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Tim Gilbertson

When it came time for Edmonton-based, singer/songwriter Tim Gilbertson to choose a name for his sophomore record, his thoughts turned west to the mountain ranges of his childhood and youth in Hinton.

“The Palisade is a big mountain ridge along the Yellowhead Highway. I kind of think of it as a hump I had to get over to make this record, so the name Palisades is a sort of nod to home.”

The pluralized take on the solitary geological formation looming over the Athabasca River valley could also serve as a metaphor for the evolution of

Gilbertson from de facto solo artist to frontman of a genuine creative collective.

“This project is strange because we’re stuck with my name, but it’s becoming more and more of a cohesive writing group than a solo project,” said Gilbertson. “It’s more of a full band collaboration rather than a solo project. I offered to change the name to something more band-like, but the guys didn’t care.”

Band or man, the end result is the same. Palisades is a concise yet fully-realized collection of pure power pop nuggets that picks up where Gilbertson’s 2007 self- titled debut left off. The crunchy guitars, hushed vocals and pop hooks recalling the best of late 20th Century indie are still front and centre, but the newfound team approach comes through in the increased complexity of the arrangements (as in the Afro-Cuban-tinged “Sinners”) and the wider range of instrumentation (see: the keyboards in “Return to Sender”).

“Soundwise, this album is a lot more varied,” said Gilbertson. “I may have written the songs initially on my own, but they really get transformed as a group. The influence of the other bandmates’ styles really pulls the record around a lot more.”

Newfound team approach aside, there’s no question that Palisades functions equally as a standalone pop gem and a living document of a developing young artist scaling new heights of his musical mountain range.

The band is Tim Gilbertson: vocals, guitar, keyboards Graeme Mellway: drums, percussion Cam Grier: bass Drew Malcolm: guitar

Palisades was recorded at Edmontone Studios with Doug Organ and mastered at Joao Carvalho in Toronto.

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