|Leeroy Stagger||Love Versus|
Leeroy Stagger — Love Versus (April 7th, 2017) ••› Country music as a headache remedy.
••› Like his heroes Ryan Adams and Paul Westerberg, Stagger started out as a full~fledged punk rocker, before getting turned on to roots music. “My head hurt after every [punk] gig, so I had to stop,” he says.
Location: Victoria/Lethbridge Alberta
Origin: British Columbia, Canada
Genre: Alt~Country, Indie, Singer~Songwriter
Album release: April 7th, 2017
Record Label: True North
01. I Want It All 2:17
02. Love Versus 4:20
03. Enemy Inside 4:16
04. Crooked Old World 4:17
05. Little Brother 3:56
06. Run Rabbit Run 5:22
07. Joe Strummer and Joey Ramone 3:10
08. Living in the Future 3:36
09. $1,500 A Day (Song for Elliott) 1:47
10. Until the End of Time 5:07
11. I Want It All (Steve Bays Mix) 2:17
℗ 2017 Leeroy Stagger Music, under exclusive license to High Romance Music Inc. Marketed by True North Records.
••› 2017 release, the 11th studio album from the Canadian singer/songwriter. Love Versus marks Stagger’s first effort for True North Records, with label president Geoff Kulawick calling him “one of the most insightful songwriters I have ever come across. He has a gift for distilling complex images, commentary and concepts into brilliantly succinct lyrical one liners.” Stagger teamed up with Colin Stewart (Dan Mangan, Black Mountain, Yukon Blonde) to produce Love Versus, creating a dream band of drummer Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello), guitarist Paul Rigby (Neko Case), keyboardist Geoff Hilhorst (the Deep Dark Woods), and Stagger’s longtime bassist Tyson Maiko. It’s been said before that love is a battlefield, and on Love Versus, Leeroy Stagger comes well~armed. His ever~evolving fusion of roots, rock and pop reaches new heights on the album, resulting in 10 tracks that confirm his status as one of Canada’s best contemporary singer~songwriters.
••› It’s been said before that love is a battlefield, and on his latest album Love Versus (out April 7, 2017 through True North Records), Leeroy Stagger comes well armed. The eleventh studio release by the Western Canadian native is also a milestone, marking the first recording made at Stagger’s home studio in southern Alberta. But more significantly, his ever~evolving fusion of roots, rock and pop reaches new heights on Love Versus, resulting in 10 tracks that confirm his status as one of Canada’s best contemporary singer~songwriters.
••› “Leeroy is one of the most insightful songwriters I have ever come across. He has a gift for distilling complex images, commentary and concepts into brilliantly succinct lyrical one liners,” says Geoff Kulawick, President, True North Records.
••› It’s not that Stagger needed much more validation; after working with acclaimed producers Russell Broom (Sam Roberts) and Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) on his previous two albums, Stagger teamed up with Colin Stewart (Dan Mangan, Black Mountain, Yukon Blonde) to produce Love Versus, and put together a dream band for the project. Longtime friend and collaborator Steve Bays (Hot Hot Heat, The Mounties) remixed and ‘reimagined’, as Stagger would say, the title song and single in Vancouver.
••› The cornerstone was Pete Thomas, longtime drummer for Elvis Costello, who came up from L.A. for the sessions, joining guitarist Paul Rigby (Neko Case), keyboardist Geoff Hilhorst (The Deep Dark Woods), and Stagger’s longtime bassist Tyson Maiko. Over the course of three weeks, they christened Stagger’s new studio, and in the process changed his perspective on his art.
••› What is most striking about Love Versus overall is the wisdom at the foundation of each track, and indeed, for anyone who has followed Stagger’s career to this point, it should be apparent that this is the album he’s been destined to make. Since first making his mark on the Canadian independent music scene at the turn of this century, Leeroy Stagger has toured the world, both on his own and with the likes of Steve Earle, Pixies, Modest Mouse and Evan Dando. After almost two decades of consistent output, Stagger certainly does have the respect of both his peers and Canada’s music industry tastemakers. However, the addition of Love Versus to his (ahem) staggering body of work opens a new chapter, promising to reach many more ears.
By Andrea Gin
••› Leeroy Stagger is getting ready to release Love Versus next week and, even though it is his 11th studio album, the singer-songwriter from southern Alberta seems to be coming into his own.
••› “There is a bit of a feeling of vindication for me in this record for some reason,” he said in a press release. “I had just come out of a pretty low point in my career and I was pretty close to throwing in the towel. Making this album and working with this crew has re~energized me to make it happen.”
••› Stagger recorded the album in his newly built home studio, completing work on it only a few days before starting to track it. Pete Thomas (longtime drummer for Elvis Costello and the Attractions) was the first person to record a note.
••› “I feel like Pete was the backbone of the recording process,” Stagger continued, “He has so much energy and ran circles around all of us.”
••› The rest of the band members included guitarist Paul Rigby (Neko Case), keyboardist Geoff Hilhorst (the Deep Dark Woods) and Stagger’s longtime bassist Tyson Maiko. “The band as a whole had a pretty special vibe going on during tracking. We weren’t afraid to go out on the edge a bit, and you can hear it in songs like ‘Little Brother’ and ‘Run Rabbit Run,’ which happen to be my favourite songs on the album,” Stagger said.
••› Love Versus is not only Stagger’s most fully realized album musically, but it also represents some personal milestones for the singer~songwriter.
••› “This album is really the soundtrack to my coming out of the darkness of my past and especially the last three years where I was really battling depression and anxiety,” he explained. “I decided to change my life for the better and it really all starts with gratitude, which really is a common thread in this album. During my journey I realized just how much work we have to do as artists to speak some truth these days.”
By Kerry Doole, Published Apr 05, 2017 / Score: 8
••› Dear Love (2004)
••› Beautiful House (2005)
••› Depression River (2006)
••› Everything Is Real (2009)
••› Little Victories (2010)
••› Radiant Land (2012)
••› Truth be Sold (2013)
••› Dream It All Away (2015)
••› Love Versus (2017)
|Leeroy Stagger||Love Versus|