“It’s freeing being resigned to doom.”
This is the thought that drove the creation of Life in the Dome, the sophomore album from Winnipeg indie-rockers Jamboree. Since the band formed in 2018, they’ve been known for their jagged, emotionally charged music rooted heavily in the sounds of 1990s alt rock (a decade, one should note, that they weren’t alive for). Sky Parenteau, Alex Braun, and Nick Lavich work as a singular creative unit, creating nimble, hook-filled music that explores themes of alienation, mental illness, and modern anxiety. In 2020, amidst an era of confusion and angst, they conceived of The Dome; a story of a community electing a mayor who then erects a glass structure over the town, trapping the residents inside.
“[The Dome is] like feeling isolated from the world at large in Winnipeg, but also feeling some sort of community with the people immediately around us, especially during the pandemic when we were all stuck alone together,” says Alex Braun, the band’s drummer. “But it’s also an embrace of the idea that the worst is always around the corner, this feeling that if we’re gonna get killed by a deadly virus and then destroyed by climate disasters, why don't we make our own disaster and elect some idiot to trap us in a dome?”
Beginning as a home-recording project, Jamboree made their debut with a pair of lo-fi releases in the summer of 2018. By February of the following year, the band had already made the cover of Winnipeg paper The Uniter as winners of the annual Uniter Fiver competition. Soon after, they became known as a live act to watch, following opening performances for indie favourites Mauno, Hot Garbage, and Living Hour, as well as an appearance at the Winnipeg Folk Festival as part of the Young Performers Program. In 2020, they self-released their debut album A Beautiful Place and began work on their followup, and were signed to House of Wonders Records in 2021 on the strength of their new material.
Behind the band’s steady output and rapid ascent is a deep love of songwriting as a craft. Jamboree has no primary songwriter; each member contributes equally to the creation of the music. The band creates quickly and without inhibition, and then refines towards a greater goal.
Says Parenteau: “When I write a song, it happens extremely fast and it feels like I am spirited away. I like to imagine that my spirit acts on its own and possesses me to write the words and music. It’s hard to describe but I think everyone who creates something has a spirit that works in collaboration with them. Creating something isn’t merely about skill but something deeper in you.”
The album was recorded and mixed by Lino D’Ottavio in his basement studio, and mastered by J. Riley Hill at No Fun Club. It arrives digitally and on cassette April 1 via House of Wonders Records.
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