A blend of electro-etheral sounds and traditional blues, the contrast is about as obvious as their name, Old Time Machine.
Blend Ryan McNally’s studies of finger-style traditional blues with Kyle Cashen’s experience crafting ethereal soundscapes and what you get is a familiar, yet distinctly original music.
The duo is bringing their unique sound to Voodoo’s in Penticton on Saturday. Old Time Machine was brought together in the depth of winter in Whitehorse.
“There was an art show that was happening that was essentially calling for different artists to collaborate with somebody they would normally not have the opportunity to collaborate with to make work that reflects the winter and pushes you outside your comfort zone. It was suggested that we pair up,” said Cashen. “A lot of the stuff I was doing before this was heavily influenced by the winter season and Ryan too.”
McNally offered a handful of songs from his solo writing and Cashen eagerly filled spaces with reverb-soaked vocals and backbeats. Between them, a combination of traditional sounding folk melodies with ghostly harmonies and vintage electronics emerged. The winter soundtrack was placed onto an split EP with another Yukon-based sing/songwriter, Jona Barr of Old Cabin. Old Time Machine also released their first full album on April 10.
“It all was really fast. We had done a bunch of the recording for the full length awhile ago, but we really wanted to do something with Old Cabin. We got together and made it happen in a weekend. It was pretty intense,” said Cashen.
With the help of producer/engineer Jordy Walker the group developed a sound for both the EP and full length album that feels like it should be heard playing on a tube radio in a dimly lit bar.
McNally sings and plays a kick drum and high hats while rotating guitar, banjo, mandolin and ukulele. Cashen uses echo, drum machines, a pedal bass, floor tom, ride cymbal, snare and tambourine. The duo of one-man bands face one another across a sea of percussion, strings and wood-paneled devices. Found on the full length release is the song Pouring Rain, one of Cashen’s favourites. McNally’s voice cruises smoothly over the banjo with drum and effects of Cashen.
“I really love the way it turned out. That one seemed to come together a bit quicker and naturally,” said Cashen.
The band strikes a balance between references to the early days of pop and rock music, dreamy textures and even elements of hip hop. Old Time Machine finds a way to embrace their influences while sounding unmistakably new.
Opening for them in Penticton at Voodoo’s is Wesley James at 8 p.m.