A nerve-wracking return

PS I Love You is back in Kingston after a North American tour

PS I Love You playing this year's Wolfe Island Music Festival.
PS I Love You playing this year's Wolfe Island Music Festival.
Photo: 
Corey Lablans

After touring North America for the last two months, you’d think PS I Love You would be happy to return home. But for Paul Saulnier and Benjamin Nelson Kingston is their hardest stop.

“[Performances are] a little bit more stressful than on tour because you have to play for your friends and family, which is kind of scary,” singer and guitarist Saulnier said.

Saulnier said this tour was emotionally exhausting, but it allowed the band to play tracks from Figure It Out, a recent collection of singles and EPs. Most notable on the August release is a duet, “Leftovers,” with pal Diamond Rings — the stage name of artist John O’Regan. Saulnier said he had written the music for the song, but was struggling with the lyrics.

“I couldn’t for the life of me come up with any lyrics, and I played it for [O’Regan] and he just sort of went with it,” Saulnier said. “We kind of just sat together in Kingston and finished writing the song together.”

“Leftovers” was released digitally in February and physically in March. Most of the songs on Figure It Out are reworkings of past material.

“It’s actually not really anything new except for a couple of cover tunes,” Saulnier said. “We just wanted to have it out on one nice record for everyone to get while we went on tour.”

The band covers Madonna’s “Where’s the Party” and Rush’s “Subdivisions.” Other songs are from Saulnier’s time as a solo artist including “Facelove” and “Scattered.” The songs also appeared on the band’s 2010 release Meet Me at the Muster Station where Nelson’s drumming replaced Saulnier’s Casio drum machine from his solo days. The Figure It Out version of these songs premieres a less polished sound.

Figure It Out sort of compiles a history of the band outside of our album,” Saulnier said. “It doesn’t really make a lot of sense when you compare it to our other releases.

“I’m leaving it up to the listener to figure things out for themselves.”

In time for Figure It Out’s release on Aug. 30, the band enlisted the help of friend Colin Medley to film the video for “Leftovers.” Medley travelled with PS I Love you on their tour this past spring.

“He documented a lot of that tour and he made a photo-book of his experiences too,” Saulnier said. “He also has tons of other footage ... I have no idea what he’s going to do with it, and I’m scared of it.”

The video features Saulnier cooking a meal for Nelson and O’Regan.

“It was a simple, sort of fun night of all those friends hanging out,” he said. “[Medley] combined it with footage [from] about two dozen different concerts strung together of us playing that song every night.”

Now back in Kingston, Saulnier doesn’t have much reason to indulge in the vegetarian food that he calls his specialty. Instead he favours eating at the Sleepless Goat, where he did a co-op for seven years.

“I used to make all the desserts there,” he said, “So that’s probably my favourite place.”

But returning home isn’t about comfort food and relaxation for the duo. The band is working on a new album.

“We’re about halfway done on another record, and the record will hopefully come out by the spring,” Saulnier said. “We’d like to take some time and just hang out in Kingston and record some songs.

“It all happens in Kingston.”

PS I Love You plays the Grad Club tomorrow night. Doors open at 9 p.m. The show starts at 10 p.m.

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July 26, 2011

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