2021 will be marked as an unprecedented year. For some artists it was an opportunity to dig deeper into the creating, and for Hants County resident Jesse Griffith that meant taking time away from the stage and going to work in studios on three very different records. He is a member of the Basin Brothers, who spent much of the year working on a double-length album recorded at New Scotland Yard in Halifax. Griffith also spent time helping Kim Joy Lake make her debut album Flesh and Bone. Finally, he recorded his own instrumental/experimental music under the Wandarian moniker (named after a local vessel from the early 1900s that shipped timbers and Hemlock bark).
Tidal Lullabies marks the fifth release in the Wandarian mode, a uniquely abstract approach to the guitar, this time plugged in. Recorded in one session in May of 2020 at Nova Scotia’s Deep Hollow Studio, by fellow bandmate Chase Ross, the album is an exploration revealed through the lens of a noisy Deluxe amp. Channeling West African rhythms using a metal horsefeed bucket routed into the guitar, sometimes bowing the strings as a cellist would, and devolving into fragmented melodic motifs, this record features Griffith pushing the limits of himself and the instrument, unfolding waves of new sounds out of the seemingly familiar. Transcending confines of genre, it is expressive and resonant, adventurous and calm, fluid through static. Unlimited imagination through the limited tools of guitar and amp combination, this is art of the invisible. Waves of despair collide with shores of hope as osprey and eagles take turns circling the Bay of Fundy’s peace and chaos, giving and taking, this is the soundtrack to one’s search for tranquility through a world held hostage in blind suspension. Through the clutter comes renewal, love, appreciation and hope. These sounds are rooted in forests and floating on high seas left to ferment on the ocean’s bed, forming fragile fossils of our time. Wandarian is a vessel built for seas under skies of stars and ancient dreams, sand storms and forest lulls and everything in between. The guitar as it’s never been played before.