The acclaimed Yukon pop-funk band Major Funk is proud to debut their second album, The In Between, in Whitehorse.
Following the success of their premiere studio album Is That You?, which was nominated for a West Coast Music Award in 2021, the band was planning a tour, but as with so many things, the pandemic put a halt to that. They kept busy by playing a few live-stream shows, but a lot of their creative energies in recent years went into writing and recording this new album.
“Here we are – post-pandemic, or mostly post-pandemic – we’re now kind of emerging and have this to show for it,” laughs Adrian Burrill, vocalist, trumpeter and songwriter for the band.
While Burrill hesitates to call this second album a pandemic project, he says he can’t deny that some of the songs are indeed about COVID-19. Major Funk took this weird moment of societal flux, caught between before and after the pandemic, and worked that theme into a lot of the album’s lyrics. Exploring that concept led to a reflection on intervening spaces in our lives, of appreciating the time in between significant life moments, and not taking the little moments for granted.
“I kind of viewed it as picturing this fantasy land of the in between; it’s not quite before, not quite after, not here, not there. But in between.”
For this album, Major Funk was able, through funding and much-appreciated community support, to hire local filmmakers and choreographers to create music videos for two of the tracks, “Reciprocity” and “Interstitial”. Burrill says they were glad to have the opportunity to have a pair of breakdancers, Oleksii Ogarov and Kasper Höglund, who are refugees from Ukraine, bring their own unique perspective to the theme.
“They’re very talented,” says Burrill.
“If you check out our YouTube video, and our website, majorfunkmusic.com, their full details are on there.”
Following this album debut in Whitehorse, Major Funk is hoping to tour new locales, but haven’t hammered out all the details yet. While they’ve played many shows in the Yukon and the west coast and intend to do a local leg with shows in Dawson City and Haines Junction this summer, they haven’t yet had the chance to share their music with the East Coast.
“Just get more people’s ears listening to our music is the goal”, says Burrill.
“[We] get a lot of joy and satisfaction out of making music that people want to move their bodies to. It’s about making connections and making friends and relationships.”
The In Between comes out on April 14, and Major Funk will be putting on a couple shows in Whitehorse to celebrate.
First will be a smaller, more intimate show at the Heart of Riverdale, available to all ages, with ticket options for youth and seniors, as well as adults. The following night, there will be a show at the Local Bar, with a potentially more boisterous atmosphere, and a surprise or two in store for the audience.
“We’re going to play acoustic songs, play the album and a bunch of our other tunes (on April 14),” says Burrill.
“Then the next night is just a big old bash, where we’ll play a few sets of music late into the night. We’ve got a few surprises up our sleeve; we want to have some surprise appearances and special things to make it not just the everyday show, something a little bit more than an album release.”
The In Between will be available online April 14 “anywhere you listen to music,” says Burrill.
There will be vinyl and merch available at both shows and online, and tickets can be purchased at majorfunkmusic.com or at the door.
Storm Blakley is a freelance writer and poet based in Whitehorse.