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Musician unplugs for debut album

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Elessar Thiessen has come full circle with his musical career, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t plan to complete a few more revolutions.

The 21-year-old West Broadway resident, who grew up in North Kildonan, recently released his debut album Head. Heart. Hands. at the West End Cultural Centre. Thiessen initially began playing acoustic music before becoming part of K-tel Records’ Mini Pop Kids group and fronting hardcore band Method.

His solo album is a return to an acoustic sound, though he said other elements of his previous works still find their way into his new creations. He noted his sound does retain bits of the rock ‘n’ roll stuff he’s played recently, but is also "soft and harmonically-pleasing".

"Dipping out of the acoustic sound, I tapped different emotions," Thiessen explained. "I went to hardcore, which is adrenaline, and almost anger and passion, and then pop-punk, which is cute love, high-school sweetheart kind of sound. And then tapping back into the acoustic sound, I brought these experiences with these emotions back into it, and I almost created a new type of emotion I haven’t felt before — more passion, more real, more relatable."

Thiessen explained his acoustic approach is different from when he was playing younger, as he intends to pursue music as a career and is bound, in a sense, by trying to earn a living.

However, he hopes to be able to retain the exuberance he had in his youth.

"I just wanted to play music and express myself, and that’s something I try to hold onto nowadays," Thiessen said.

He noted North Kildonan is home to a small, supportive community of "happy musicians" who enjoy playing music with one another. As well, his dad and grandparents had musical backgrounds, while his guitar-playing uncles and older cousin were also major influences on his direction.

Thiessen said his CD release show on Oct. 8 was well-attended, with an estimated 280 people in the crowd.

"I’m still buzzing off of it," Thiessen said nine days after the show. "Going up onstage to a packed house, I wasn’t expecting that, so that was amazing."

Thiessen made sure to get audio and video recordings of his CD release party, and will hope to use those to latch on with an agency to plan a promotional tour for the album.
He already has plans for a followup, and he plans to explore soul and jazz while looking at approaching songwriting in a new fashion, "letting my voice go where it needs to go, not following a certain melody".

Head. Heart. Hands. is available on iTunes. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/ElessarThiessen.

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