Similarities between Evening Hymns and Bon Iver are abundant. On the recently released Spectral Dusk, sonic layers build over muted, military beats and the beauty is in each carefully crafted detail. The record was even recorded in a log cabin in Perth, Ontario. However, where Perth was expansive – the eye of a golden eagle soaring over America – Spectral Dusk is intensely personal and introspective, written in response to the death of main-man Jonas Bonnetta’s father. The result is a striking tribute – mature, thoughtful, dark, very beautiful and of course, incredibly sad. FFS tracked down this gentle, bearded artist to get the 101.
Hello, please introduce yourself and your music to the uninitiated.
We are Evening Hymns from Toronto, Canada and we play folk music. Kind of.
Tell us a bit about your latest release?
Our latest release is called Spectral Dusk and it’s out in the UK now on Tin Angel Records. It’s a record I made about my father who passed away in 2009. I use this album as a way to explore what it feels like to lose someone close to me. I’m still working through it but this record has helped me explore the grief.
What was your best ever gig?
Playing a packed show in Paris the first time we ever toured Europe was a really great feeling. Sometimes the small shows where I get to connect with people are even better though. It’s a tough call to pick just one. We’ve had so many memorable nights over the last few years. Pretty much any European show is really special for me.
What’s the worst thing about being a musician?
The traveling is both the best and worst thing about being a musician. It means lots of time away from home but also seeing the world and exploring different cultures. And eating lots of food. That’s a bonus for sure.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by traveling and rolling through the country. A moving landscape is always great for my head.
If you won a billion pounds what would you do with it?
Give a bit to my family, pay off my debt and put a bit aside for the future. But I’d give most of it away. I have a little house in the country and some great friends and don’t really need too much more. It would just complicate things. Oh, maybe I’d put out a bunch of my friend’s records.
Which of your songs is your favourite and why?
It changes every night depending on how I feel. Right now my favorite song is called ‘Evil Forces’ and it’s a new song we are playing.
What are you plans for the future?
Well right now I’m on tour so I’m going to keep at that for most of the summer, and in the fall we make a new record. That, and I just started brewing my own beer and so I hope to perfect some good recipes for the fall.
Finally, we’re always looking to expand our musical horizons. Do you have any recommendations of bands or artists we should be looking out for?
Our drummer is Jon Hynes and he has a record coming out this summer. I’ve heard it and it’s fucking great! So check that out when it drops here.
Also, a musician from the Canadian prairies named Andy Shauf. He rules and has an awesome record out called Bearer of Bad News that you can hear here.