Whether he’s fronting postrock unit In Medias Res or crafting ambient soundscapes as Holy Hum, Andrew Lee is a seasoned talent with a pristine vision. On Holy Hum’s latest releases, Appendix A + B and Appendix C, the latter a poignant tribute to Lee’s late father, the singer-songwriter layers softly glowing drones with synth, guitar, and cello. They creep over you like tendrils of mist and leave a long-lasting impression.
Best local release other than yours: “Why Live? by Tim the Mute. My friend Mark Soo, who is a brilliant artist, gave me a bit of musical advice back in 2009, a basic concept that I can’t adhere to, because I lack the refined sense of humour. He told me to ‘never sing a sad song sad.’ There are moments on Why Live? where you can’t tell if Tim is trying to be funny or tragically heartbreaking. I admire that contrast.”
The year’s best gig: “It wasn’t technically a gig, but I got invited to jam with members of the seminal art-rock band U-J3RK5 and had a pretty transformative experience. There was a lot of freeform experimental expression. I wasn’t so much a part of it as I was standing outside of it, watching and hearing it unfold in front of me. I thought these old geezers would be Eric Clapton fare, but they seriously blew me out of the water and are on another plane of freedom when it comes to jamming.”
Best album ever: “The most formative album for me and one that I always return to is Nirvana’s In Utero. It has a lot of different points of entry thematically and aesthetically. It’s sonically abrasive and at times sounds very vulnerable and earnest. The record also references smell a lot, so it has a palpable feeling when you listen to it. And it’s the record that I obsessed over in Grade 5 while learning to play the guitar and starting my first band.”
Francesco Aquilini’s paying—Where’s dinner? “Who is Francesco Aquilini and why is he buying me dinner? If I’m eating out, I’m usually at Au Petit Café [4851 Main Street]. I’ll get a bowl of pho, a chicken banh mi sandwich, and a Vietnamese iced coffee poured over sweet condensed milk. Or you can find me at the H-Mart food court [590 Robson Street] eating jajangmyeon and soondae.”
In the spirit of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “I Really Like You”, who do you really, really like? “I really like Dan Bejar’s hair.”
You won Lotto Max. Where’s your club opening up? “I would open up a venue in any one of the unoccupied condos in Vancouver and do small house shows. But if that was considered illegal, I would open up a venue on the rooftop of the Wing Sang Building in Chinatown [51 East Pender Street].”