Date: February 25, 2023
Time: 8:30 pm
Price: $15 in advance, $20 at the door
Seating Disclaimer: To accommodate as many live music fans as possible, we offer both seats and standing room at our shows. Seats are first come, first served. We recommend arriving early if you’d like to be seated during the performance.
Escape into the melodic world of Field Guide as he brings his latest album to life at the King Eddy on Saturday, February 25 with special guest Kris Ulrich.
Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door.
About Field Guide
Field Guide (aka Dylan MacDonald) is a weaver of worlds. Built around his inviting voice and wrapped in warm textures, his self-titled sophomore full-length builds his most engaging world yet. It lives in a place between darkness and hopefulness with unshakeable melodies at its heart. “Melody is what makes words fall out of my mouth. It’s disarming. When I find a melody that represents my internal world, I drop my guard. I allow the words to appear out of thin air without judgement. A lot of these songs came to life that way. I wasn’t trying to make anything, but the songs became a home for words that I wasn’t yet ready to write on the page,” MacDonald says.
The past few years haven’t allowed for much escape from our interior worlds. There’s been a lot to move through, and many things can be true at once. This album lives at the sometimes-tense intersection of those truths – loving someone dearly while being pulled toward something new, feeling joy in the melancholy, a gratitude for deep friendship and an uncertainty of one’s place in it.
The album is also alive with the people and places that surrounded its creation. Vocals and acoustic guitars were recorded near Riding Mountain National Park in a woodstove-heated cabin during one of Manitoba’s coldest winters in years. Bass and drums were tracked at Breakglass Studios in Montreal, a room that already felt familiar from falling in love with the records of tour-mate Leif Vollebekk. Final overdubbing took place at Monarch Studios in Vancouver surrounded by trusted engineers and friends. And constant inspiration was found in his circle of Winnipeg creators working away on their own projects. Like The Big Pink house – Boy Golden, Slow Spirit, Roman Clarke, Kris Ulrich and others dropped in on each other to share demos and often lend their sounds to each other’s albums.
Beyond his hometown, Field Guide has had the opportunity to meet some heroes and new friends. He’s supported Leif Vollebekk, Bahamas, SYML, Wild Rivers, JP Saxe and Penny & Sparrow on their tours this year. He’s built a legion of fans online and on the road. So, while this is a solo album that invites the listener inside Field Guide’s inner monologue world, it really is meant to be lived in together. “These are the truest, rawest songs that I’ve ever written. I’ve never felt so sure about something I’ve made before. And now, it’s yours.”
About Kris Ulrich
It’s a new era for Kris Ulrich. Kris had dreamt of being a musician since his teenage years and pursued that goal with vigor – learning guitar, exploring tones, saying yes to pretty much any jam or band he was invited to. And once word got around, he spent years on the road cutting his chops as a hard-touring sideman, further building a reputation as a guitar-wielding wunderkind. But after seven years of serving other people’s sounds and songs, Kris had a moment of clarity – “Is this really where I wanted to end up?” Was he drifting further and further away from what got him romantic about carving out a life as a music-maker in the first place? It was a risk to let go of these gigs that often came with tour busses, arena shows, hotel rooms and job security. But in his heart, he knew where he was being lead.
Big in the USA is Kris Ulrich’s return to his musical truth – to the spirit of sonic exploration he felt when he first started making sounds as a kid.
“I think a big part of this new sound for me is an acceptance of myself and a confidence in my tastes,” says Kris. “I went through a bit of a phase where I felt I had to stay in my lane process and production wise – writing the songs on acoustic guitar, recording the beds live, minimal instrumentation and big, beautiful tones.” It was all feeling unsatisfying, and it was time for a radical change. “I used to make weird little songs as a kid with my Casio keyboard run through guitar pedals. I wanted to get back there, so I bought a drum machine, synth and four-track recorder in a pretty close window to each other, and it blew open the doors on how I write songs. Suddenly I was looping chord progressions on a synth with a drumbeat going while playing a bassline over top and humming a melody. It just kind of hit me and I was like, ‘I’m having so much fun! I feel like a kid again.’”
Kris’ new songs are built on driving drum machines, woozy synth layers, dogged hooks, and a clear lyrical voice. The songs are both hopeful and melancholic, simultaneously holding reflections of a dusty past played on old tape machines and the surging brightness of future possibility – all sewn together with a tongue-in-cheek self-awareness. The songs are seasoned, rich in first-person narratives and effortlessly catchy. When he does lean back into his pro guitar playing self, he accesses something deep and expressive – the instrument acting in honest conversation with his voice and lyrics.
These songs harken back to early 2000s albums by Kings of Leon, The Stills and Wilco, incorporating sonic flair from electronic artists like Boards of Canada and Postal Service. More recent inspiration was drawn from the likes of Ethan Gruska, Sam Evian, and The War on Drugs.
An incredible producer, musician, co-writer, road warrior, and friend, Kris is connective tissue in his community. A Daniel Lanois-esque man of many talents, his sonic fingerprint can be heard throughout a powerful musical movement happening in the middle of Canada and beyond. He has his hand in projects by Boy Golden, Field Guide, Cassidy Mann, Roman Clarke, Fontine, Dweller (a project with Georgia Harmer, Field Guide, Julian Psihogios), and more.
Big in the USA is due out on Birthday Cake Records on March 31.
Sound production equipment for the King Eddy is provided by PK Sound.