Chatting with Canadian indie-folk rock musician Mike Edel

Mike Edel discusses the meaning behind the songs in his album “India, Seattle”, his musical influences, and growing up in rural, Calgary farmland. © Brian Van Wyk


By Chyrisse Tabone, Tampa Correspondent © Brian Van Wyk © Brian Van Wyk

Sometimes one wants to listen to music that provokes thought and emotion—music that has real lyrics, a real voice, and acoustic-based instruments. I have noticed the surge of indie alt-rock music on SiriusXM on stations like “The Spectrum”, which play a lot of Vance Joy, Mumford & Sons, and Kurt Vile. Recently I started listening to a songwriter out of British Columbia named Mike Edel. In mid-October he released an album entitled India, Seattle. Out of curiosity, I wondered if there was a place around Seattle called “India” but Google Searches brought up restaurants. Rock At Night interviewed Mike Edel while he was on tour in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The interview explained the meaning behind a lot of his songs, his academic background in English literature, and growing up in rural farmland outside of Calgary.

Edel explained the title India, Seattle is a metaphor about life—really a juxtaposition of two different cultures and lifestyles. The song is not specifically about places but relationships.

CDDIGI-2.1AThe album cover with the feathers across the front is not in homage to Native Americans but to the introduction of the film “Forrest Gump”. The song “East Shore, West Shore” relates to a long-distance (or lack thereof) relationship one may have experienced.

Edel notes although a lot of the songs are centered around the Pacific Northwest (I kind of think he is the John Denver of that geographic area in one regard) his music can appeal universally. He noted that films or songs about the Deep South might be understood by others whom have never been there but share common threads. For example, the lyrics in “Blue Above the Green” describe: We hiked up the mountain in the woods/I thought that maybe we could make out. Edel noted that everybody can relate to a period of infatuation and the feelings felt during that time.

When asked if he is a poet or a musician, Edel replied “I am a songwriter for sure—an artist.”

What was interesting about Edel’s background is he became interested in music during his junior high school days while playing drums in a Blink-182 cover band. The band played at a church he attended (he giggles about this) and explained the lyrics and themes of the songs did not exactly fit there. He explained how because he grew up on a large wheat and grain farm located one hour outside of Calgary that the availability of music, at least diversity, was slim. He later learned how to play guitar, traveled to Germany after he finished high school, and began to delve deeply into his interest in music.

Edel is a full-time touring musician and clearly is dedicated to bringing his brand of alternative-folksy, coffee house-flavored music to life. You can listen to Rock At Night’s interview in full by clicking the link above or the link to Rock At Night’s iTunes podcast series.

CLICK to listen on iTunes

“Blue Above the Green”

“East Shore, West Shore”



India, Seattle

  1. All the Morning
  2. Blue Above Green
  3. Thought About July
  4. More Than The Summer
  5. Hell Exists
  6. East Shore, West Shore
  7. Sunny Outside This Afternoon
  8. Julia
  9. When the Good Goes Wrong
  10. The Closer
  11. Columba
  12. India, Seattle

Label: Cordova Bay Records (Canada)
Produced By: Colin Stewart, Jason Cook, Mike Edel

**My personal favorites are “Blue Above Green”, “More Than Summer”, and “Hell Exists”.





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I grew up in a household full of rock music, studied journalism in college, and then became a scientist.Although my science career has served me well, music has always played a major role in my life. I grew up reading "Creem" magazine; I play several musical instruments as a "hobby";and it seems a camera has always been in my hand. Now, I am combining what I love the most--music and photography--serving as editor of Rock At Night. My motto: life is regrets. Chyrisse
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About Chyrisse (430 Articles)
I live and breathe music through playing, writing, and photography.

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