"Asbestos," the new track from Gay, Toronto's jangle-prog quartet, starts with a meta-lyrical flourish: "I wanted to write a song 'bout Asbestos." And they did, a whole three years ago, on a 12" split with a fellow veteran of local glam pin-ups Foxfire, Sexy Merlin. But that was before either Gay or Pleasence, the label they recorded for (now one of our favourites), had made a name for themselves, and, save for a few local press mentions, never made huge waves.
Now, in advance of a UK tour, Gay is putting out a new mixtape, To The Choir, and decided to give the epic, tropical-tinged tune its proper due. Listen to the new version, below.
Gay member Tom Avis explains:
"It's kind of got a weird history. We recorded it a few years ago for a split that Ben Cook produced. That was in the early days of Pleasence and of the band, before we'd figured out that its generally a good idea to tell people when you put a record out, so it never really went out into the world in a real way. As we were doing a mixtape we thought it would be a nice opportunity to tweak the mix, change the intro, and put it out properly. Ben and Sean [Dunal, of Sexy Merlin], took it in a really neat, weird direction."
Besides Ben Cook (of Fucked Up, No Warning, Y Club and so much more) and Sexy Merlin, To The Choir also features production work from Slim Twig, and a remix from Digits. For a certain sector of the Canadian music scene (the one you'll probably see at whatever bar show you're going to tonight), that's a dream team.
Gay's To The Choir is out Tuesday, April 29 on Heart Throb. Pre-order the cassette here.