NEWS: File Under: Music To Release Old Time Machine / Old Cabin Split EP

Old Time Machine:
Thursday, February 26, 2009. 10am: Ryan McNally and Kyle Cashen sit in a fort made of cardboard boxes, scrap lumber, thrift store bed sheets and chicken-wire. Among the second-hand lamps, rugs, and video game consoles the two have come together for an art exhibition about the dark days of winter. The theme resonates with everyone who experiences the chill of winter in Canada, but is particularly poignant in the band’s birthplace of Whitehorse, Yukon. Old Time Machine started here as the art-show contribution of a bluesman and a bedroom-musician. The unlikely duo works to blend McNally’s studies of finger style traditional blues with Cashen’s experience crafting ethereal soundscapes to create familiar but distinctly original music.

Their work started when Ryan put forward a handful of songs departing from his solo writing. Kyle eagerly filled spaces with reverb-soaked vocals and backbeats. With a mountain of stringed instruments, analog machines and effects, drums, and mics between them, McNally and Cashen began combining traditional sounding folk structures with ghostly harmonies and vintage electronics. The pair were later joined in the studio by producer and engineer Jordy Walker and the group developed a sound that feels like songs playing on a tube radio in a dimly lit bar.

Old Time Machine is known for their unique instrumental setup. Ryan sings and plays a kick drum and high hats while rotating guitar, banjo, mandolin, and ukulele. Kyle uses echo, drum machines, a pedal bass, floor tom, ride cymbal, snare, and tambourine. Together the two are a duo of one-man bands facing one another across a sea of percussion, strings, and wood-paneled devices. The band strikes a balance between references to the early days of pop and rock music, dreamy textures, and even elements of hip-hop. From Ryan’s classic croon and Kyle’s lo-fi melody on Sun Burns Out to glitch-beats over mandolin on Tearing Me Down, the pair finds a way to embrace their influences while sounding unmistakably new.

Old Cabin:
Old Cabin is singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jona Barr. Raised along the shores of Lake Superior and in the wilderness of rural Yukon, Jona is a second-generation musician who began his career learning from noteworthy country-folk artists, blues musicians, and classic rock bands.

The influence of those campfire days can be heard in the whimsical lyrics and solid instrumentals of Old Cabin’s repertoire, which ranges from songs of eloquent melancholy to upbeat sing-a-longs and dance floor foot stompers. Known for his finely honed musical craftsmanship, Jona sings and plays guitar, lap steel, harmonica, and is accompanied by drums and bass for Old Cabin. Fans know to expect the unexpected when it comes to his unique arrangement of percussion and strings.

Jona has been playing music professionally in the Yukon since 2004, and has been across the country and back touring solo and with indie-rock quartet Death in Venice. Since the genesis of Old Cabin in 2010, he has gained fast and steady ground under the midnight sun, playing music festivals and opening for Minotaurs, Geoff Berner, and Luther Wright and the Wrongs.

With the help of producer and engineer Jordy Walker, Old Cabin comes full circle, nurturing his refined yet homegrown sound with continued collaboration from local artists old and new.


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