There’s something undeniably special about Christmas music. There’s also often something about traditional Christmas music so agitating that it can make you want to tear off your sweater vest in protest. Christmas music can inspire warmth, nostalgia and the magic of the season, but at times it can also feel like uninvited festive pathways are being seared into your brain.
This conundrum gave the band members of Weird Party the idea to deconstruct and reinvent Christmas songs for a new generation of holiday listeners. They formed Astrocolor, and are preparing to release their Christmas album “Lit Up” this November.
Weird Party is a Victoria-based band that released a debut album last year, called Mellow Funk – Vol 1. The band combines elements of ambient, jazz, psychedelic and funk, and is primarily driven by live instrumental improvisation using repeated musical themes. They were also recently nominated for Instrumental Album of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards (and played ON A BOAT during Experience Tectoria earlier this month)!
The band is made up of 5 local friends – Piers Henwood, Bill Farrant, Andrew Poirier, Chris Mackenzie, and Anand Greenwell. They enjoy smooth grooves, feeding off each others’ improvisations and the occasional deafening suit.
Astrocolor and “Lit Up”
Astrocolor is a new side-project that the members of Weird Party formed, in order to release this experimental Christmas album for the coming holiday season. Band member Piers Hendwood explains the forming of Astrocolor: “The creative direction and tone of the Christmas album felt like a different enough beast that we wanted to brand it as a separate entity.” With regards to “Lit Up”, Piers says it “was designed to be played as background music at a lounge or cafe or house party in December…for a seasonal tone that is ambient, jazzy, dubby, and experimental. People who like bands like Air, St Germain, Massive Attack and Portishead should like this album.”
“Lit Up” will come out Nov 13 on Last Gang Records. It will be available on vinyl (email firstname.lastname@example.org to pre-order now) and via all digital providers.
While Weird Party was playing on the Experience Tectoria boat, whales could be seen groovily snapping their flippers, seagulls landed on the railing to start tapping their toes, and a sea otter drifted by pounding a smooth beat on it’s stomach. This band plays mesmerizing music that compels you to dance, and they look super cool doing it too!
If you’d like to see Weird Party perform live, they are playing this Friday Oct 2 at Lucky Bar as part of the Garden City Grooves Festival. Onstage at 9:30pm.
It’s nice to have company over during the holidays, but it would be even nicer if you didn’t feel obligated to sarcastically play Mariah Carey and The Backstreet Boys in order to satisfy your festive urges. Perhaps it’s time to get a little experimental this Christmas, and put on some Astrocolor!