The COVID-19 pandemic has stopped a lot of things from happening over the past year, but it did not stop local singer-songwriter Phil Bulmer from writing, recording and releasing his debut EP.
Bulmer released the three-song EP entitled April Rain on April 1 through New York-based One RPM making it available through most online vendors and streaming services including, but not limited to: Spotify, Apple, Deezer, YouTube, Pandora, Tidal, Napster and Amazon.
The three songs range from the wistful title track “April Rain,” which Bulmer describes as “a song of emotional challenges and hope” to the rock anthem “Pink Diamonds” which he says empowers women “to leave behind abusive relationships and trust in their own abilities.
The final track, “Damn the Revolution” was born of the pandemic itself, exploring the themes of isolation and changing times.
The EP features a number of musicians who recorded tracks in various locations, all observing proper COVID-19 protocols, a press release stated.
In addition to Bulmer on guitars and vocals, these include Dave Friend on guitars and bass; Randall Stoll on drums; Allie Bean on keyboards, piano and background vocals; Colin Maskell on saxophones; Naomi Kavka on cello; Jake Jenne on percussion and Dawn Pemberton on background vocals.
It also features lyric-writing collaborations with Jade Bell and Cheryl Elson getting credits on “April Rain” and “Damn the Revolution” respectively.
“Bulmer was raised in Smithers and has many memories of guitar lessons with James Hay, Ole Johnson, and Bob Walker,” the release said.
“He also reminisces about playing with a neighbourhood friend Josh Sketchley and listening to (Josh’s) Dad, Wayne Sketchley, a very proficient musician, who encouraged them both.”
With the EP release behind him, Bulmer is now focused on recording 12 more tracks before September with studios in Victoria, Smithers, and Edmonton.