At the top of 2010, Vancouver’s Lyn Heinemann (Portico) took her supply of unused songs and asked her friend Gregg Steffensen (Hinterland) to start a band. The result is Drawn Ship – two east Vancouverites who play loud, stripped-down, thick guitar and drums with unpredictable arrangements and gorgeous melodies. Their debut album, Low Domestic is set for release on Scratch Records, distributed by Outside Music, on September 6th.
The album was recorded with two principles in mind. First, that they keep it a minimal rock outfit, using as little instrumentation as possible to make the songs work, and second, that they write and record their first album as quickly as possible. Nine months later, after recording at Vancouver’s Mushroom and District Four Studios, the master was being driven home from Seattle in a blizzard. Friends Hannah Georgas and Mother Mother’s Ryan Guldemond added supporting vocals, and Richard Buckner unwittingly helped out by lending a song to cover. The result is 11 tracks that hold true to the original less-is-more artistic idea of Drawn Ship.
Low Domestic is about death: The death of marriages, of affairs, of friendships, of ideals, and of people. The songwriting for Low Domestic started when Heinemann, miserable and wallowing after a breakup, decided to make an album exclusively of break-up songs. Six songs in, her minor obsession with Louis Riel steered her to write “Execution” which details the killing of Thomas Scott at Riel’s orders (for which M. Riel was later hanged). From there the break-up theme fell apart: “Adventure Series” chronicles the death of a young WWII pilot, and “The Best Ones Go” and “Glass Eye” are stories of childhood sexual abuse, addiction, and death that Heinemann wrote following the loss of two teenaged clients in her work as an addictions counselor in the Downtown Eastside.
DRAWN SHIP is Lyn Heinemann (guitar and vocals) and Gregg Steffensen (Drums).