Afie Jurvanen isn’t from the Bahamas. He’s a Finnish-Canadian from Barrie, Ont.
Since 2009 he’s been making music under the name Bahamas, writing songs about sunsets, love affairs and making out with crooked smiles.
And this summer, Bahamas is coming to the Vancouver Island MusicFest in Courtenay.
“Bahamas is a wonderful addition to our festival lineup,” said MusicFest artistic director, Doug Cox. “Our younger festival-goers are already his fans and I know our older patrons are going to embrace him and his music.”
Bahamas made his album debut in 2009 with Pink Strat, which was nominated for a Juno Award the following year. After releasing the album, Bahamas set out on tour in support of alt-country icons Wilco before eventually striking out on his own with a headlining tour.
With a carefully trained ear for melody that he’s honed during his time playing with the likes of Feist and Howie Beck, Bahamas’s solo project has a stripped-down and contemplative sound that focuses on doing more with less, allowing his voice and guitar to do most of the heavy lifting on his quiet indie-folk meditations.
The guitarist returned in 2012 with his follow-up album, Barchords. In 2014, Bahamas delivered the third Bahamas studio album, Bahamas is Afie, which featured a ’70s soft country-influenced vibe. It reached as high as number four on Canada’s album chart and number six on Billboard’s Americana/Folk Albums chart.
After more intercontinental touring, he re-emerged in early 2018 with the all-star rhythm section of bassist Pino Palladino and drummer James Gadson on Earthtones. Having written the songs with the Black Messiah collaborators in mind, it emphasized a funkier, smooth soul sound.
Bahamas’s disarmingly forthright, captivatingly melodic songs have already earned him both a devoted fan base and a significant amount of critical acclaim on both sides of the border.
Bahamas will close the Festival on Sunday night. Vancouver Island MusicFest takes place July 10-12, 2020. For tickets and information go www.islandmusicfest.com.