Petunia & the Vipers conjure western, swing, rockabilly and punk melodies on new album

Petunia and no Vipers
Petunia and no Vipers

Sometimes a record is able to pull you in on the first listen, and sometimes it takes a few spins for the songs to grow on you. Petunia believes his new album Inside of You falls into the latter category and recommends at least 10 listens before discounting it—if you’re going to discount it, that is.

“It’s just one of those albums … there’s one bona fide pop hit,” he says, referencing the track “The One Thing.” “There’s a couple of songs like that that draw people in, but other than that they’re not overtly hits, you know?”

Inside of You, the sophomore follow-up to 2012’s Petunia & the Vipers, is a richly diverse sonic cacophony of western, swing, rockabilly and punk melodies, a statement of Petunia’s own multifarious musical experience. It seems fitting then that an equally multifaceted group of musicians would be required to create the album, which was recorded over the course of three days in Vancouver.

“It came as a surprise. I wasn’t thinking about making an album, but then the recording space became available,” Petunia explains. “I just sort of threw caution to the wind and phoned all of my favourite musicians in Vancouver and saw who could be available and who couldn’t be available and put together three different bands.”

Each group—which included Petunia’s backing band the Vipers along with an alternative group, an alt-country group and a gypsy band—was given three or four songs that Petunia felt would suit their styles and abilities along with a demo of Petunia playing the song. From there they had a week to get up to speed in order to record—one band actually only had one rehearsal prior to studio time. But Petunia had enlisted pros he felt were up to the task, including Neko Case’s guitar player Paul Rigby, Lache Cercel and Kathleen Nisbet on violin, JP Carter on horns and Frank Fairfield on guitar, banjo and violin.

“[I] thought, what would make this fun for me? Because I don’t know what I’m going to do when I get to the studio, and then I thought, well, I’ve always wanted to play with these other guys,” says Petunia, who used songs he had been playing in his live set for some time along with tracks he finished prior to studio time. “It’s a real sumptuous sonic feast.” 

Wed, Jul 2 (7:30 pm)
Artery, $10



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