Destroyer dude, Swan Laker, and the sexiest New Pornographer this side of Neko Case, Dan Bejar teams up with girlfriend, the visual artist Sydney Vermont as the delicately pastoral Hello, Blue Roses. Their fragile, but somehow robust full-length debut The Portrait Is Finished And I Have Failed To Capture Your Beauty is out 1/22 on Locust. This week we’re happy to Drop their “Sunny Skies,” offering a dose of the brightest stuff amid the early January moon. Interested in the song’s story, we asked Vermont for further illumination.
You’re living in the Arctic Circle? What brings you there?
Well, we’re 160 km south of the Arctic Circle in Dawson City, Yukon. We’re here doing an artist residency at the Klondike Institute for Arts and Culture. Dan is the songwriter in residency and I’m the artist — he’s helping me record a musical uhhh theatre piece … sort of.
What’s the story behind “Sunny Skies”?
It’s pretty cloudy in Vancouver from about October to April … probably a song about being emotionally stoic waiting for summer.
What’s that soft buzzing accent that flows here/there during the song? And why does the instrumentation shift and grow more baroque when Dan sings?
It must have been all the velvet and lace Dan showed up in. And something about the “pink noise” function on an old mini-Korg…
Do you have any plans for the Winter Solstice? Maybe sing the song by candlelight?
It was Winter Solstice last night. I think it started getting dark at 3:30, but it was pretty much just dusky all day long — pinky and blue and grey, quite beautiful. The sun isn’t rising here till around 11. We went for a midnight walk up this road and paths above town with our friends Tara and Tao and two dogs … well, the dogs sort of took off and we started calling them from high up on this ridge, high enough up that you can hold the houses in your hands like cupcakes, and a few minutes later, Lucy, the one year old part coyote, one eye blue, one eye brown came bolting through the darkness, from town … we walked by some old cemeteries at the top and drank hot cocoa. The moon was incredibly bright, all snowy. I miss snow living in Vancouver, not gross city snow, but forest snow. We slid down this really big hill on a path through the trees on our bums in snow pants. Best Solstice I’ve had. Didn’t think about that song once.