Louise Burns: Contemporary, hypnotic slow jams and synth-ridden tracks, making for a pop haven
Fresh off the back of the release of her rendition of Depeche Mode’s 80’s single ‘See You’, Vancouver producer/songwriter Louise Burns has returned with her new solo album ‘Element’ via Light Organ Records.
Burns is British-Canadian, born on the Sunshine Coast and raised in Cranbrook BC in the East Kootenays, and is heavily influenced by the likes of British greats, such as Kate Bush, Brian Eno and Depeche Mode, which is reflected in the album. ‘Element’ encompasses the notion of “holding your head high as you tunnel out of the emotional wreckage of life as we know it”. According to Burns, there is nothing more radical than being joyful despite what you’re going through. Her velvety vocals are an arresting force throughout the nine-strong track album, which encompasses contemporary, hypnotic slow jams and synth-ridden tracks, making for a pop haven and something of an escape for introverts.
With album opener ‘I Don’t Feel It Like I Used To’, she marries a southern gothic guitar twang with the incandescent hypnotism of trip-hop beat-making. Speaking of the single, Burns said: “This is the first song I wrote for what became the album. I felt torn between writing something more gothic country like my older catalogue, or trip-hop and sample-based like the music I was listening to. Naturally, it turned into both, which is a testament to the song’s story: a homage to my newfound not really worrying about what people think my music, or me, might be, and focusing on what I like and what inspires me. Not feeling “it” like I used to is referring to the full body forward momentum I was feeling of getting over something that wasn’t good for me. Leaving behind your past, both physically and mentally, can be a glorious thing.”
Of the album as a whole, Burns notes, “Element is a pop album for introverts. A soundtrack to accompany a trip into one’s inner world when the outside one isn’t cutting it.”
Burns’ fifth full-length album ‘Element’ was primarily co-produced between Burns and Jason Corbett (ACTORS) at his Jacknife Studios in Vancouver, and also features collaborations with Colin Janz (Teset) and vocologist Carol-Lynne Quinn. The album was pieced together over a two-and-a-half-year span between Burns’ home and Mexico.
“I had never in my adult life stayed at home for that long, and I’m just talking about the first three months of the pandemic. That was a really interesting feeling,” Burns adds. “Just by default, I started writing music to create a sense of escapism for myself, choosing a more atmospheric and airier sonic aesthetic to create a sense of movement, despite being stuck in one place.”
The album also includes guitar work from longtime collaborator Darcy Hancock, and soft-focus synth lines from nêhiyawak’s Matthew Cardinal on the title track, while vocologist Carol-Lynne Quinn co-plotted a series of R&B-inspired vocal runs with Burns. ‘Kids’ is co-produced by ambient artist Colin Janz (Teset), marking a first for Burns as her “first formal love song”.