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L.A. Beat

Starpainter stoked about self produced second album and hitting the road this summer

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Starpainter decided to DIY when they decided to make their second full length album.

Starpainter release their second album Rattlesnake Dream, June 2.  Photo by Richard Amery

“ Rattlesnake Dream,” which is officially released Friday, June 2, just in time for an album release party, June 3 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge with Amy Nelson.

 The album is the local alt country folk rock band’s  first for Edmonton based record label Neon Moon Records.


“ They’ve been extremely beneficial for us for supporting us and for PR. They have a project management, which has been extremely helpful,” said Starpainter frontman Joel Stretch, noting he produced the album himself and recorded it at his home with bandmates— lead guitarist Joel Gray, bassist Colby Stolson and drummer Mickey Hayward.


 When they start playing live again, they will welcome new bassist Dylan Wagner to the fold as Stolson has been driving in from Edmonton to play with them.

 They are also joined by Bailey Kate and Tyler Stewart playing organ when they play live.

 Stretch played all the keyboard parts on the album himself as well as rhythm guitar and vocals.


 They had the luxury of taking more time to write and develop the songs because of Covid.


“ We recorded it at my home, and  we were able to meet in the same room because it was a little bit looser. We weren’t locked down,” he said.


“It was challenging. But we did lots of pre-production. We chipped away at them on weekends,” he said.


“Usually we like to road test the songs before we record them but weren’t able to do that this time, he said.


“ We did less road testing for this album but we took more time to work on areas of improvement . This album captures a more homey sound,” he continued, adding live he translates all the piano parts to guitar.

“ I like it when I go to a show and the band has a different sound than on the Cd,” he said.

He enjoyed self producing this album, though it was a different challenge. Jesse Northey produced and engineered their debut “ Bury Me with My Family,” which they released in 2020.

“But because of Covid, we couldn’t play, which how we fund our albums and we couldn’t afford  to fly Jesse in, so we decided to do it ourselves. Joey Gray engineered it. He learned how to do it. He learned about patches and proper equipment and mic placement,” Stretch said adding


They sent it away to Jon  Anderson, who has worked with Andy Shauf and  Aiden Knight, in Edmonton to mix it.


“ It really exceeded our expectations. I’m really pleased with it,” he continued, adding the lyrics are mostly about living in small towns.

“It’s a small town album. A lot of it is about living in smaller communities, about getting out of them, moving away and people who continued living in them. I grew up in a pretty small town, Ponoka. That is an ongoing conversation in small towns and even in Lethbridge,” he said, adding


They have a couple songs they left off the album.


“They weren’t finished. They had drums and bass, but no vocals and Joel Gray’s guitar wasn’t on them . We wanted songs with a matching vibe,” he said, he said adding the title “Rattlesnake Dream comes from a dream he had about rattlesnakes.

“ I think a lot of people have dreams about rattlesnakes in Lethbridge,” he said.


Stretch is excited to take Starpainter on the road this summer . They play Calgary with Amy Nelson, June 2 at the Pioneer, The Owl Acoustic Lounge, June 3 also with  Amy Nelson,  Red Deer on June 16 at the  Velvet Olive with Amy Nelson and Edmonton at the Aviary with Amy Nelson and Sammy Volkov, June 17. The are also playing Frogfest at Cowley, July 2 and will be back in Lethbridge to play Upside Downtown outside casa in August.


 But one of the highlights will be playing  the Paddock in Toronto for Canadian Music Week, June 10.


“It will be a lot of fun. I’ve never been to Toronto before. We just applied to get our names out there. We get passes so we can see everything,” he said.


“It feels pretty special to be touring again. It’s been three years, but it feels longer,” he continued.


“ And this is our best record,” he said.


 “Rattlesnake Dream” is available through their website and streaming on Bandcamp, Spotify and Apple music.

Starpainter play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, with Amy Nelson, June 3. Admission is by donation.

— By Richard Amery, L.A beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 02 June 2023 14:50 )  
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