Peirson - Wild Ones
Peirson Ross, aka just plain Peirson, is a multi-instrumentalist from Toronto. He recently released his sixth studio album, Wild Ones, an album which he says is “dedicated to wildlife and to those living the ‘wild life.’" What this means is that he’s created an album rooted in nature, an album which addresses both the majesty of the natural world, as well as the mess which we’ve managed to make of it.
Incredibly, Ross plays each of the 20+ instruments himself and also designed and created the beautiful artwork. Each tile on the cover holds a paper-cut image of one of sixteen Canadian animals, and along with the songs, Ross intends for them to “represent the ten provinces, three territories and three oceans that reside within these fragile Canadian habitats.” Ross says that his aim was to marry “art, music and design for the greater social good.”
If you visit the Peirson Soundcloud page, you can see each tile in more detail. What’s really cool about this is that each tile has some information on the species of animal it depicts, including its common name, its binomial name and its conservation status in Canada. All of the information was obtained from COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) so it’s all legit and scientifically accurate. So why not listen to the album and learn a little about each animal as you go? Did you know that the burrowing owl, Atlantic salmon and beluga whale are all classified as endangered? Or that species such as the harlequin duck and polar bear are now classed as requiring special concern?
You can even play the fun game of trying to match the tile to the song. For example, there is a repeated line in the track ‘The Year That Winter Never Came’ which goes, ”Like the sun shining through the rain, a message from the lonesome whooping crane”, and if you look up the track on the , the art for the track features (you guessed it) a whooping crane.
Musically, Wild Ones sounds pretty much as you’d expect one man’s love letter to the natural world to sound. You could define it using the umbrella phrase “folk”, but with the 20+ instruments on show that doesn’t really do it justice. Fans of JBM (or Jesse Marchant as we’re calling him now) will like it, as will fans of more straightforward singer-songwriters (online biographies mention Nick Drake and Ray LaMontagne a lot). Let’s just say that it is as diverse and beautiful as the landscapes and habitats which inspired it.
Ross puts it best himself when he says, “Wild Ones is a dedication album not only for endangered species and their natural habitats at risk but also for the independent thinkers who have fought to preserve their wild sub-culture, rituals, values and essential spirit that was born out of our natural world. This is for the wild ones.”
You can buy the album right now via the Peirson Bandcamp page.