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When insides jokes become songs music from Bocana

*Warning - if you're offended by explicit language, maybe skip this one.

Steve and I started spending time in Mexico in 2013 and immediately found ourselves inspired - by everything here! The sounds, the colours - incredibly vibrant. In 2014 we decided it would be a good 'home base' while we worked on arrangements for the Clear Day orchestral album. We settled in to a little beach town on the coast of Oaxaca, and wrote, wrote, wrote. Over the following years we kept coming back, and in 2016/17 we decided to hunker down once more to write my French Christmas album "Lumières d'hiver" - in a place that never snows, ironically! But after 10+ years of touring Québec in winter, I can assure you, I had no problem conjuring up the right spirit.

By this time we had developed a strong circle of friends and were very much feeling part of the community and enjoying day to day life in Mexico. During the making of "Lumières", Steve Webster's relentless creativity produced a cross current of work that resulted in a dozen new song ideas which became the basis of our duo“Bocana”. Those ideas sat for some time on a hard drive until we started completing them one by one. All of the songs are inspired by Mexico, but the two most recent singles are probably our most locally inspired creations yet.

Caja 8

We had been joking about making this song for years. There is a certain large supermarket chain that has a location here. While you're shopping, you are treated to the constant announcements blaring through the speakers, in Spanish of course; "Clean up in aisle 3", "Price check at cashier 8", "Men's pants half off " (hehe - sorry) It's all very normal, but the fascinating thing is that every person who makes these announcements manages to do it in the same sing-songy way, with the exact same cadence at the end, and in the same pitch! We hear melodies in everything and this one has been a huge earworm for us. So we turned that 'melody' into a horn line, and Steve created a soca-inspired rhythmic track, with distorted bass and cheesy lounge organ. The lyrics are minimal, but describe an average shopping experience. After you have placed all your items on the conveyor, inevitably that "foco rojo" red light turns on up above the cashier and you settle in to WAIT while some issue gets resolved - or not......."esperamos, esperamos". Regardless of the inspiration, this is a super fun musical ride that features an exciting, hot trumpet solo by Jason Logue.

Caja 8

Written, arranged, produced, mixed and mastered by Steve Webster

Vocals, organ: Emilie-Claire Barlow

Trumpet Solo: Jason Logue

Trumpet: Steve McDade

Tenor Sax: Vern Dorge & John Johnson

Trombone: Terry Promane & William Carn

Drums: Creighton Doane

Bass, guitar, percussion: Steve Webster

Chicharrón (Muthaf*Cka)

Sitting around one night after a few mezcals, our friend Jorge was lovingly mocking us for saying chicharrón* without a hint of a Mexican accent. No rolling of the double Rs and really leaning in on our Canadian accent. The word was repeated over and over by everyone with some expletives added for emphasis. It got pretty silly, and we threatened to actually turn it into a song. Years later Steve finally did! I love this track. It's really cool and groovy and features Steve playing some awesome slap bass.

*In Mexico, Chicharrón is typically pigskin that has been seasoned and fried.

Both of these tracks are very much groove-based, catchy, fun and they don't take themselves too seriously, which makes it extra special that "Chicharrón" racked up 15k streams on Spotify in its first week!

Chicharrón (Muthaf*Cka)

Written, arranged, produced, mixed and mastered by Steve Webster

Vocals: Emilie-Claire Barlow & Steve Webster

Bass, keyboards: Steve Webster

Special thanks to Jorge Herrera and Tokio Webster

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