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 whose work focuses on independent culture, experimental art, DIY communities, and their relationship to the mainstream. He has reported on a spectrum of creatives ranging from emerging acts to the definitive voices of cultural movements. He lives in Toronto, Ontario. He has contributed features to Exclaim!, NOW, A.Side (formerly AUX), Chart Attack, and VICE publications Noisey and THUMP, and has appeared as a correspondent on Daily VICE. Tom is also a co-organizer and curator of the inter-arts series Long Winter, for which he has overseen the publication of an online blog and print newspaper-style community publication, and, in collaboration with Lucy Satzewich, implemented harm reduction strategies for safer event spaces. From 2006-2012, he was Editor-in-Chief of Halton, ON -based youth magazine The Undercroft and served as an outreach worker for parent organization Peer Outreach Support Services and Education (POSSE) Project. He was also a DIY concert organizer in his hometown Georgetown, ON in the mid-2000s.

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