MOZARTS SISTER at the Great Hall (1087 Queen West) as part of The Long Winter on Friday (November 14), 7.
MOZARTS SISTER at the Great Hall (1087 Queen West) as part of The Long Winter on Friday (November 14), 7 pm. Pwyc, advance $11. thegreathall.ca
In just three years, Mozarts Sister, aka Caila Thompson-Hannant, went from never owning a functional computer to writing her first album on one.
I knew zero about digital technology. I lived in a constant state of thinking that world was so mysterious, says the Montreal-based electro-pop artist over the phone.
There was a steep learning curve, but Thompson-Hannant picked up the music software Ableton and mastered the Nord Lead 2 synthesizer quickly. Soon after, in 2011, she self-released her debut EP, generating a whirlwind of hype that catapulted her from Montreals DIY loft scene to 4ADs recording studios in London the same label that had already scooped up Grimes and Purity Ring.
It was kind of weird and hard -because I got so much momentum, -excitement and energy from releasing stuff online, she says. Then people start wanting to get involved, and it gets confusing. Youre navigating a lot of different desires, external and internal.
The press and music biz latched on so early in Mozart Sisters career that Thompson-Hannant was still trying to figure out what kind of music she wanted to make.
Theres so much pressure on artists to be a sensation, and not enough credence is given to growth through mistakes, through time, through not taking every opportunity.
Eventually, she left England and her fancy manager and moved back to Montreal to work on her LP, opting to write, record and produce everything herself.
The result, Being, was two years in the making. Its a super-slick pop album full of synths, drum samples, loop pedals and Thompson-Hannants daring vocals, which are less whimsical than other one-person electronic acts. Its a huge transformation from her previous indie rock bands, Shapes & Sizes and Think About Life, and even from her first songs as Mozarts Sister.
I was really interested in the perfect song. How does a really catchy song work from top to bottom, she says.
Now that shes had one go-round, Thompson-Hannant wants to release her music at a much quicker pace, even if it means every song isnt a huge hit. In fact, shes already recorded demos for a new album, many of which appear in her current set.
Its cool when you listen to the really shitty records of your favourite artists, like Lou Reed, and youre like, What the fuck was that? she says. Its part of the process of being creative. When you hold on too tight or want it to be just right, I think its bad for the spirit.