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Interview:
Whitehorse duo likes bucking the conventional way of doing this
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

The Canadian duo Whitehorse prides itself on "breaking every cardinal rule" known to music -- and life.

And so far, Melissa McClelland says, "it's working out."

"It's on ongoing joke of Whitehorse thatw we're doing everything you're not supposed to -- like, don't work with your spouse," says McLelland, 35, who started the group four years ago with husband Luke Doucet. "We're just diving in and enjoying it for what it is and loving it. Whenw e come to the point where it might prove to be difficult, we'll burn that bridge when we come to it."

That doesn't appear to be imminent, however. Whitehorse's second ablum, 2012's "The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss," was shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize and nomianted for three Canadian Folk Music Awards. That set high expectations for the new "Leave No Bridge Unburned," which came out in February and marks the first time Whitehorse worked with an oustide producer -- fellow Canadian Gus van Go.

And McClelland says Whitehorse certainly felt the raised expectations after the success of "The Fate..."

"We always want to evolve in some way or elevvate in some way," she says. " 'The Fate of the World...' did go over well and people responsed to it really well. So moving into the next project, it's like, 'How do we top that? How do we make it bigger adn better.' It didn't necessarily have to be bigger; we were completely prepared to do a folk record if need be. But it just had to evolve.

"I think that's every musician's goal with every project they do, anyway. You want it to move forward in some way or another. So this time we went outside and brought in another opinion, and that was really good. It was really useful having an objective perspective like that, and Luke and I are really good at handing over the keys; we just sit back and trust who we hire, 'Do your thing. You tell us what to do and we'll do it.'

"Not all artists can do that, but if you can relinquish control for a bit, good things can come from that -- and they did."

Whitehorse and Lindy Vopnfjord

8 p.m. Monday, May 4.

The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor.

Tickets are $15.

Call 734-761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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