Art Rock from Vancouver BC
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Label: independent
since circa 2001
'This Is Your Blood All Over Me', the title of welkin's 3rd record--a double-album epic opus steeped in the wilderness--evokes provocative images and importantly hints at the experiential process Geoff Birch uses to write welkin songs. Retreating to the backwoods of British Columbia and getting away from the city has certainly given Birch a richer connection with the wonders of the natural elements and you can really feel it grow out at you through the music. In the aptly named song ‘Pride From The City Pried From My Heart’, the trapdoor is flung wide open and you are let in on this mystical rite:

"So I went out one night
Guitar in my hand
Feeling a song welling up in me
And I laid it down at the feet of the stars
In mountain arms I sang it loud
In the eagle’s cathedral
The bats in the belfry
The bear's baritone
The blue grouse beats on the kettle drum
So I headed for home free and alive"

Produced by Jonathan Anderson and Geoff Birch, 'This Is Your Blood All Over Me' was recorded and mixed in just 12 days. As a result of this intense focus, the album contains sonically brilliant broad brush strokes and has no shortage of bold shoot-from-the-hip moments. The collision of hundreds of days of artistic refinement with less than two weeks of studio time is part of this 83-minute record’s magic and charm.

On 'This Is Your Blood All Over Me' Geoff Birch (vocals, electric/accoustic guitars, glockenspiel, sounds+treatments) is joined by Jeff Powell (bass), Darren Birch (drums & percussion), Sam Masterton (lap slide), Jonathan Anderson (banjo, lap steel, organ, keys, bowed glockenspiel, percussion & additional electric guitar on Smoke And Mirrors, accoustic guitar on Seasons In The Wilds, omnichord), and Brett Ziegler (piano, Wurlitzer, Rhodes).

Formed in Vancouver in 2001, welkin's music--which roams from psychedelic folk through alt-country to art rock--has received many accolades for boldly exploring artistic wilderness. The band's discography includes the critically acclaimed debut 'No Ordinary Elephant' and their '3-Song 2004 EP' received excellent reviews. In 2005 welkin toured Canada in support of their sophomore record 'Strangers and Exiles' which was hailed by critics as an art rock triumph. With 2010’s ‘This Is Your Blood All Over Me’, welkin sets its sights on releasing the beast from its cage with live shows, free downloads and of course--with a nod and a middle finger to Mammon--record sales with all eyes on giving 100% of profits to charitable causes.

Welkin is the brainchild of singer, songwriter, producer, and musician Geoff Birch. He occasionally performs solo but most often with his band. He lives with his family in a cabin in the Cascade Mountains of Canada. To get closer to the music while in the recording studio, he secludes himself in darkness behind shrouds of curtains where he lays down all his vocal tracks in the nude.

For best listening results use headphones and secure yourself a beautiful view OR lug your speakers into your backyard and aim them at the 'welkin'.

Let the music do the rest.

What the critics have to say about welkin:

The Garage's Top 10 Local Records in 2011...
"This one might take time to absorb as it's a double CD with long songs. So it's not an apparent winner on the first listen. However, Geoff Birch seems like an earnest, poetic songsmith and his band, which can be as biting as Crazy Horse, seems flexible enough to follow him anywhere, through retrained quiet or unleashed loud."
-The Province, VANCOUVER

"Yeah, it clocks in at over 12 minutes [Cliffs part two] and we have a sneaking suspicion it’s a love song to Jesus, but as it moves through setting-the- woods-on-fire country rock and blistering, ragged-glory guitar solos, you just might get religion yourself."
-The Georgia Straight, VANCOUVER

"Geoff Birch is either presumptuously foolish or obstinately ambitious to release a double CD of 12 generally very long songs. Taking the latter view, This Is Your Blood...should be applauded for its "what the hell' recklessness, even if Welkin (Birch and a flexible, small band) could use an edit that would have resulted in a tighter and shorter record. As it is, the album is a combination of singer-writer fare with a little Neil Young And Crazy Horse dirt and clatter. Generous soloing while waiting for the lyrical/musical payoff. The songs are literate and poetic, generally, with Birch coming across as a romantic with an earnest viewpoint."
-The Province, VANCOUVER

"This Is Your Blood All Over Me is nothing short of epic. Birch’s lyrics ponder the natural and spiritual worlds and his place in each, but it’s the music that’s the real revelation here. The best word for numbers such as “Raven Falls” and “Seasons in the Wilds” might be expansive. Produced in collaboration with Jonathan Anderson (who is a past master at this sort of thing), these songs unwind slowly, melding down-in-the-canyon country-rock with ethereal space-prog in a way that brings to mind Neil Young fronting Pink Floyd. That’s a mighty nice thing to bring to mind, too."
-The Georgia Straight, VANCOUVER

"Not a sound has been overlooked, and nothing is misplaced on "Strangers & Exiles". The complexity of the arrangements is oft times awe-inspiring and mind-boggling, and just grows more so with each listen. Full of surreal imagery, the folding repetition of lyrics adds to the pulsing, melting, and swirling beauty of the beast, for "Strangers & Exiles" is a living and breathing thing."
-Soulshine, TORONTO

"While in Buffalo Springfield and during the first months of his solo career, Neil Young pursued an expansive, complex strain of symphonic rock that sounded like folk songs set adrift in outer space. Welkin, the six-year-old vehicle for Vancouver's Geoff Birch, sounds like what might have happened if Young had continued on that path."

"Welkin deliver the kind of imaginative, deep and textured rock that is the perfect soundtrack for dreams of storming the castle, surfing that endless summer wave or simply sitting stoned alone in your backyard. Welkin genuinely seem to have their finger on the sedated pulse of the stoner rock culture."

"Apparently, band mastermind Geoff Birch lives in a cabin in the Cascade Mountains for inspiration. Well, it worked. I'd say the LSD worked too, as he and the boys get down to business the way the Floyd used to. Good songs, good singin', good record."
-Nerve Magazine

"Equal parts smouldering, country-noir and prog-leaning soft rock, the 10 tracks on the groups independent debut have an expansive shimmering beauty, making them perfect for midnight stargazing, backwoods campfires, and clamping on the headphones in the wee hours."
-The Georgia Straight, VANCOUVER

"Pink Floyd and Radiohead would be proud. With that said, Geoff Birch keeps it real for Welkin as a band truly ready to tour Canada to sold out shows once realized. 'Small' is anything but, its the mood of the album, whereas 'Horses Heaving Under These Silver Stars' is pure gold and will be what pokes Geoff Birch and the boys in the gut and lead them to continued artistic brilliance."
-Soulshine, TORONTO

"Unusual for a Vancouver made record. Welkin, a trio led by Geoff Birch, is more concerned with mood so the punchline takes its time in coming. The songs on Welkin's CD tend to be lengthy, sometimes recalling progressive rock but sometimes bringing to mind the atmospheric tension (and beauty) of the lauded but little known Blue Nile."
-The Province, VANCOUVER

"A massive, ambient art rock record full of gorgeous, often exhausting epics. It's a mostly successful attempt at an organic Pink Floydian, Radioheadian album - a 70-plus minute journey inside of your mind, meant to take you far, far away from where you sit and into the furthest reaches of that wide open space."
-The Calgary Sun

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Geoff BirchSongwriter, Vocals, Guitars, sounds+treatments2001-present
Luke CollieDrums2010-present

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