BILL JR. JR. (A.K.A. VANCOUVER SINGER-SONGWRITER RUSSELL GENDRON) TO RELEASE HOMEBODY ON JANUARY 26 | SINGLE “DEAR NEIGHBOUR” OUT NOW
On January 26th, Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Russell Gendron will proudly release Homebody, his third outing under the band moniker Bill Jr. Jr.
The mood on Homebody is personal, building on Gendron’s intimate and lyrical focus with the band’s big drums, soaring electric guitar, vintage keys and spacey textures. The arrangements shine, with thick string sections and rich vocal harmonies creating a lush and energizing result, which all comes through on the album’s 3rd single “Dear Neighbour” out today.
“‘Dear Neighbour’ is about a friend, we grew up together,” says Gendron. “She has a family now and became a successful architect, so this is about me reflecting on our different paths and where we are now.”
The video for “Dear Neighbour” was shot in 360 degrees creating a fun and interactive video experience, while showcasing Bill Jr. Jr.’s lo-fi 90s slacker vibe.
Following up his previous EP’s Volumes (2016) and The Motions (2017), Homebody chronicles a period of movement between cities: songs that emerged while Gendron floated back and forth between Vancouver and Montreal. Gendron also spent a pivotal winter at the Banff Centre in the Canadian Rockies, and there he came into contact with Toronto’s Daniel McNamara, whose bass playing and big-picture sensibilities as a producer would end up proving crucial to Homebody. While at Banff the two also met guitarist Dan Nettles, a pillar of the famed music scene in Athens, Georgia and leader of one of the Classic City’s best, and least classifiable, jazz groups, Kenosha Kid.
After Banff, Gendron reunited with McNamara in Toronto to workshop the songs for a hot week; then McNamara came to Montreal, where Gendron was stationed, and remained longer, deepening musical bonds as the songs continued to blossom. Nettles got looped in remotely and would send back guitar tracks, and the give-and-take of creative collaboration really started to flow — enough for Nettles to invite this incarnation of Bill Jr. Jr. down to Athens to make the album, at Chase Park Transduction Studios.
Birthplace of R.E.M., the B-52s and so many vital musical forces past and present, Athens is a haven for the offbeat and highly individual when it comes to songwriting. It’s also packed with talented musicians with a feel for serving the music, regardless of genre.
So Nettles excitedly called in some of his friends to record with engineer Drew Vanderberg: drummer Seth Hendershot, an imaginative singer and songwriter himself as well as proprietor of Hendershot’s, one of Athens’ most essential music venues; keyboardist Jojo Glidewell, who came to the studio at the eleventh hour, literally right after stepping off the tour bus with Athens-born indie phenom Of Montreal; Serena Scibelli and Luca Lombardi, on violin and bowed double bass respectively (Lombardi and Hendershot are current members of Nettles’ Kenosha Kid); and, joining Hendershot on backing vocals, accomplished Atlanta-based (formerly Athens-based) singer Ansley Stewart, and one-half of the inspired Athens indie-folk duo Hope for Agoldensummer, Claire Campbell.
“These songs are about my relationships to people and places, the cities I was living in,” says Gendron. “I was meeting all these people, there was a lot of transition going on.”
One thing that provided stability, however, was the band name Bill Jr. Jr.: “My middle name is William and I come from a long line of Bills,” Gendron adds. “I’m not Jr., I’m Jr. Jr. It’s the alias I use no matter who I’m playing with. The title Homebody came to represent how my home was changing in this period. Moving to Montreal, the Banff residency, then down to Athens, but Vancouver was always there. I was with myself the whole time, so I guess that was home, in my body.”
Bill Jr. Jr’s new single Dear Neighbour is available now on Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes, and other digital retailers and streaming services worldwide. His new album Homebody will be released on January 26th. For more information, please visit billjrjr.com.
Bill Jr. Jr.
Release Date: January 26, 2021