What do musicians do when they go on vacation? If they’re anything like The Reverend John DeLore with Ian Fisher & The Present, they write and record a three-song EP. While Ian Fisher was in New York to visit friend and fellow musician the Reverend John Delore, the pair decided to fill the fridge with beer, invite some friends over and set up microphones in the basement of Delore’s Brooklyn brownstone and lay down a few tracks. The result of this impromptu recording session is the three-song EP Canadian Patriot Waitress. The strange title comes from one of a cast of characters that Fisher and Delore met during their week long ramblings around Brooklyn.
The album also features appearances by other friends and fellow musicians, which include drummer Charlotte Cornfield, Marcy Playground bassist Dylan Keefe and part time Fisher collaborator Ryan Thomas Carpenter on the keys and vocal harmonies. The addition of the aforementioned musicians pays off musically, keeping the EP from being lost amongst the plethora of self-released one-off singer songwriter releases.
The EP opens with Fisher’s "Nothing" a twangy and countrified dirge. The song spins an existential tale of, as the opening narrator states, “the meaninglessness of life.” Here Fisher concocts his vision of the meaning of life, taking turns both scientific and realistic, the music is fun enough to detract from how horrifying the meaning is. To put it simply, this is a fun sounding song about how we’re all going to die and turn back into dust.
On the second track, “Six Black Flags,”,Delore takes over the lead vocal duties. Here again, the beautiful instrumentations and vocal harmonies and sing-song-y chorus help to mask the heartbreaking message the song is revealing. Stripped down to its core, the song is the tale of a man who has been stood up by the woman he is in love with. Deluded at first, thinking that “She waits for me in the city” as the song unfolds both lyrically and numerically, the narrator finally realizes that his love has abandoned him and it’s time for him to return from where he came.
The final track “Fiction” wields beautiful three part harmonies, provided by Fisher, Delore and Carpenter that mingle with sparse guitar, bass drum and well-placed handclaps. “Fiction” comes off as a beautiful old country style ballad with spiritualistic sounding undertones of the kind sung at southern baptism, as newly formed Christians are baptized in the river.
When all is said and done Canadian Patriot Waitress is a fun foray into what fellow musician friends can produce on a whim. The petite EP serves as a snapshot into time lived and served, a momentary epoch of memories gathered during a week in the city that doesn’t sleep.
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