Ten Kills The Pack Releases Debut EP ‘Force Majeure’ + Video For “Relaxing Apartments”
May 18, 2020 BY Nettwerk
“’Force Majeure’ presents Ten Kills the Pack as a brilliant lyricist and an equally evocative singer.” — Atwood Magazine
Toronto-based “city songwriter” Ten Kills The Pack (aka Sean Sroka) has released his debut EP Force Majeure, along with a new video for track “Relaxing Apartments.” Tomorrow, he’ll join World Café host Raina Douris for a unique Instagram experience called “A World Café Afternoon Pick Me Up” – some chitchat, some performance and some “pick me up news” – at 1pm ET.
Force Majeure is a series of definitive moments delivered through artful songcraft and organic instrumentation as he defines “city folk” as a genre. These songs were crystallized through recording sessions held in multiple Toronto high-rises, where the sights, sounds and shapes of the city were woven into the music.
With “Relaxing Apartments,” Sroka examines the existential crises of modern twenty-somethings codified in the question, “How am I supposed to feel right now?” He says, “It’s about the questions I’ve had in my head about what I should be doing with my life and how that constantly fluctuates. The music is a juxtaposition against these large questions to make the subject matter feel a little bit less intimidating while also confronting it all.”
The music of Ten Kills The Pack echoes both the communal loneliness of high-rise living and the bliss of a starlit rooftop gathering among friends fueled by wine and conversation, embodying the role of a “city songwriter” through and through.
The songs on Force Majeure were written all over Toronto—in cafes, after nights out with friends, before going to shows, on breaks walking Queen street, and unpacking from tours. Sroka says, “These songs have lived in different places, they’ve seen some shit.” Of the recording process, he continues, “We bounced from apartment to loft to apartment to record for a few tired hours each night. I think it contributed to the minimal and distinct tone of the EP. We tracked after working all day while drinking wine to keep pace and had to be quiet to avoid noise complaints from neighbors. This forced me to embrace new subtleties, and I think it’s where some of the intimacy and character comes from. It’s why I think the EP managed to capture the various lives you can live in any given city.”
Though his songs are born from various personal experiences, he also pulls from an expansive swath of inspirations, ranging from the poetry of Sylvia Plath, Frank O’Hara, and E.E. Cummings to sci-fi a la Handmaids Tale. Sroka devotes much of his time to cooking and culinary art, drawing on experience as a chef’s assistant at a fine dining restaurant. He handles guitar for punk dissidents Sure. He manages a high-end men’s clothing store and co-founded an alternative lifestyle publication which partnered with VICE. He ideated and scripted a film and makes his on-screen debut in 2021. But for now, his sights are astutely set on releasing more music.