Premiere: JoJo Worthington – “Parallel”

by Laura Stanley

Last Spring, Michael characterized JoJo Worthington’s album \\ (Two Lines) as “at once sweeping and grand and extremely intimate.” Released through the Barrie-based record label Epoch Tapes, Worthington’s record was such an inspiration for her Epoch family, they decided to honour it in a pretty special way.

Parallel, streaming below, is the companion album to Two Lines. Producers and artists from within the Epoch Tapes family – including newcomer R. Grice and buzzy artist Mappe Of – took the sounds from Worthington’s record and deconstructed them to create new pieces; what they’re calling “unmixes.”

Last week JoJo and I hung out in St. James Park in Toronto. We talked about our love of Sufjan Stevens, dismal Tinder prospects, and Parallel. We also saw a Dalmatian puppy (cute!), wandered inside St. James Cathedral (gorgeous!) and very briefly joined a Haunted Walk tour (weird!). Here’s an excerpt from our hang out:

LS: What was the biggest difference between putting out your last record and Two Lines?

JW: A huge change in terms of communication and production wise. I felt with 7 I was always fighting with my engineer. Fighting about what I wanted to sound like because he wasn’t excited about experimentation. He was very much a pop producer. When we did Two Lines, I was most afraid about that but this time it was so smooth. I felt that Connory [Ballantyne, co-founder of Epoch Tapes] would say a lot of the things that I was already thinking. Of course, [Ballantyne and co-founder Will Crann] are great guys and hilarious and they were super easy to work with. There’s always conflict with art between people but they understood what I wanted and they understood the vision which is the most important thing.

LS: Parallel is a companion album to Two Lines – why do you feel Two Lines needed a partner?

JW: Sometimes I feel disconnected. I don’t get to see Connory and Will everyday. I don’t get to see other artists on Epoch everyday so this was important to me because I wanted to bridge that and feel more connected with them. I love all of the artists associated with Epoch and they inspire me so much so I’m so excited to release what they’ve made.

LS: It also must have been nice to have so many people want to be involved in the project.

JW: Yeah, that was very touching as well. To know that they respected that album so much in order to put effort into making something.

LS: Did you give them any direction or anything?

JW: I wasn’t involved in it at all and I was a little bit scared of that. I am controlling about my music but everything was done by them and I heard what they did later and I really liked it.

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