Vancouver artist Jett Pace is Old Man Canyon, and on his newest album Delirium, which just dropped on January 15th, Pace somehow manages to channel an array of acts that fall within the realm of “psych rock” while simultaneously building a sound that is entirely his own. This is trippy stuff, and one can’t help but pick up on hints of Tame Impala, the Flaming Lips and Pink Floyd oozing out from the cracks between Pace’s infectious, synth-driven pop and danceable beats. It’s easy to picture yourself laying back with a pair of headphones and letting Delirium wash over you while colorful fractals shoot across the ceiling, or spacing out with you friends in a dark, smoky tent at a music festival while the music floats from the speakers. And don’t be surprised if you see Old Man Canyon popping on more than a few festival lineups over the next year.
While us critics love picking apart albums and trying to figure out what the artist is really trying to say maaaaan, sometimes it’s better to just let them explain it in their own words. We asked Jett Pace aka Old Man Canyon to share the story behind each song on Delirium. To sweeten the pot, he even let us include each track, so you can listen while you read!
“Learn to Forget”
This song is about wanting to escape routine, the desire all of us have to break free of a pattern of being that clearly doesn’t serve who we wish to be. It’s also about the reluctance to actually make these changes even when they are obvious and right in front of us, it’s the story of the two forces inside of us, the one that wishes to move us forward and the other that fears change and wants us to stay where it’s safe and familiar.
It’s a dialogue between a man and himself, a reminder of sorts to the dangers his actions may be causing to himself and his destiny. It’s about a person that does everything in their power to remain outside of the moment they are in, constantly creating distractions so that the present is always kept just out of reach. Leading him to never actually being free, but to always be waiting on a future moment to bring him purpose.
This song was written at a time when I wasn’t sure what was next in my life, and I think it was a calming reassurance to myself that wherever I am, whether it be in confusion, sadness or doubt, that it is perfect, and that those feelings need to be experienced in order to understand how to move forward and find the answers to my questions. It’s about trusting that the next stage will present itself when you are ready.
“In My Head”
Over the past few years I have spent a lot of time alone, just because that is the nature of writing and recording music. When you are alone you are faced with yourself in ways that you didn’t really know before, and it can be scary and life changing as you begin to see clearer all the little nuances that have accumulated inside of you. I think this song is about that process of re-meeting myself through creating art. Something I think everyone should allow themselves to do.
“Back to the Start”
This track came about when I had reached a point in my writing and creativity where I felt empty and void of content. And I realized that through all of the chaos of trying to get my music into the world, I had forgotten my original intention and vision of why I was creating music. I think this can happen to anyone no matter what they are doing, so this song is about returning back to a place of honesty and sincerity in your work when it gets lost along the way.
It’s about the choices we make and the consequences those choices have on us. It’s a conversation between two people, one reminding the other to tread lightly and think before making decisions. It also is about owning responsibility for your own choices and knowing that no matter what occurs in our life, it’s on us, and can’t be blamed on another person.
“I Don’t Wanna Go Out”
This song is about the nightlife and club environment that so much of our society relies on for entertainment. And as a musician, having to be around that reality so much, I think it’s allowed me to really see through the veil of its intrigue and understand its illusion. I’m not condemning having fun or going out, I go out all the time, I just see how it has become an addiction by most young people to constantly go out and distract themselves with surface level pleasures. I guess I could no longer see the benefit of being in a space that only facilitates the worst aspects of ourselves.
This song is about a person that always needs to be in a relationship of some sort. Someone that will do or be anything to win someone’s attention. I think it’s also about that person coming to a place in themselves where they understand that another person will not give them what they need to feel loved. And at the end of the day, if we can’t find purpose and love in being alone with ourselves, we won’t ever find it with another person.
It’s a story of a man that is running from the pressure of a world that wishes him to be something he is not. It’s about society and the ways its tricks us into becoming thoughtless people that only fuel a system rooted in separation and greed. It’s about our power in the decision to follow what is in our hearts and the trust, that what we dream of doing is what we’re meant to do.
This track is set in a dystopian, not so far off future. One that focuses on a city built on lies and deception, a city that has grown so out of touch with reality, it has caused the people to forget about what the world was like before. It is the story of a facade disguised as a city and its inevitable fall once the people realize the truth.
Old Man Canyon’s Delirium is out now. For more info and music check out oldmancanyon.com.
Photo credit: Cody Briggs