By Yasmine Shemesh
Indie pop band Lovecoast release their debut EP, Chasing Tides.
The moniker of Vancouver-based quartet Lovecoast is more than just a nice word. It’s conceptual. Geographically and stylistically, the outfit is innately coastal. And love? The affectionate emotion weaves itself through the band’s every nook and cranny.
“This EP is always going to mean that much more to us because it’s something that wouldn’t have been done if our fans and our friends and our families hadn’t supported it,” said lead vocalist Danielle Sweeney.
The group has long had a loyal following, particularly in Sweeney and guitarist Scott Verbeek’s hometown of Squamish — so loyal, in fact, that their anticipated debut, Chasing Tides, was funded through an Indiegogo campaign that raised about $6,000 from fan contributions alone. As tokens of gratitude, along with “perks” mailed out to donators that included t-shirts and copies of the album, the band sent a handwritten letter to each person who pledged.
“Jesse [McNeill], our drummer, he made all these hilarious drawings and little pictures thanking people,” Sweeney laughed.
Much of the fluidity of the creative process for Chasing Tides can be attributed to Lovecoast’s close relationships with each other (Sweeney and Verbeek have been friends since childhood, while Sweeney connected with McNeill and bassist Andrew Fraser during their times at Vancouver Island University). Artistically (and perhaps most importantly), they’re all on the same wavelength.
“We had about 10 or 12 songs that we had been working with for a while, and we were trying to narrow those ones down to the top five,” Sweeney explained. “All four of us picked our top five [songs] and picked what we would envision the EP [to be] on our own, separately, and then came together with those. And actually, weirdly enough, all of us had picked the exact same songs except for one.”
Mixed by Juno-nominated producer Tom Dobrzanski, Chasing Tides is an infectious playlist of can’t-sit-still jams that explore nuances of jazz, pop, and rock. “That’s just kind of our style, we don’t tend to slow things down too much,” Sweeney said. “For the majority, it’s all pretty upbeat, all stuff you can dance and sing along to. Perfect car driving music.”
With its feel-good riffs and sunshine-soaked melody, the album’s first single, ”One Night,” would certainly brighten up any long drive. Sweeney’s voice has a luscious, old-soul quality to it that wraps around Verbeek’s dexterous chords, McNeill’s knee-slapper percussion, and Fraser’s hearty lines. Diverse musical influences such as Ella Fitzgerald and Lake Street Dive make appearances on the record, as do earthy hints of Joni Mitchell.
“I couldn’t stop listening to her before we wrote,” Sweeney said. “The second track on the album, “Our Days,” was pretty inspired by her.”
As Lovecoast prepare to embark on their very first tour in support of Chasing Tides, love is, once again, the connecting thread. “We live for the live shows,” Sweeney said. “It’s definitely what we enjoy the most [and] why we do everything else.” And it shows — the band has just been named the Best Performance Group by local newspaper Squamish Chief. Accolades, new album, and impending tour aside, however, at the end of the day, Sweeney insisted, “Those guys are my best buds so it’s just nice to get to play with them. They’re all very, very talented. I’m very fortunate.”
Published online at www.vancitybuzz.com, November 2014