Thursday, May 30 2024

Welcome to today’s interview, where we’re chatting with Pranatricks, the talented multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and producer hailing from the vibrant city of Vancouver, Canada. Pranatricks recently unveiled his much-anticipated sophomore album, ‘Elements of,’ a departure from his acclaimed debut ‘Cherished.’ This latest offering, birthed from a creative journey that began in the summer of 2023, presents a fusion of indie, psych, and folk influences. Join us as we find out more about the intricacies of Pranatricks’ musical evolution, exploring the inspirations and motivations behind this stylistic shift.

Hey Pranatricks, thanks for joining us and congratulations on the release of the new album. What inspired the shift in style from your debut album ‘Cherished’ to your sophomore release ‘Elements of’?

Hey Matt, thanks for having me. I have this grand idea of releasing three albums in three years essentially outlining my chronological development stylistically as an artist. For me, I started writing songs with an acoustic guitar in hand, drawing on some of my earliest memories overhearing my dad’s country records playing on a Sunday morning. That was the essence behind ‘Cherished,’ my first album. Really trying to strip everything back and showcase some of the early singer-songwriter, indie folk tunes that I had been playing for years. ‘Elements of’ essentially is another batch of songs that captures my interests in alternative and psychedelic folk songs. I wrote a lot of these tunes back in the 2008-09 after my band Fur Bearing Animals broke up. I wanted to make the production a little bit bigger, record some live drums and push the tempo a little bit, but still wanted to honour some of the success from ‘Cherished.’ Essentially, this album builds the fire a little bit more. 

Could you elaborate on your creative process for the album ‘Elements of’?

It feels like a bit of a blur now. I started choosing songs for the album before ‘Cherished’ had even been fully released. I knew I wanted to start releasing singles off of this album within 3-5 months of my first album being released, so I had been digging into my hard drives to find the ideas that I wanted to bring forward. I chose many of the songs on the album because they had the most impact for me, the idea was solid. ‘Cor-al‘ the opening track was really just bare bones when I started with it, but I had a good first line or two and a hook.

Johnny Self‘ and ‘Lights & Machines‘ were ones I had been playing for years and wanted to make sure that they made it on. Same thing with ‘Worlds.’ ‘Start to End‘ I heard driving in my car one day, somehow my iTunes library was syncing and this rough track came on, I was like oh ya! I want to revisit that. ‘Cobras‘ was this crazy one that I knew would be a transitional tune that would start to open my audience up to a new direction. ‘Falling‘ and ‘Slide of the Century‘ were really the only new tunes that came out while in the recording process, so they are super fresh. Once I have recorded and mixed the songs then I sit with them for a while. I like to put them on a playlist and listen to them as I commute on my bike to work or driving in my car. From there, I adjust the mix a bit and eventually send them off to be mastered. From start to finish though some of those tracks were recorded in three or four different studios over the past 15 years. So there are ‘Elements of’ all these past and present experiences in all those tracks. 


You’ve mentioned influences such as Khruangbin, Kurt Vile, Feist, and Chad VanGaalen. How would you say these influences come through in the sound and themes of the new album? 

Well, Chad has always been a big inspiration. He’s like the bar of coolness in Canadian Indie music. He has been great with feedback too. We message sort of on a monthly basis. Whenever he was in Vancouver, I would make sure to go say what’s up. Chad has been a part of a lot of cool projects in the past, Women for instance, and more recently Astral Swans, Sunglaciers and Ryan Bourne – all those bands and artists present a texture and feel that I aspire to. Leslie Feist (also from Calgary) has always just been amazing. Her vocal loops and harmonies are something that resonate with me. I think with Kurt Vile his tones and songwriting appeal to me, there is a simplicity in his work that really shines through, it’s playful but has deep meaning to him, it’s inspiring. Khurangbin is like the psychedelic bar that I’m reaching for. Something to aspire to but not lose the song writing aspects of my tunes. The next project will certainly highlight bands like them, Glass Beams and Kikagaku Moyo from a production and texture perspective. 

What do you hope listeners take away from your music, especially from your latest album ‘Elements of’? 

Inspiration. That any creative pursuit is worthwhile and that they feel like they can find their voice and sense of highest self in whichever medium they pursue. 

Looking ahead, what’s next for Pranatricks? 

One more album for sure. I’m 4 or 5 tracks into the recording process presently. I have recently put together my band Feather Shadow and we have an album release show coming up shortly. It’s pretty cool to have some talented musicians bringing the Pranatricks tunes to life. We’d love to get out on the road soonish and play some more shows in and around Western Canada and the US. 

And, finally, a question for fun… If you could switch lives with any musician for a day, who would it be and why? What aspect of their career or lifestyle do you think you would find most intriguing or inspiring?

Probably Prince. I was never a big fan of his music but more of his ability and that fact that he didn’t give a FU*K! It would be so great to be in that little body for a day and feel what it was like to play as well as he did. He played a show in Vancouver once and then showed up at a tiny bar that night and played until 5am. Incredible. I was bummed I missed it because everyone in the city was talking about it the next day. Also, his approach to the industry is refreshing. Owning his own catalogue and not being bullied by big label BS. If he was still around, he may be the one to disassemble the algorithm. 

As we conclude our conversation with Pranatricks, we’ve gained insights into the evolution of his sound, from the intimate acoustic melodies of ‘Cherished’ to the expansive musical landscapes of ‘Elements of.’ Thank you, Pranatricks, for taking the time to chat about the new album and we look forward to the next instalment. Stay tuned for more from this innovative artist and thanks for joining us on this journey through ‘Elements of’ with Pranatricks.

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About Author

Matt Warren

Matt Warren is a Cheshire based musician who studied contemporary music and composition. When not writing for The Indie Grid he enjoys watching 'Breaking Bad' on continuous loop and going to gigs. Since a youngster his fave band have been 'The Beatles' (with 'Cardiacs' in at a close second)... and this still applies to this day.

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