TOO SOON MONSOON
For Saskatoon-based band Too Soon Monsoon, songwriting has always been about striving for connectivity: to ourselves, each other and the world around us. Originally forming as a duo in 2016, Greg Torwalt (keys/vocals) and Nate Henry (drums), set out to do something that their small hometown scene had never seen before. Inspired by the likes of Fiona Apple, Feist, Joni Mitchell and Lady Gaga, their emotionally-charged, melodically-driven pop rock weaves together stories of care, frustration and catharsis that ultimately stretch to a euphorically climactic resolve. Now welcoming in new member Steve Adams (bass), the band are feeling freer than ever.
While 2017 EPs Little Fire & Side Effects, 2019 debut album Waves: We Provide What We Absorb, We Absorb What We Provide and 2020 EP Stop The Cycle Of Conflict introduced us to a band who coloured their observations about the world with textured, cinematic flourishes, new album Sound Castle sees the trio push these dynamics further, through an organic and authentic lens. Spending three consecutive days in an old converted church outside Saskatoon called The Sound Castle, the band recorded everything live, off-the-floor: no click, no restrictions. Shunning the sterile environment of a meticulous in-studio method, Too Soon Monsoon instead incorporated the energetic, garage band jam-style sessions that made them love playing together in the first place.
The approach allowed the band to be as gloriously raw and unrestrained as they are when they’re performing for a live audience. Seeing these performances as a collaboration of sorts, where artist and audience alike can explore and express themselves, the tracks exude that distinctive exchange of creative energies that only comes with live music. Henry’s driving percussion and Adams’ steady bass dance effortlessly side-by-side, while Torwalt’s strikingly poignant vocals and symphonious keys produce an affecting, sonic candor. Here is a band unafraid to dive deeper, ready to shine a spotlight on every darkened corner.
Lyrically speaking, Sound Castle mimics the candid approach of the instrumentation by shying away from metaphors and instead focusing on straightforward, everyday observations. “Man on the Moon,” urges us to stop overthinking everything to the point of destroying close relationships, while “Veins of the Sea” highlights the interconnectivity of human emotions and energies, encouraging us to stop fretting and instead, hit the dance floor. Short track “7th Gen” explores Henry’s Indigenous identity, sparked by a story from his mother that tells of how the seventh generation will be the warriors who fight to truly end racism. With Henry’s own young son being of the seventh generation, it’s a gorgeously confident call-to-arms that celebrates owning everything that you are.
Sound Castle is undoubtedly the sound of Too Soon Monsoon taking a step in a new direction. Bringing their trademark rock grooves and peppy pop energy with them, the three-piece have evolved to the point of an exhale, where they can really lean into their creativity with a relaxed but refined vision. It’s an album that not only says it’s okay to be imperfect, but to really own every bump, dip and unexpected turn in your life. Sound Castle breathes life, in all its messy, beautiful glory.
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Too Soon Monsoon have toured Western Canada multiple times, performed at Breakout West, Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, Winterruption, Ness Creek, Big Winter Classic and shared the stage with PVRIS, Mo Kenney, Busty and the Bass, Blessed, Weaves and Wide Mouth Mason. The band was recently nominated for two 2020 Saskatchewan Music Awards: Indigenous Artist of the Year and Rock/Pop Artist of the Year. TSM's 2019 album Waves: We Provide What We Absorb, We Absorb What We Provide charted #90 on the national Earshot charts for May 2019 and went on to be named the #9 Saskatchewan Album of 2019 by SaskMusic and the public.
“TSM have created a record that dares the listener to consider what existence truly means, while never failing to deliver on a catchy pop hook or danceable beat…. an album for a party that’s thrown to celebrate the end of existence."
- Cups n Cakes Network album review
Too Soon Monsoon began 2021 by releasing their first new original music since the 2019 Waves album, plus a cover of "Storms" by Fleetwood Mac.
Too Soon Monsoon's sophomore album Sound Castle is scheduled to arrive in October 2021.
The fall 2020 live-off-the-floor recording session was made possible with support from the SK Arts Board's Independent Artists Program
The fall 2018 Western Canadian tour and Waves: We Provide What We Absorb, We Absorb What We Provide are both made possible
with support from Creative Saskatchewan's Tour Support and Sound Recording Grant Programs.