exchange is working with some art galleries in Canada on two LP projects with virtual and live events, interviews, collaborations with experimental contemporary visual artists. The third album is being mixed now. Stay tuned.
TF: Where is your favourite venue for playing live, where is the next place you look most forward to gigging?
In Canada it’s the TRANZAC, the Toronto Australia New Zealand Club. Founded as a club for expats, this place became, under the influence of manager Melissa Reid and others, a home for everything in Toronto that didn’t fit elsewhere. All genres, particularly if you were testing an idea, trying something new, or had an unusual sound. Eric Chenaux, Sandro Perri, Jennifer Castle, Ryan Driver, Doug Tielli, Allison Cameron, Martin Arnold — these people and many more called that place home for years, and many still do. A space, a group of people, and an alchemy of circumstances.
In Scotland: the Glad Café. They take risks and there’s a whole culture of interesting and talented people working in and around the Glad. It’s not just a venue, it’s restaurant, café, charity, and community hub. Plus it sounds good and it’s a small space. I met both of my band mates, Rory Haye and Owen Curtis Williams, through this space, and without it this record and the next would not have been possible. They even have an online project and some streaming shows on the way. I urge people to check out the Glad.