Song of Salvation

By Charelle Evelyn on September 22 2014

The second album from Horses and Bayonets is a new release in more ways than one.

For front man Bryce Lokken, it was a catharsis 10 years in the making.

“I hate the world that we live in where when somebody does something horrible, victims and anyone else affected are taught to stay quiet and keep secrets,” said Lokken. “But those secrets and the silence are what give these people power over the rest of your life.”

The seven-song Safety vs. Shelter, out Sept. 20, is Lokken’s way of coming clean and finally addressing those demons that have haunted him since growing up in what he calls a “sometimes abusive and destructive environment.” At first blush, the choice between safety and shelter may seem like a misnomer, almost redundant. But it was a deliberate – and agonizing – choice that ultimately had to be made.

“My brother and I, there were periods where we were often faced with the choice of do we stay here and become the receiving end of this psychological and physical abuse just whenever this person fancies or do we run away from home,” Lokken explained. “It took me a long time to realize my home wasn’t my home.”

Safety vs. Shelter is a dark concept album, following the path of abuse through the pain, getting help and eventually seeing the light. The lead single, Dawn, is the album’s penultimate track, marking a shift towards optimism.

The new album follows on the heels of 2013’s This Is Who I Am, Not Who I Want To be, but it wasn’t one that was written on the walls. As a musical entity, Horses and Bayonets had fractured. “We finished up the last album, finished up our run of shows and I think we had almost just become very stressed and very overworked and very underwhelmed by the response,” said Lokken. Drummer Landon Hilde and guitarist Jake Olexyn left for other projects but songs still bubbled out with bassist Alex Chin and guitarist Devon Meyer.

A handful of demos later, producer Connor Pritchard from Edgewood Studios was brought in to help record an EP.

“A month later, we had a more-than-30 minute, sevensong album,” Lokken said. The new lineup includes Cale Sharp and Nick Tindale. Lokken is effusive with his praise of Pritchard. “He’s the reason we were able to get this album done,” he said of the young, but highquality Prince George-based producer. “I’ve never seen anybody work so hard.” Find Horses and Bayonets music online at www.habmusic.ca or follow their Facebook page for gig dates.

CHARELLE EVELYN

REPORTER FOR THE PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN

Journalist, west coast native, music lover. Made in Canada.

Website: pgcitizen.ca

M2014, MusiciansNorm Coyne