Vancouver Singer-Songrwiter Russell Gendron A.K.A Bill Jr. Jr. Releases New 360 Music Video For The Projects Latest Single “Blue”
Vancouver based singer-songwriter Russell Gendron has released a new 360 music video for his band moniker Bill Jr. Jr.’s latest single “Blue”. Gendron wrote ‘Blue’ at a time when he was faced with making an important life decision, he says;
“‘Blue’ is about how I imagined I’d feel if I didn’t move with my partner to Montreal. She had a school thing coming up over there and I had my life thing here and so I had to make a decision to stay, or to go with. Writing the song was a way for me to get closer to my decision: I realized that I’d be so “bluuuuuueee” if I stayed around here doing the same old stuff, so I took the plunge. ‘Blue’ is a sort of a country song but made strange or “off”, which is why I like it so much. It’s a twanged out and lush version of a known and old timey idea.”
Packed with vulnerable lyrics about love and life, it’s a great song, and that’s a great description of the genre, it takes elements of country, rock and folk, whatever genre you want to put it in, it’s definitely worth a listen. “Blue” sounds to me like what you might get if the Rolling Stones were travelling through Canada while writing “Wild Horses” in modern times. And the video is the cherry on top, if you’ve ever wondered if it’s possible to take four musicians performing in a van and turn it into an incredibly immersive and fun music video, this video proves that the answer is an astounding yes! Much like the video for his previous single, “Dear Neighbour”, ‘Blue’ is shot in 360 degrees creating an interactive video experience, while showcasing Bill Jr. Jr.’s lo-fi 90s slacker vibe. The 360 effect is great to watch and really adds an element to Blue. Blue is off Bill Jr. Jr.’s third album, Homeboy which was released on January 26th. The mood on Homebody is personal, building on Gendron’s intimate and lyrical focus with the band’s big drums, soaring electric guitar, vintage keys and spacey textures. The arrangements shine, with thick string sections and rich vocal harmonies creating a lush and energizing result. Following up his previous EP’s Volumes (2016) and The Motions (2017), Homebody chronicles a period of movement between cities: songs that emerged while Gendron floated back and forth between Vancouver and Montreal.
Click below to watch the music for Blue and tune in to the track on Dropout Radio at 9, 1, 3 & 7 pm for a chance to win free Dropout Merch!
Gendron also spent a pivotal winter at the Banff Centre in the Canadian Rockies, and there he came into contact with Toronto’s Daniel McNamara, whose bass playing and big- picture sensibilities as a producer would end up proving crucial to Homebody. While at Banff the two also met guitarist Dan Nettles, a pillar of the famed music scene in Athens, Georgia and leader of one of the Classic City’s best, and least classifiable, jazz groups, Kenosha Kid.
After Banff, Gendron reunited with McNamara in Toronto to workshop the songs for a hot week; then
McNamara came to Montreal, where Gendron was stationed, and remained longer, deepening musical
bonds as the songs continued to blossom. Nettles got looped in remotely and would send back guitar
tracks, and the give-and-take of creative collaboration really started to flow — enough for Nettles to invite
this incarnation of Bill Jr. Jr. down to Athens to make the album, at Chase Park Transduction Studios.
Birthplace of R.E.M., the B-52s and so many vital musical forces past and present, Athens is a haven for
the offbeat and highly individual when it comes to songwriting. It’s also packed with talented musicians
with a feel for serving the music, regardless of genre.
So Nettles excitedly called in some of his friends to record with engineer Drew Vanderberg: drummer Seth
Hendershot, an imaginative singer and songwriter himself as well as proprietor of Hendershot’s, one of
Athens’ most essential music venues; keyboardist Jojo Glidewell, who came to the studio at the eleventh
hour, literally right after stepping off the tour bus with Athens-born indie phenom Of Montreal; Serena
Scibelli and Luca Lombardi, on violin and bowed double bass respectively (Lombardi and Hendershot are
current members of Nettles’ Kenosha Kid); and, joining Hendershot on backing vocals, accomplished
Atlanta-based (formerly Athens-based) singer Ansley Stewart, and one-half of the inspired Athens indie-
folk duo Hope for Agoldensummer, Claire Campbell.
“These songs are about my relationships to people and places, the cities I was living in,” says Gendron. “I
was meeting all these people, there was a lot of transition going on.”
One thing that provided stability, however, was the band name Bill Jr. Jr.: “My middle name is William and I
come from a long line of Bills,” Gendron adds. “I’m not Jr., I’m Jr. Jr. It’s the alias I use no matter who I’m
playing with. The title Homebody came to represent how my home was changing in this period. Moving to
Montreal, the Banff residency, then down to Athens, but Vancouver was always there. I was with myself
the whole time, so I guess that was home, in my body.”
Todays Song of The Day (March 10th) is Blue by Bill Jr. Jr. Every weekday on Dropout Radio at 9, 1, 3 & 7 ET we’re showcasing some of Canada’s best independent music, from artists of all genres and all across the country. Stay tuned ’til the end of The Song of The Day on Dropout Radio to find today’s Secret Code and for your chance to win free Dropout merch!