TURF reviews: Whitehorse at Fort York – July 7, 2013

Whitehorse’s Melissa McClelland improvises a microphone out of a phone receiver at Fort York for Toronto Urban Roots Fest July 7. Photo: Tom Beedham

Whitehorse’s Melissa McClelland improvises a microphone out of a phone receiver at Fort York for Toronto Urban Roots Fest July 7. Photo: Tom Beedham

Whitehorse is husband and wife Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland’s band. Hamilton-bred, they moved to Toronto a week before TURF and share their band’s name with a city in Yukon. The layers of the group’s genesis are many, but there’s a minimal chance they outweigh those of its sonic output.

Putting on their best mad scientist impressions, Whitehorse spent the first half of their TURF set singing through telephones, banging on anything they could get their hands and drumsticks on, picking through rock star guitar solos, and looping all of it to serve up a heavily layered Dagwood of sound.

Then they flipped the switch to unfiltered an country serenade built on dual acoustic guitars.

While it’s hard to isolate the band under the heading of a general genre, their set at TURF certainly made it acceptable to slap “experimental” in front of any category you might suggest.

Originally published by The Ontarion.

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About Tom Beedham

Tom Beedham is a Canadian writer and photographer based in Toronto, Ontario. His work focuses on independent culture, DIY communities, and their relationship to the mainstream, reporting on a spectrum of creatives that has ranged from emerging acts to the definitive voices of cultural movements. In addition to contributing regular features to AUX, Chart Attack, and VICE publications Noisey and THUMP, he has appeared on Daily VICE, and frequently reviews concerts, festivals, and new album releases for Canadian arts and culture monthly Exclaim!. He is also a co-organizer and curator of the seasonal inter-arts series Long Winter, for which he oversees an online blog and print newspaper-style publication, printed for distribution at each instalment of the event. He was also a DIY concert organizer in his hometown Georgetown, Ontario in the mid-2000s.

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