MountainTigerWolf BeatRoute Story
in love with the modern world
By Stefan Petersen
There’s certainly something intriguing about Vancouver native Bradley Ferguson, the one-man band behind bradley and the recently released MountainTigerWolf album.
From the outset, bradley's music prompts you to surrender your senses and be taken away on a journey. With apparent ease, he manages to send the listener into surreal and emotive landscapes with quirky, and somewhat chaotic, aural distractions. As bizarre as it is, it leaves listeners wanting to know more.
“Some people really like it and some people don’t know what to think of it,” declares Bradley. “There’s a certain sound in the Canadian music scene right now that couldn’t be further from what I’m doing, really.”
Having previously released Joystick, a 2005 collaborative electro/pop effort with Coco Love Alcorn, and often playing the part of the hired gun bass player for many bands, it is with bradley that he has been able to craft his own unique electro/acoustic blend.
MountainTigerWolf is bradley’s second album, the follow up to the 2007 release Pink Pill Program, and there is a sense of personality within the record that is delivered directly by the songwriter/producer himself. Created mostly with an analog Novation Bass Station synth and a computer, bradley has been able to fuse and manipulate the worlds of electronica and guitar to create his own unique and thought-provoking music.
So how exactly does one go about creating songs that don't appear to follow any pre-defined structure?
"Some tunes were completely written on guitar as like folk tunes sort of thing, but then it's like, ‘Well, this isn't really how I want to put it out there. I want it to be folk tunes with a whole different world attached,’" he explains.
The fact that bradley had never written a song before turning his computer into a studio somewhat explains the method within the madness. In simple terms he says, "Realistically having the whole computer era, for me, is magic." This has allowed him the freedom to explore and create music on his own timeline, something that is reflected in his experimental songwriting style. "I really can’t hang onto things that aren't kind of immediately working out for me. I just get too frustrated and too like, ‘This is totally awful,’" he adds.
Within this experimental setting, it seems fitting bradley would include a reworked cover of the David Bowie classic "Fame" – in this case, entitled "Fainne". Bradley enthused, "I love David Bowie and what he has kind of done over the years… Y'know, it's one groundbreaking musical style after another." The song itself, Bradley says, began to feel like one of his own, as did the second cover on the album, a beautifully worked take on the Great Aunt Ida track "Little Voice." There is a distinct craft in taking another artist's music and making it yours, and, unassumingly, bradley manages to weave his own unique magic into each track whilst paying homage to artists that both inspire and provoke him.
So what does the future hold for bradley? Having recently finished a tour supporting the LP release, he is in no hurry to get back on the road, instead preferring to look ahead to his upcoming Vancouver show and see where the album takes him. With an eye on a possible Canadian tour in the fall and the possibility of a European tour in the future, there will be no shortage of chances for fans to journey into bradley's world.