Brood & Bloom captures the light after darkness

Kasador plays surprise album release concert at Toucan

Boris Baker, Cam Wyatt, Will Hunter, Stephen Adubofuor.
From Kasador's Facebook page

Kingston’s own Kasador came back this week for a surprise concert celebrating their debut album.

On Oct. 3, Kasador played to a crowd at The Toucan with openers The Wilderness and Dan Taylor band.

After their last Kingston performance at Rockin’ the Big House, Kasador’s Will Hunter said that it was something they never thought they’d do. The band started in Kingston when Hunter, Cam Wyatt, and Boris Baker were students at Queen’s, so the Penitentiary is a familiar presence for the three.

Their newest member, Stephen Adubofuor, joined the band in 2018, and is from Ottawa where he had met Wyatt years prior. This wasn’t his first Kingston show, though. The musician played with the band when they opened for The Glorious Sons back in February 2018.

On the Rockin’ the Big House show, Wyatt said it was surreal—he kept forgetting that they were actually inside the old maximum-security prison.

“We had to keep checking ourselves,” Wyatt said in an interview with The Journal. “You could see photos from 100 years ago, when they had private concerts in there.”

When asked if they had any hesitations about performing in the Penitentiary, given its dark history, they focused on the positive aspects of what a charity concert could do for Kingston.

“I looked at the bigger picture: we were looking at [it like,] this can do a lot for at-risk youth and it’s raising money that can—in theory—prevent people from going to prison later,” Baker said.

With that show now in their rearview, the band is gearing up for the release of their debut full length album, Brood & Bloom.

They started working on this album as far back as 2017, gathering stories and inspiration for what would eventually become the 12-track album. Sadness, confusion, and changes within the band laid way to the dark themes of the songs.

“Towards the end of 2017, we went through some band-member changes. My father passed away, there was a lot of change happening, and it wasn’t great,” Hunter said. “We took some time off in 2018 and decided that we didn’t want this to end. We wanted this to work.”

After making that decision, they got back in the studio and wrote Brood & Bloom.

One track on the album that calls on these darker times in the performers’ lives is “Again for Me.” With lyrics like, “I’ve been waiting on a sunny day/ All I seem to get is rain/ I still feel you in my blood/ You’re still your father’s son,” it’s clear that these songs were written during a time of emotional difficulty.

Hunter’s father was a songwriter through the 70s and 80s, and always part of a band. This inspired Hunter’s love of music and led him to pursue a similar path.

“I inherited some of his unfinished songs, and one of them was called ‘You’re Still Your Father’s Son.’ I wanted to do something with this song when I was working on songs for the album, but nothing was clicking,” Hunter said.

Then a year ago, he had his chance to put it to use.

Messing around in the studio, Hunter started voicing his experience and talking through the feelings he had about his father’s death. Soon after, the song came together naturally.

The last song on the album, “Undone,” touches on the fear of never finding what you’ve been working toward.

“I’ll always feel unsatisfied with what I’m doing, and that scares me a little. No matter what [I’ve] achieved or who I love or what I do, I’ll always feel like I want more, and I’m scared that I’ll never feel a true satisfaction no matter what I do,” Wyatt said.

The end of the last chord in the song loops back into where the first track of the album starts.

“It’s a reprise to the first song on the album […] with the whole of the album being that you’re going to go through something really tough and shitty, but you come out the other end better for it,” Baker said. “You can persevere through one thing, but another thing is probably going to come up. It’s an ongoing battle.”

The tracks are meant to loop from the end back to the start to reflect this cyclical emotional journey.   

Though the songs came from bad times for the band members, they hope they can use them to give something positive to their listeners.

“I hope people find a couple of songs and can latch onto the idea that, even though you might be going through something tough right now, you do have the power to turn that into a positive,” Baker said.

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