An all-star local lineup is about to take to the stage at the McPherson Playhouse Friday.
Roots rockers Current Swell are kicking off their tour in Victoria promoting the four-piece’s fourth LP, Long Time Ago, officially being released Oct. 25. They’ll be serenading the crowds at the McPherson for their first time alongside singer-songwriters Aidan Knight and Jon Middleton (of Jon & Roy).
Long Time Ago has a noticeably darker feel than Current Swell’s past works, but not intentionally, says frontman Scott Stanton.
“I think sometimes we get pigeon-holed as a happy-go-lucky band,” says Stanton. “I don’t know if we were necessarily going for a different sound. Some things happened to us over the last year with a close friend passing away, and it just turned out to be a bit of a darker record. We demoed 25 or 30 songs, then sat down and said regardless of how good some of them are, we just wanted to go with a cohesive record. We’re not looking for a radio hit, if it happens that’s great.”
Long Time Ago is the first album with bassist Ghosty, who joined the band almost three years ago. It also ventures into some uncharted territory for the band— the synthesizer. Stanton equates the opening of “For the Land” to Dr. Dre’s signature style in 2001.
“I listen to tons of different music,” says Stanton. “The band bought a synth to play around with and that line just came out. Every time we played live people were into it, so we decided to go for it. When we were recording, we muted that track and the song sounded bare so we decided to go with it. Before it was just a folk song, now it’s more.”
“Brad’s Song” is a heart-wrenching tune dedicated to the memory of Brad Shuttleworth, a longtime friend of the band who passed away in 2009. They recently filmed an acoustic live version that can be found on YouTube and the band’s website.
After the Victoria show Current Swell is hitting the open road for a North American tour, with stops in the U.S. And their first shows in the Maritimes.
They’re also hoping to eventually play some shows in Brazil, where support for their music is surging.
“None of the band members speak Portuguese,” says Stanton, “But our following is bigger there than it is in Canada. I won’t say it’s happening until we’re on the plane, but it’s one of our biggest goals.”
Current Swell (Scott Stanton, Dave Lang, Ghosty, Chris Petersen) is also a Top 20 finalist in the Peak Performance Project alongside a slew of other Victoria talents including Acres of Lions, Ashleigh Eymann, Avairis, Lindsay Bryan, Maurice and Rococode. M
Current Swell CD Release
The McPherson Playhouse; Fri. Oct. 21 with Aidan Knight and Jon Middleton
Tickets $24.75; rmts.bc.ca or 250-386-6121