Station 4: Content by Consent
Maybe you’re in some bar with your friends and you need to go to the bathroom so you get up and you walk past this shelf where someone left a white cassette taped to a postcard. Now you, being the curious type, have a choice to make. If you choose it, then that discovery in all of its WTF-ness is yours now. And that sort of thing doesn’t happen everyday.
Or two of your friends mention they were part of a studio audience for a band’s show but it wasn’t in a bar, it’s on YouTube. You’ve got fifteen minutes while dinner’s on the stove so you track it down and check it out. While finding it, you might have scrolled past a lot of great people in your feed promoting their various ventures. This one, though, you did the work to find. You had just heard good things.
You consented. You chose. I was thinking a lot about that when I came up with some of these ideas I’ve been trying out for the new music I’ve decided to call Station 4.
If you’ve found a Station 4 cassette card in a bar or cafe and chosen it, thank you. If you got wind of Station 4 somehow, maybe watched a “Times Five” episode and found your own way here, I love it. You said yes to something weird and new from someone trying hard to find new ways to reach you. And maybe you had to do a little bit extra to sniff out what Station 4 was, but now it’s yours, and I hope it has a chance to open itself up for you and do its thing.
Five songs make up the debut EP. Between them in a hazy way, they stretch over experiences of mine that have been at times elating, numbing, soothing, maddening, and inspiring. Relationships ending in weird stalemates and new exciting ones starting up; my previous band finally making its own kind of triumph before cracking apart at the seams; the winking shrug of new things learned opening up problems you had no idea could exist.
The EP was recorded in the winter of 2016-17 with Derek Downham producing and Tim Foy engineering at The Nelson Room in Toronto. Derek played tons of instruments, I did guitars and sang, and we were helped out on vocals by Gillian Story and Sarafina Di Felice. Immediately I recognized and loved the way some of my listening obsessions emerged distinctly, but also hung together as something new: the chilly Big Star-style intensity of “It’s Nice,” mixed with the shoegazey doo-wop of “Try Me” and “Yesterday’s Makeup” for example. I was having visions of the Shangri-Las and Teenage Fanclub on some kind of time-traveling double bill. We knew in the studio something uncommon was going on.
I’m still so into these songs, and of course I want to see them out in the world, socializing and making friends. (Getting invited to parties?) In this day and age there are a lot of ways to get them to reach a lot of people. But getting a page view isn’t the same to me as winning a new fan, which means so much more. Fans aren’t just reached, they’re affected. So when I thought hard about the music that’s affected me when I’ve needed it most, it was the music that I went and looked for. And the music I chose to let in.
So take it if you want. It’s free, it’s yours, you’re the best. Thanks.
— Rob Webster