Lightman Jarvis Ecstatic Band, the new project by underground Canadian artists and partners Yves Jarvis and Romy Lightman, has released its debut album today titled Banned. Listen to it HERE.
“This album is a loose manifesto in our shared vision for a way of being,” says Lightman. “It’s about our relationship and the dynamics in that. There’s an epic-ness to it and tension at times. We’ve been developing our collaborative process since spending our time together at the Tree Museum intermittently for the past two years. It’s like the ways particles collide. There’s an alchemical aspect to it with these base components slamming together.”
As Lightman mentions, Banned was recorded in the tranquil environment of the Tree Museum, an outdoor art gallery in rural Ontario hosting residencies for contemporary sculptors over the past 20 years. The pair credit its 200 acres of natural spaces intermingling with human-made creations as the fuel for their unfettered process. Recorded over two weeks in a free-flowing stream of improvisation, the album finds Lightman on synthesizer with Jarvis on drums and guitar, as their voices weave together into an electrified pastoral tapestry.
Beyond leaving the city behind to live alone in the woods, the album title Banned also highlights an element of risk. Like late ’60s counterculture musical Hair, the duo reject notions of repression with unspoken celebrations of naturalism, openness, and sexual liberation. These 15 songs offer an ephemeral intimacy and invitation to express free love that can only occur when artists welcome listeners into their private world.
For both musicians, the album’s ad hoc creation offered a chance to challenge themselves: Jarvis defying his solitary practice to record with another person, while open jams provided Lightman an alternative to her preference for thoroughly composed songwriting. Subverting any expectations for a collaborative release made by a couple, they skip past cute or romantic and aim straight for ecstasy.
“Ecstasy is perverse and sacred,” says Jarvis. “To display ecstatic joy like we do on this album is a vulnerable thing. First and foremost it’s about our desire for creative expression and the curiosity around that. It should be censored, but it won’t be.”
L to R: Yves Jarvis and Romy Lightman
Photo Credit: Jeff Bierk
1. Olamim 2. Ancient Chain
3. Recurring Theme
4. Red Champa
5. Trillium 6. Nymphea
7. Bone of a Hound
8. Ein Sof
9. Lift My Heart 10. Elastic Band
12. Mother’s Rope
13. Slick Oil
14. Stomach Pit
15. Tomb of the Patriarchs