Softening up the Valley: A conversation with gold gloom

Music, Off The Vine

Gold gloom describe themselves as “two girls from the Fraser Valley making sad dreamy tunes in their bedrooms.” While a quick, superficial glance at their bandcamp page might paint the duo as trying to mine the depths of their angst and insecurity without a focus, a more patient listen of their work reveals the purpose of the project itself. Cara Edwards and Ella Kosovic, the duo that comprises gold gloom, spoke with Raspberry about their project, and whether the Fraser Valley’s rag-tag music scene is as inclusive as we like to say it is.

“I think [writing music] has been very cathartic,” Cara says. “Instead of just talking about it, it allows you to convey those feelings and what going through something like that feels like.” Ella echoes the sentiment, saying that although listeners might not “get exactly the same feeling” that the pair set out to address in writing a particular track, “it’s still something.”

Most of the time, the pair explains, that feeling is angst. “A lot of my own songs are still very angsty. They’re just not yelly-angsty. [They’re] more sad-angsty.”

For the moment, gold gloom’s unique sound is most easily found online. While live music in their hometown Abbotsford is enjoyable, Ella notes that the local scene is “not very welcoming, not something that I would want to play at.” She adds that it has “a very strange, very male-dominated atmosphere.”

Cara and Ella both went to school together, and Cara says they’ve “always been surrounded by very feminine energy. So [Abbotsford’s music scene] is kind of a weird world to be thrown into.”

The Fraser Valley music scene is thriving, but has been characterized as overwhelmingly punk. In fact just this last week, a loud, garage-rock band was described to me as “very Abbotsford.” It’s this loudness that, in part, that alienates acts like gold gloom.

“I’ve talked to a couple of people that are involved in the music scene” Ella says. “They’ll find out that I have, I guess, a band. But it’s not really a band to them; we don’t play in punk shows.”

The bulk of bands and concert-goers in Abbotsford, have, unwittingly (or so it would seem), created a genre-specific structure that some artists are having trouble breaking into.

“It can be very dismissive. You don’t want to call yourself ‘a band.’ And I don’t know if we consider ourselves a band,” Cara muses. “It’s more of a group or a project.”

Despite their apparent disenfranchisement within the immediate Fraser Valley music community, Cara and Ella are convinced of their place within that structure, even as they go out to Vancouver and integrate themselves within the community of artists there.

“I think adding that softer side to things is natural.” Cara says. “The goal is to allow femininity to be as powerful. You don’t have to be loud and yell to be heard.” This more feminine, softer approach, Cara says, would be “something new to bring to the community.”

Not just new, but needed.

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