On Our Radar: Vanessa Dee & The Brightsides shine on new local label, Heartache No. 2 Records

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      There’s a new label in town.

      Heartache No. 2 Records is the joint vision of friends and collaborators Vanessa Dandurand and Eugene Parkomenko. While perhaps best known for being members of soul garage rockers The Ballantynes and heavy metal stalwarts Bison, respectively, both have also been longtime champions of Vancouver’s local music scene: Parkomenko owned and operated Bully’s Studios for nearly a decade, while Dandurand helmed the boutique label LA-TI-DA Records. Now, they’re bringing their expertise and passion together to form a new imprint that will serve to support and showcase the artists they love, as well as their own projects—all with an outlaw edge.

      “Although we are not tethered to a genre, expect to see a focus on outsider country and heavy music of all kinds,” Dandurand and Parkomenko said in a statement. “Our hearts are always pulled towards art with intensity and integrity that is deeply and undeniably human.”

      Which perfectly represents Heartache No. 2’s inaugural release: Loving Longing Leaving, by Vanessa Dee & The Brightsides.

      In Dandurand’s first offering of original material since The Ballantynes, the EP tips its hat to country music traditions with heartfelt songs and the use of classic instrumentation like pedal steel guitar. Whistles and “yee haws!” on tracks like “No Matter Where” add a playfulness to the sweeping drama of ballads such as “She Dreams of Snakes,” all propelled by Dandurand’s smoky and soulful voice.

      In celebration of the label’s launch and the release of Loving Longing Leaving, Heartache No. 2 is throwing a big bash at the Wise Hall this week that features a stacked lineup of performances by Parkomenko’s Uncle Eug & The Dirtybirds, Chance Lovett, Victoria Black, Buck Nothin’ (a new project from BRASS guitarist Tristan Milne), DJ Pennytentiary, and drag artist Shanda Leer.

      Get your tickets and put your cowboy boots on for what promises to be a foot-stompin' good time.

      Vanessa Dee & The Brightside’s release and Heartache No. 2’s launch party takes place on February 17 at the Wise Hall. Tickets are available now.