In April 2013, Morlove returns with Old Tomorrow, marking a major evolution for the West Coast orchestral folk band. Based on the pattern of Pattern itself, Old Tomorrow seeks to reassemble a fragmented worldview. Creators Corwin Fox and Emily Millard (Miss Emily Brown) took to the books, uncovering knitting patterns, folk legends, urban designs and cycles of the moon and stars. Things got geeky -- they also got interesting. Listeners will hear strings interpreting the honeycomb weaving pattern as if notes on a page. Intimate voices harmonize the relative frequencies of the light spectrum of a rainbow. Old Tomorrow is Morlove's second full-length album and their most expansive undertaking since debut album All of My Lakes Lay Frozen Over, put forward for the 2010 Polaris Prize. Fans will hear the band breaking through their own patterns; the find the climbs higher, the peaks more radial and the valleys further-reaching.
Recorded in a two-story geodesic dome on Quadra Island, British Columbia, the album features string players Hannah Epperson (violin) and Christina Zaenker (cello) as well as Jake Jenne (drums), Neil Burnett (Celtic harp) and Manjinder Benning (tabla, dilruba) with many tracks captured live-off-the-floor. The unique sonic qualities of the dome resonate throughout the record while the natural setting played an appropriate host to songs like The Timeless Way, a critique of Canada's urban sprawl and box-store frenzy: I get so lost among the sameness / expanding outward in a brainless maze of grey and beige / Suburban swelling like a fracture over the value of the pasture land.
Lyrically, Old Tomorrow strives to connect the individual to the collective, the human to the natural and the unique to the cyclical. A first time co-write for Fox and Millard, the result is remarkably personal and noticeably less abstract than previous ventures. The intricately crafted track Architect explores DNA patterns, asking the question: Could it be there is an intellect / calculating how we interact? Skeleton, a pop-infused meandering, links modern love to the age-old story of Skeleton Woman: Everytime I struggle with the clash between devotion and autonomy / What if this love will only wear me down and make a skeleton of me again? The Roots of Love, inspired by an interview with journalist Chris Hedges during Occupy NY, features a chilling vocal performance by Millard in which she links the inner storm to the outer storm: What I am is a dark cavity / where a lightning storm is raging brilliantly. The album's title track explores the link between Canada's national identity and the ineffectual motto of founding father John A. MacDonald: Be to our faults a little blind / and to our virtues always kind / Old Tomorrow. Perhaps the most climactic song on the album, There's a Light, is the result of Morlove's Golden Ticket contest. The pulsing ballad traces the personal experience of a Wells BC fan as she gave birth to her first child: There's a light through the trees / and the wait is finally over.
For followers of Morlove, the two and a half year wait for a new full-length record is finally over. Born around the campfire at ArtsWells Festival 2007, Morlove was forged out of a mutual desire to create music unhurried by the pace of the digital age. It is only by taking their time that the band could have created such an album as Old Tomorrow. It is an attempt at the timeless - a search for the significance of self in this vast universe we call home.