The Liptonians, a Winnipeg-based indie-rock quintet, are poised for more mainstream success with the release of their second album, Let’s All March Back Into the Sea, scheduled to be released this February. While their first album’s success came somewhat unexpectedly to them, the band approached this album’s production with increased gravity.
Their first album, The Liptonians, was recorded over a three-year period and released in 2008. It won them a Western Canadian Music Award for Best Pop Album, inspiring the group to approach their musical careers more seriously.
For Let’s All March, the band’s co-founders Matt Schellenberg and Bucky Driedger retreated to a family cabin near Carman, Man. to write many of the songs. “We went out for the weekend and just played songwriting games,” said Schellenberg, who is a songwriter, singer and keyboardist for the band. “Actually, the song that we’re probably going to be releasing as a single is the product of us putting a bunch of things we liked in songs in a hat. Bucky picked four of them out of it and I had to put them in a song. It’s going to be, I think, the song that we’ll be pushing the hardest.”
The Liptonians recorded much of Let’s All March at Prairie Recordings, where the Weakerthans recorded their last album. “We did a bunch more in the studio at Canadian Mennonite University, because it’s way cheaper,” said Schellenberg. They also recorded in their private studio on Portage Avenue, but encountered problems. “We record stuff there, except you can always hear the cars going by,” said Schellenberg.
The album’s production process reflects Schellenberg’s hope for its sound. Schellenberg hopes that it will reflect the band’s transitional position, somewhere between slick professional and charming DIY. “I think it’s just finding the balance between the positives of both worlds,” he said. “Sometimes, you get a record too slick and you can’t really believe in it anymore — it doesn’t sound like anything. At the same time, we strayed away from that a lot with going to the big studio.”
While Schellenberg claims that he and Driedger did not approach the album with a theme in mind, one developed on its own. “We only realized after that we had a bit of a theme,” he said. This theme reflects the band’s advancement in the music world. “A lot of the stuff from the new album is [ . . . ] exploring the city as a metaphor for moving from innocence to experience,” explained Schellenberg. “We have a lot of songs that idealize the rural aspect of life that we [Schellenberg and Driedger] both grew up in, in Steinbach.”
As part of an effort to pay for the upcoming album’s production, the Liptonians are playing what Schellenberg calls “an album fundraiser” at the Park Theatre on Osborne. “We should be playing six songs off the new album and just three songs off of our old record,” said Schellenberg.
See the Liptonians 8 p.m., Nov. 13, at the Park Theatre.