The 12 Days of Christmas // LABEL :: You’ve Changed Records

You’ve Changed Records

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My love affair with You’ve Changed Records began three years ago, on a sticky summer night. Through my actions, I had managed to break my young heart and I was chain smoking, sitting by the window of my flat, listening in the dark to this record a friend recommended. Daniel, Fred and Julie, S/T. Saying that the folky notes of sadness and impressive story telling were soothing would be a lie, but it wasn’t the point. Is it ever the point, with country music? Where I believe it might work for some, for me it just scrapes my heart raw.

Operating since 2007, YCR is a personal and unpretentious endeavour serving a creative group of friends and collaborators who, in the word of co-founder Steve Lambke (Baby Eagle), ‘’share certain thoughts on certain things: that songs can hold more than they are often asked to do; that creative independence takes a lot of work but is work worth doing; that as people we are always changing and learning things and that playing music is a nice way to move through life; that we can help each other out and are enriched by doing so.’’

This group of artists and I dare to say friends, are responsible for some great LPs in 2013. They are driving by collaboration which can be witnessed throughout the various releases of the label. Taking a look at the album credits is proof. It’s as if working together became the source of their creativity; as if they feed off of each other.  This year, the label introduced what quickly became a favourite heart-wrenching listen of mine;  The Weather Station Duet series in which Tamara Lindeman (The Weather Station) pairs with her favourite song writers to craft with eloquence a collection of sincerity-injected country songs.

Going into their 7th year of existence in 2014, not only can we expect a continuation of The Weather Station duets but a very exciting split with Headless Owl Records will be released; an extensive piece of collaborative work featuring brand new tunes from Shotgun Jimmie, Marine Dreams, Richard Laviolette, Baby Eagle, The Burning Hell, Construction and Destruction, Wax Mannequin, Michael Feuerstack and Kyle Cashen, recorded during a recent stay in the Yukon where they played in history-rich Dawson City.

When I asked him about his favourite record of the year, Steve Lambke describes beautifully his appreciation for the work of friends:

“My favourite record this year that we didn’t put out (Marine Dreams – Corner of the Eye and Shotgun Jimmie – Everything, Everything being the two excellent records we did release) was Construction and Destruction – Dark Lark; a great weird cry from the wilderness; heavy, dark, and spooked; well-read rock outs; nature-haunted. It’s a beautiful looking LP too.”

For my part, I am completely charmed and utterly impressed by their work. It’s heartfelt and candid; there are songs to contemplate our own worries to, some to sing-a-long and ride your bike to.  And to dive right into the depth of them procures a certain tranquillity.

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