Fredericton’s Brookside Mall (the band, not to be confused with the actual mall) are releasing a six song EP on April 14th at Fredericton’s Flourish Festival. Titled, ‘Preservation’ it’s also the name of the EP’s first single, and a co-production with Saint John filmmaker Michael Mohan.
Brookside Mall’s Brendan Magee say that the video marks the fourth collaboration between him and Mohan. Though longtime friends, their working relationship began in 2015 when Michael asked Brendan to write for his short film, Bad News.
“I’d been mired in an awful writing drought, but managed to piece together some scraps, purely inspired by his beautiful standalone shots,” says Magee on the origins of their collaborative efforts.
“We figured out a score to accentuate the space of these long, stoic shots without dialog. I’m very new to fronting my own project, and this challenge pushed me outside of a shell I hadn’t yet recognized around me. And from there, I chipped away, and wrote the first new Brookside Mall song I’d written in close to a year. It is called Months, and Michael shot the perfect video for it, featuring stark shots from the town of St. Stephen, NB. The evolving nature of the collaboration is easily one of the coolest projects I’ve worked on.”
It’s balance that they’ve struck and repeated – half musical score, half music video. Mohan’s strength is in his ability to frame long, often lonely shots, which get emphasized in ‘Preservation’ which seems to tell half a story with one of the key characters noticeably absent. The remains of a relationship are revisited only through the holes it has left behind, the painful viscera managed through the filter of fiction, seen through clips of old films. Mohan’s process becomes more elaborate as he expands the role of filmmaker to encompass curator as well.
The album itself was difficult to compose. Magee explains it comes from a rough patch that has to be revisited each time he performs. “I wrote most of the songs for ‘Preservation’ in a pretty bad place, but that was so long ago now, it’s hard for me to totally relate to their content. When we play them, I draw on my memories and old voice memos to make them sound as visceral as I meant at the time, but I feel less closely related to them now This, of course, makes representing them in other forms of media quite difficult. Michael ran with his own idea here, which is a product of our trusting collaborative relationship. True to form, he nailed it.”