Since the 2019 release of Sight (the third LP from Toronto based producer Brad Weber aka Pick a Piper), Weber has kept himself busy with multiple side projects; co-founding the record label Stereo Ferment amidst the early days of the pandemic lockdowns in 2020 and releasing a 3rd EP under his other moniker Coy Haste in early 2021. Weber returns with a new Pick a Piper EP titled “Sea Steps”, where he tethers themes of sentimental nostalgia with a cautious optimism for the future through his unique style of cinematic, percussive driven electronica.
Reuniting with the rich vocals and lyricism of Sophia Alexandra on the opening track “How it Was Before”, the song imagines a future world different than the one we currently occupy with a sense of nostalgia for the best parts of the past; accompanied by a comforting trip-hop inspired beat that’s fused with a layering of manic high-end percussion akin to Aphex Twin. Conceived during a trip to India in 2019 “Parakram” (Hindi for “courage”) is Weber’s re-imagining of Drum & Bass; with sparse ethereal melodies and frantic chopped up Turkish percussion.
Continuing with the general sonic theme, “Keep Your Head Up'' fluctuates between melancholic and hopeful tones. Purposefully avoiding a four-on-the-floor rhythm; Weber creates what feels like an inverted dance track, in which the kick drum dances around the listener. “Sea Steps” closes out with neo-classical beat-driven “Athens”, an elegantly layered composition that hosts the collaborative musicianship of Laura Bates on Violin and Steve Ward on Trombone.
Weber pushes the production of this EP into unfamiliar territories by exploring a variety of genres, while refraining from any direct points of reference; leaving open portals for future developments of the Pick a Piper sound and offering a thoughtfully crafted thematic listening experience.
released December 3, 2021
Produced by Brad Weber
Mixed by Brad Weber and Chad Skinner
Mastered by Cayden Mowbray
Artwork by Laura Cruz
Layout by Angus Fraser
Vocals on “How It Was Before” by Sophia Alexandra
Violin on “Athens” by Laura Bates
Trombone on “Athens” by Steve Ward
All songs written by Brad Weber, except “How It Was Before”: written by Weber / Alexandra
A collection of hard hitting four-on-the-floor disco jams that draw their melodic inspiration from Kabyle folk of Algeria, Baul folk of West Bengal India and radio recordings from Indonesia. Pick a Piper