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FYEAR is a power octet led by composer Jason Sharp and poet/writer Kaie Kellough, fusing spoken word voices with genre-bending compositions for electronics, two drummers, and processed saxophone, pedal steel and violins. FYEAR melds drone, modern chamber, out-jazz, ambient metal, post-hardcore, avant-rock and electroacoustic maximalism in an integrated work the opposite of collage or pastiche; it always sounds like a wholly unified ensemble/aesthetic. Kellough's poetic materiality conveys acute political-existential themes and plays elemental, cut-up instrumental/semiotic roles.

Sharp and Kellough have collaborated on wordsound projects for over a decade, performing widely at avant-garde festivals across Canada, developing a symbiotic relationship where spoken text knits into the very fabric of instrumentation and composition. FYEAR has been emerging from these ongoing processes and performances since 2016, with the intensive interaction of two vocalists, and texts that anxiously interrogate our present and future capitalist polycrisis. The vision of a larger instrumental ensemble began to consolidate in 2018-2019 as Sharp continued writing arrangements and developing the music in tandem with Kellough's refinement of the spoken word arc. This debut album by FYEAR documents it's resulting signature 40-minute multi-movement work, which was fully realized in 2020 and has been performed several times over the past three years. The ensemble's first performance was commissioned during pandemic lockdown by Jazzahead! Festival (Bremen DE), recorded in an empty Montréal venue, and premiered as a broadcast in April 2021 (subsequently rebroadcast by several festivals in Europe, Britain and Canada that year). The group's proper live debut on 11 September 2021 at Send + Receive (Winnipeg CA) was roundly hailed as a festival highlight, with rapturous receptions following at live performances during the 2022 Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival (Montréal CA) and the 2023 Moers Festival in Germany. FYEAR is an undeniably gripping and singular live experience of electroacoustic, semiotic, musical and political substance. The album captures the balance of widescreen dynamic intensity and unflinchingly urgent grittiness of the work, further contextualized by extensive printed artwork culled from FYEAR's live visual projections (by acclaimed graphic artist Kevin Yuen Kit Lo).
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