The Librarian’s Latest EP is a “Love Letter to Nightlife”
The Librarian’s Latest EP is a “Love Letter to Nightlife”March 25, 2022
As a champion of the North American bass music scene, Andrea Graham (aka The Librarian) is one of Canada’s most well-known and beloved low-end acts.
A classically trained artist, she’s been fully immersed in the electronic music scene for over a decade. Her boundless sound moves through UKG, breakbeats, jungle, footwork, drum & bass, dubstep, and more, assembled and produced with massive sound systems and open-air venues in mind.
In 2009, Graham organized the first edition of Bass Coast Festival, which has become one of the world’s most forward-thinking and lively bass music events. Growing from a 400 person event in the woods of BC, Canada, that focused on local talent to an internationally recognized gathering with huge acts and a loyal following, Graham’s reputation as a tastemaker and community-builder is well known amongst the scene.
After a two-year hiatus, Bass Coast Festival returns for its 12th edition on July 8th, 2022, and the hype building around the event is palpable. In addition, Graham has been hard at work in the studio, laying down a new EP titled miss u via her Chapter Three Records imprint.
We caught up with Andrea Graham to learn more about the sound and themes behind her latest EP, what she has been up to the past two years, the excitement building around this year’s Bass Coast event, and more.
Thanks for joining us, Andrea! How’s your 2022 been?
Thank you for having me! 2022 has been off to a great start between releasing brand new music and playing some incredible festivals and club shows. It feels so good to be back playing IRL again! Every show has been full of energy and appreciation for the moment. Highlights of the last two months include playing the Natural Selection x Stay Wild Festival, Okeechobee Festival, and supporting Of the Trees in Denver last weekend. This has all led up to the release of my new EP titled miss u. It will be coming out later this month!
You’re a classically trained musician. How has that shaped your dance music productions?
I love melody and chord structure and I love teasing these elements into dance music. On the new EP you can hear my piano background in “Impulse,” “Vengeance,” and “miss u.” These tracks are driven by arps and melody. I love to sit down and jam on the keys and then pull out my favourite parts and use them as the central theme of the track.
When did you first fall in love with electronic music?
I played in bands in my early ‘20s but listened to a lot of electronic music at that time too. One summer I was visiting friends in Nelson and one night we ended up at Shambhala Music Festival (this was early on when you could still buy tickets at the gate!). That night truly set me on a new path. It was the first time I experienced an outdoor sound system with electronic music. I stood there and immediately knew that I wanted to and would do that. I went home, found some gear to borrow, and started to teach myself how to DJ. That following winter I downloaded Logic and tried to find my way around production software. I never turned back!
What’s behind The Librarian moniker?
Haha, my best friend and business partner in Bass Coast Festival, Liz Thomson, named me. There are many layers of why I am the Librarian. First, I used to make mix CDs and give them to all my friends. They were very eclectic, pulling from the many, many styles in my music library. Second, my sets are a sharp contrast to the quiet environment of a library, and three, I just can’t help but look like a librarian — it’s the glasses!
Your miss u EP is your first release since your “Moon Illusion” single in 2020. What have you been up to since?
During the pandemic, I took time to make music for myself with no particular goal. I wrote music that made me feel good and as the collection of tracks grew, I discovered that they all shared something in common. They were love letters to the nightlife we were all missing while in lockdown. These tracks turned into my new EP and it feels fitting to be sharing them now as we are emerging from a two-year pause. Aside from writing music I was quite busy navigating Bass Coast Festival (along with our team) through the pandemic. For fun and for sanity, I also spent a lot of time mountain biking and snowboarding. I’m fortunate to live in the mountains.
The lead single, “Howe Sound,” is named after a region in BC. Why did you choose this as your title and lead single?
I live in Howe Sound where the ocean meets the mountains just north of Vancouver, BC. It is where I learned to appreciate beauty in the colour grey. Mist floats up from the rainforest canopy painting pictures in the sky. Winters are dark and cool but when you embrace the wet environment it is powerful and moving. The first single captures the mood of winters in Howe Sound.
You’ve called your new miss u EP an “ode to the rave, to the dance floor, and to the wildly eccentric community of music lovers who were separated over the past two years.” What would you say is one of the things you missed the most about your close-knit community, and how did those feelings of longing work themselves into your new EP?
The thing I missed the most is that special moment at a show when everything comes together and the dance floor and I both get lost in the moment of a set. It’s the moment when everything else melts away and everybody is moving together and feeling the same energy and sound. miss u is dedicated to that feeling. It’s exciting and a little wild and it can only happen when we are together.
Bass Coast Festival is returning this year for the first time since 2020. How are you feeling, and what can we expect?
We are thrilled to be coming back this summer on July 8-11. It feels like a very special reunion and we can’t wait to be back together with our team and everyone who comes to the festival, for the first time in almost three years. This year we are adding some new elements to the festival including new stages and more installation art. We have an incredible lineup planned which will be announced in early April. Tickets are limited and are moving very quickly.
Finally, what’s next for you this year?
I’m looking forward to playing some really great festivals. This spring/summer I’ll be down at Untz Festival, Lightning in a Bottle, and Beyond Wonderland PNW, Bass Coast, and Shambhala Music Festival. I’m also working on some exciting remixes for two of my favourite artists. The fall is lining up to be great with a tour in the works and hopefully more time in the studio. It feels great to be back in the swing of things.
The Librarian’s miss u EP is out now via Chapter Three Records. Check it out on Beatport.
Cameron Holbrook is Beatportal’s North American editor. Find him on Twitter.