Eden Rohatensky has released the first recording of her own music; ‘Hobbies’.
“It was kind of strange singing the same song over and over again until I got it right,” said Rohatensky who lived at Calder before the family moved to Yorkton for her school years. “It was weird having to have something set in stone that I wanted, rather than just kind of going with whatever happens on stage. I’m used to having to adapt to my performance, if I forget part of a song or haven’t decided where it should go, I make something up.
“That works fine on stage for me, but not so much for recording. Jerry (Shen) was super helpful with that, and ended up writing some really nice guitar, piano and recorder parts that complimented what existed in the songs already. It helped me get comfortable with the songs as they are and move on.” She added the disk was actually recorded at Shen’s apartment.
The music for the new disk has been gleaned from several years of writing.
“Old Woes was written right before that first show I played with Sean (Craib-Petkau), so it’s the oldest out of all of them,” said Rohatensky, who currently resides in Regina where she is attending university. “You can kind of tell by the lyrics that it’s a little bit angsty and sounds very much like it’s coming straight out of a teenage girl’s head.
“Weird Girl and Portrait of a Grey Man were written sometime in my first two years of University – not entirely sure when exactly, but they were written around the same time.
“I wrote Should’ve Known, Waiting on the Rain and Prairie Song all this past summer.”
Rohatensky said her interest in music has been fostered by many over the years.
“I was really privileged in elementary school to have some extremely encouraging music teachers; Gloria Herauf and Rita Hilbig, thank you,” she said. “I wasn’t very good at singing, or anything music-related at the start and it took me a long time to learn, but I was enthusiastic. I joined choir, and school band, and all those things.
“Eventually, I took six-months of guitar lessons, and started learning the basics. I quit guitar lessons because I was pretty lazy, but continued to play and write songs.
“In ‘07 or ‘08, Sean Craib-Petkau heard me talking about playing music and singing, and asked me to play a show with him. That was my first show, and it was at the 5th Ave Cup and Saucer. I don’t think Sean knew how inexperienced I was, but I’m pretty happy he gave me the opportunity.”
Over the same time her own musical tastes were evolving.
“When I was a kid I listened to a lot of cheesy angsty hardcore music,” said Rohatensky. “I got pretty fed up that it was almost always male vocalists, and they obviously were always screaming. It’s hard to scream well when you’re of the lady variety.
“Eventually I started to discover Metric, and Stars, and all those girly indie bands that I could more easily sing along to.
“Now, I’m listening to a lot of Neko Case, Francoise Hardy, and St. Vincent.
“I still listen to a fair amount of male vocalists as well. I really like Bowerbirds and Muse.”
As a stage performer Rohatensky is still feeling her way around.
“I’ve only played in Yorkton and Regina,” she said. “In Yorkton I mostly played at the 5th Ave Cup and Saucer, and I’m really glad I got the opportunity to do so. The entire Craib-Petkau family are super welcoming and I love going to their shop when I’m in town.
“Even more, I really enjoy playing there.
“In Regina we have a lot more venues, and I’ve had the opportunity to play at a fair amount of them.”
With a disk in-hand Rohatensky said she hopes to take her live music to a broader audience.
“I’m hoping now that the album is out that I’ll be able to play at different places like Saskatoon and outside of the province.
“My mom lives in Saskatoon now, and she really wants me to play there.
“Of course, the CD release show was probably the most rewarding and exciting. I’m really happy with the turn out, and it’s really encouraging being able to have my friends and family hear the EP and my other work live.”
Rohatensky likes the disk herself, at least for the most part.
“I’d say that I’m satisfied with the finished product, but I don’t think I’d get better if I was ever truly happy with it,” she said. “There’s always going to be things I want to “fix”. Maybe one day I will, but that will be a whole other project.”
While still in university, looking ahead Rohatensky said she plans on finishing up writing for a full length, and trying to play some shows in old and new venues as time allows.