Trevor Sloan goes on a psych-folk trip to the hazy landscapes of memory lane with his album Green Reflections — only to take a decidedly creepy turn with the video for his new single Green Summer — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Harnessing a long-held affinity for “quirky folk-pop that sounds breezy and generally as carefree as childhood is supposed to be,” the Toronto singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s new songwriting is rife with artful symbolism and mindful contemplation.
“I spent a year writing and recording the songs for this album,” Sloan says. “Some of the songs are about getting older. Some of the songs are about love. Some of the songs are about being young and fearless. And some of the songs are just about the things I see in my neighbourhood now, in the Junction, or when I was growing up in the town of Markham.”
Green Reflections is Sloan’s third album under his own name; he’s already written and recorded six LPs as Phono d’enfant, and is a founding member of experimental electronic collective Audiosleep. Although capturing city scenes and characters are par for the course with Sloan, his critically acclaimed library of songs are often balanced with images of nature — robins in the snow, reflecting rivers, pigeon wings and the like.
“I looked at the songs I’d written for Green Reflections and realized there were a lot of references to green things and to nature,” Sloan says. “Markham was on the edge of the countryside; that was the backdrop for my youth, which was full of awkwardness, new friendships, unrequited love, and confusion. I realized it’s a point of reference for where I am today in my life and in my relationships.
“I made the video for Green Summer using footage from the 1963 film One Got Fat: Bicycle Safety, which is now in the public domain. It’s a funny and somewhat creepy video with kids riding bikes and wearing monkey masks. I love the vintage quality of the film, and it seems to have a green hue, which goes nicely with the name of the song. The song itself is about being young, reckless, and confused. It is also about hanging out in forests and drinking beer. It includes a lot of specific imagery from my adolescence: a cast on my leg when I broke my ankle, the waterfall and graffiti of Milne Damn, and a white horse in the moonlight. I tried to capture the moments and feelings from that time.”