Blessed have announced their new EP iii, will drop on February 19th, 2021 via Flemish Eye Records (Chad VanGaalen, Preoccupations, Yves Jarvis). Blessed had self-released their previous album Salt. Each song on the new EP was mixed by a different person, including, Corin Roddick (Purity Ring), John McEntire (Tortoise), Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck), and the band’s own Drew Riekman. Along with the EP announcement and signing to Flemish Eye Records, the band has shared the first single “Structure,” which was mixed by John McEntire (Tortoise) and comes with a video directed by Kaayla Whachell.
The band self-produced the record at Vancouver’s Rain City Recorders, with vocals tracked at friends’ houses across Abbotsford. Riekman credits the previous generation of DIY artists in the Fraser Valley with fostering a sense of local responsibility and solidarity that Blessed aims to perpetuate. That’s part of what keeps him in the city; he and Blessed attend city council meetings, book all-ages shows in a garage downtown, and share resources with younger artists learning the ropes of recording, touring, and grant application processes.
For mixing services, the band strayed from conventional rock record ideology. Rather than aim for one uniform mix, they pursued four separate ones: Corin Roddick (Purity Ring) on opener “Sign”; John McEntire (Tortoise, Sea And Cake) on “Structure”; Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) on “Centre”; and Riekman on closer “Movement.” The result is four tracks with distinctly different palettes and trajectories.
“Structure’ deals with complacency and failing to explore the depths of your actions compared to the words you espouse and values you proclaim to have. If you can’t acknowledge your imperfection and flaws, you don’t leave room to listen and grow. If you’re always trying to teach, you can’t be taught.”