Jesse Northey and Doug Hoyer – Signs of Life (single)

A union of minds is a common thing for those of us raised online, but a physical collaboration between artists across such expansive geographies as ours can be a rare thing. Thus, I think it fair to regard this gem, a lonely single without a format, something of a miracle. One of the liveliest movers and shakers in Lethbridge, one Jesse Northey of Jesse and the Dandelions, became acquainted with Edmonton’s favourite iPod/ukelele crooner Doug Hoyer. The pair of pop savantes decided to set a date, meet in Lethbridge, and write and record something over a long weekend. The result is this haunting post-ballad. Although the song deploys the well-worn imagery of a heart beat/ vital signs/ etc, the track manages to capture some kind of elusive magic in its combination of synth beds, James Bond guitar lines, and acoustic guitar strumming in the chorus swells. The talent of each voice balances to a perfect equilibrium, delivering a humble and sustaining aura, and the utterance of the last spoken line is as addictive as anything ever put to mp3.

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