Major changes for Colleen Brown as member of Canpop supergroup Major Love

Two is better than one.

And more than two is just super. Especially if you have to go one or two.

That’s how Colleen Brown looks at it, anyway, and that’s one of the reasons why you’ll now find the former Edmonton, now Kingston-based solo musician in the comfy confines of new Canadian supergroup Major Love — a spiffy pop project that surrounds her with members of Scenic Route to Alaska and Jesse and the Dandelions as well as Elijah Abrams and Aaron Goldstien.

Brown says a collective was one that she’d been wanting for a number of reasons and for a little longer than it actually seemed like it could become a thing, even working on songs with a band in mind before there was even the notion of one.

“In a way I was before I met them,” Brown says of the writing of the material that would eventually become the tracks that make up Major Love’s eponymous debut.. “I had been thinking about it a year before I went on that trip and I was testing the waters to see if I could …

“I wanted to do something accessible and that really felt good in the moment and that you could tap your toe and move around to the music.

That fateful trip to which she refers was one that had her doing her solo thing in Europe, dealing with the lonely life of a singular road warrior and all that comes with it, before she wound up in a club in London with fellow E-towners Scenic Route.

They meshed as people and thought they’d mesh as musicians.

They did.

And with the big, bright and shiny new album in their hands, they’re playing as many shows as they can manage and make happen, including a stop at Mikey’s on 12th Saturday, Oct. 20.

Prior to that show, Brown spoke with theYYSCENE about how and why it came together and where it goes from here.

Q: Congratulations, you’re a supergroup!

A: (Laughs) I guess that’s true. It depends on your calculations.

Q: It really is a beautiful pop record in all of the right ways. It’s the perfect environment for your voice.

A: Thanks a lot. I mean, I agree. (Laughs) In the sense that I feel like this is sort of a perfect collection of humans. The collaboration was the easiest part of the whole thing. Musically, everything just came together really smoothly and feels really good.

Q: And from what I’ve read, this only came about because you had to go to the bathroom and nobody could watch your gear.

A: (Laughs) That was an early motivator for me to make the determination that I needed to not be a solo artist. It really is true. It’s a horrendous feeling to be in a totally new land where you know no one and you don’t understand how things work to realize that — you’re in a city and you can’t just go in an alleyway because there are people everywhere. You have all of your gear so you’re making the decision between trying to bring all of your gear down two sets of stairs and through a turnstile to use a washroom which you don’t even have the money for (laughs), then the opposite of what if you had a pal there? What would happen then? You could make everything happen. So, I know that sounds really horrible and selfish, that I brought these people on musically only so that I could use the washroom, but part of it definitely was little moments like that start to add up over time.

And some of it is there have times when I’ve finished a gig and it’s two o’clock in the morning and I felt really good about the gig and I wanted to celebrate with somebody, and sometimes it’s the opposite where I felt like I wanted to talk it out, I wanted to have some sort of club where we just discuss our feelings — the feelings club. (Laughs)

Q: The fact that on the same tour that this came about — I think you’ve used the word “serendipitous” …

A: I’m not afraid of it. Usually it sounds a little woo-woo, but it felt like that at the time.

Q: But here’s the thing, you meshed as people, you obviously like their music, they obviously like yours, but how do you know what you have is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, how do you know that it’s two great tastes that are going to taste great together?

A: Definitely when we ran into each other in London, I had an inkling that it would be a good fit and then when I got back to Edmonton I got an offer to apply for … one of those radio station funds — they give you $10,000 — and that’s a pretty good start on the record. So I said to the guys, ‘“Hey, let’s try.” And we went into the studio with one song ready and it was great, immediately it felt like, I could tell right away that it was a good fit. And I think that the guys actually kind of thought that I was actually going to do a whole album when we first went into the studio and I was just testing the waters in my mind. But maybe they just knew that it was going to be a good fit. Because they already have such good chemistry amongst themselves as a band and then it kind of just felt like, ‘How could this go wrong?’ They’re very sensitive players, they’re very tuned in with one another, so it wasn’t a reach just to have one more person in the zone. I do believe that it could have been the wrong fit. There could be one person who just throws a kink in everything, just the totally wrong energy for the fit, and that isn’t what happened thankfully.

Q: How do the mechanics work? Do you come in with songs already written? I don’t ask that to say that basically this is a backing band for you, because I’m sure there’s a lot of collaboration. But are you the main songwriter?

A: Yeah, I’m still the main songwriter, I wrote the lyrics and melodies and chord changes, so on a technical SOCAN level I am the songwriter. But at this point I also felt like, the music industry has changed so much — five years ago I was totally unwilling to hand over any part of my songwriting to anyone else, and I get really guarded about it. But I also have seen that the music industry has had to share because people don’t really know how to make a go of it anymore. And I was so enamoured with this group of people working together, I just decided, “OK, we’re going to split this because we need to invest in one another, we need to make this feel like we’re part of a team …”

Q: So, and I use this because I think it’s apt both musically and in terms of the band, you are the Carl Newman …

A: Of the New Pornographers? (Laughs)

Q: Yes. Musically I do find some similarities, just that very buoyant pop where all of these people come together and it just works.

A: Yeah, OK, (laughs) I will accept that as a compliment and a comparison. I think that’s true, yeah, and I also think that there has to be a bit of that, whenever you have a group of people coming together there needs to be somebody who steers the ship to some degree … I don’t know if I’m necessarily the alpha, but I guess maybe I have more of a stake in this one so that probably is a motivator for me to put a bit more of myself into it as a business, to keep investing more.

Q: How invested are you into it? Because I know it’s going to be difficult to get everyone together to make it work, to even have the money to do lengthy tours and to put their own stuff on the back burner. How much time do you foresee is going to be spent on this project?

A: For me, it’s a chicken and egg thing. Like whatever work comes our way, whatever shows we can put together that make sense for us, we’ll do it. And I do think the more shows you put together, shows that people like, the more work you’ll end up with. So there’s some part of me that sees this — I’m definitely committed to do this for the album cycle, whatever that means … As a musician I have wanderlust, I have done all sorts of different projects with different people and I always have new music and new ideas and the focus does shift, so I don’t expect that this is a forever thing, but as log as I can get these people in a room to play shows I would love to play shows.

(Courtesy Matt Allen.)

Major Love perform Saturday, Oct. 20 at Mikey’s on 12th.