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Bishop Morocco

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In the Fall of 2008, two old friends from Toronto, Canada met in a town in the Northern Netherlands. Jake Fairley had spent the past 6 years based in Berlin, riding a wave of European techno hits released on labels such as Border Community and Kompakt. James Sayce had been in Toronto, pursuing graduate studies while handling his duties in such bands as Tangiers and earlier, the Deadly Snakes. Their long-standing friendship had not manifested itself into a musical project since their early teens, and they had decided to re-ignite a creative conversation that had been put on hold over ten years earlier. Their musical paths had taken divergent, almost opposing courses, and yet, they decided to combine their pedigrees into one particular sound. That is Bishop Morocco.

Amidst the greyness and never-ending drizzle of Groningen, they used the geographical disconnection from everyone they knew to focus on creating a new kind of pop music. They built a studio into their rowhouse apartment and toiled away, taking breaks for deep fried Dutch delicacies served through automat windows and 50 cent Heinekens guzzled ironically at the local bar’s International Students’ night.

Their sound references Americana as much as Brit-pop. Their influences range from Roy Orbison and Angelo Badalamenti to the Smiths and New Order. The result can be found somewhere between the soundtrack to Twin Peaks and the Madchester sound. Dark but full of hope, a reflection on their shared youth in Parkdale and the Annex neighborhoods of West-Central Toronto, juxtaposed against the history and cultural wasteland of small-town Europe.

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