From Johnny and June Cash to Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel of Mates of State, husband-wife musicians tend to capture people’s interest because they are so, well, cute.
Brett and Brit Pedersen of the band Johan the Angel are no exception. When this affable folk-duo aren’t running marathons or transcribing medical records to make ends meet, Brett and Brit put their energy into producing the music of Johan the Angel, and have a sound that many have dubbed “epic folk.”
“That’s what it’s turned into,” says Brett, singer, guitarist, and occasional drummer. “Usually it starts with writing something really simple on the guitar. But we also dabble with a lot of other instruments. So even though it has a folk base, it usually ends up being a lot more.”
Brett and Brit hail from Portland Oregon, but for various reasons, such as school, they currently live and perform in the Provo area. It is here that they recorded their new EP, titled THE GENERAL’S SON, which was released just this month.
“Provo’s been really good to us,” Brett said. “At first I was not really excited to come here. I heard things like the scene wasn’t happening, and didn’t think anything would happen. But, even though it’s not a huge scene, it’s been really welcoming, and has a lot of really nice people.”
Although most of us are familiar with folk music, Johan the Angel takes it to a new level. With music that sounds like some sort of Enya and Sufjan Stevens hybrid, one can’t help but become mesmerized by the beautiful harmonies of Brit and Brett’s vocals that combine nicely with the layered instrumental sounds. Overall, their songs are emotive and encompassing with just the right amount of steady percussion.
“We just love lush and beautiful sounds, and having a really full sound,” Brit said. “It was just natural that we wanted to add as many voices as possible and enjoy the effect that harmonies give.”
Johan the Angel have several recordings available to purchase. Yet, it is their next full-length album, which they are in the process of recording, that they are most excited about.
“As it stands now, I don’t feel we have anything on our records that match the same sound or instrumentation of our performances,” Brett said. “We’ve been waiting to record this album, and for me, it’s just a big relief. I feel like we’ll make something that well represents what we play. I’m way pumped for it.”
Enjoy Johan the Angel’s performances in the area while you can — they will be moving back to the Northwest in April after Brit graduates from BYU — and be on the lookout for the release of their next album.
Johan the Angel’s new EP, The General’s Son, is available at Canoe Music (visit http://www.canoemusic.net/), and is also available on iTunes, eMusic, and AmazonMP3. For more information on Johan the Angel, and to listen to some of their songs, visit their MySpace page at http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=140400757