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Band on the rise
Roughcuts working on releasing original material

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The members of a rising band in Rankin Inlet are preparing to take the next step in their musical journey.

NNSL photo/graphic

Jordan Simms, Evan Morrison and Jon Powell, back row from left, and Esther Powell, front, are the rising Rankin Inlet band, Roughcuts. - photo courtesy of the Roughcuts

The Roughcuts -- keyboardist and vocalist Esther Powell, drummer Jon Powell, guitarist Jordan Simms and bassist Evan Morrison -- recently recorded and mixed the song, Qauyimagit.

The band describes it as an anti-suicide song celebrating life; recorded in response to the 2012 suicides in Rankin and across Nunavut.

Roughcuts have also recorded two others, so far, which will be on a new extended play the band hopes to release this spring.

Esther, whose roots are in gospel music, said 2012 was a rough time for Rankin.

She said the band, having been together for a couple of years, decided the time was right to start working on original material.

"We sat down to discuss songwriting and talk about what theme we were looking for with our material," said Esther.

"We were all on the page in wanting to introduce a song celebrating life and focusing on the positives.

"The song talks about the struggles we can all face at some point in our lives, but there's always hope.

"The struggles will eventually pass if we hang in there, and seek help and talk to someone if we need to."

Esther said balance is necessary when dealing with suicide.

She said it's not good to keep it covered up, nor to talk about it all the time.

"If someone is struggling, they should be encouraged to talk to someone.

"I don't like to try and avoid talking about suicide, that's for sure."

Roughcuts have also finished work on two other songs for the extended play.

The band has been recording at home, working with a digital audio workstation and an audio interphase capable of taking up to 16 simultaneous tracks.

Esther's husband and bandmate, Jon, said he's excited to be entering a new phase of musical progression.

He said it's pretty cool to be at the point of producing original material.

"We started from humble beginnings, and now're we're moving on and trying to grow as a band," said Jon.

"It's exciting to travel and play different places.

"We're not adding a lot of extra stuff to our songs because, while we want to put out a decent recording, we also want to be able to duplicate it with a four-piece live.

"We're aiming at six originals and I'm trying to get permission to do two covers, so we're, probably, looking at an eight song extended play."

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