Ocean Charter of Values breaks six month hiatus with new EP and New Brunswick tour.
Nicholas Laugher’s creative palate is wide and varied. Over the past few years he has collaborated with several musicians including David R. Elliott and Year of Glad, has written for articles for The Coast and AUX.TV, he runs the Halifax-based DIY label and artist collective Cerealbowl, and follows his own creative muse writing and performing as Ocean Charter of Values.
Last week, Laugher returned from a six month trip to Europe and hit the ground running with a limited edition cassette release and a series of live dates that kicked off just a few hours after landing in Montreal.
We reached out to Laugher to learn what affect, if any, his time away has had on his music and his creative process.
“I think that the trip affected my music and my approach to music in a pretty profound way,” he said. “I went over there with no guitar, really no instruments at all, because checking them on my flight would have been prohibitively expensive. I had a harmonica, but that was essentially it. The plan was to get a guitar while over there, but it proved to be fairly expensive and also, I was broke.
“A lot of what I was doing over there was combing through the archive of stuff that I had recorded over 2016, especially stuff I had a real emotional attachment to, stuff that painted a very clear picture of a specific time or experience, and developing certain parts of those recordings, or those songs, or cutting them up and digitally manipulating them to make new songs. It was a very reactionary way of developing new music,” he said.
“I really want to share this release but I’m not sure if I want it hanging around forever online. Maybe it’s just meant to be here for a while and then fade into obscurity.”
The trip resulted in the EP, Liminal Space, a small collection of lo-fi acoustic recordings and drone improvisations that will only be available at live shows until all 30 cassette copies are gone.
“I have a bunch of used cassettes that I found on the street – stuff like Dire Straits, and early Dylan, and Irish folk tunes – and I’m dubbing over them and putting out 30 copies of this EP for the tour, and part of me really wants to just keep it to that,” said Laugher. “I mean, as the title suggests, this EP isn’t really meant as a defining release. It’s a window into this really emotional and impactful time in my life. I really want to share this release but I’m not sure if I want it hanging around forever online. Maybe it’s just meant to be here for a while and then fade into obscurity. I’m sure I’ll figure it out soon though, it always becomes clearer after you get a little distance.”
Ocean Charter of Values will be playing three dates in New Brunswick this week beginning on February 23 in Sackville before moving on to play Saint John on the 24th and Fredericton on the 25th. For these shows, the group’s lineup will consist of Laugher on guitar and vocals, Evan Matthews on drums and David R. Elliott on bass. Jane Blanchard will open all three performances.
Ocean Charter of Values + Jane Blanchard + Flour + T&L | February 23, 2017 | Thunder & Lightning | Sackville, NB | View Event
Ocean Charter of Values + Jane Blanchard + David R. Elliott + WROTE | February 24, 2017 | Pepper’s Pub | Saint John, NB | View Event
Ocean Charter of Values + Jane Blanchard + Cellarghost (EP Release show!) | February 25, 2017 | Wilsers Room | Fredericton, NB | View Event