Edmonton-based indie rock trio Scenic Route to Alaska heads to Bo’s April 12th on the heels of their latest CD release Tough Luck.
They play Bo’s on April 12th.
The band worked again with producer Howard Redekopp at Vancouver’s legendary studio The Warehouse to produce an album that picks up where its superb predecessor left off.
Talk about the right choice in selecting someone to helm the project.
“We had such a good experience with (previous CD) Long Walk Home,” explains Trevor Mann (lead vocals/ guitar) during a chat from Victoria. Rounding out the band are Shea Connor (drums) and Murray Wood (bass).
”As an independent band, it really took us to the next step. The way Howard captured our sounds, and then how he sonically presented them so they could stand next to major label bands on commercial radio – that was a huge thing for us.
“I think this record also definitely has its own character. It reminds me of Long Walk Home in some ways, but it very much stands apart. Howard is really great at capturing our sound and then putting bits of arrangements and polish in there so it can be presented as well as possible.”
For the guys, the project came together quite quickly.
Initially, the guys felt they had plenty of time to map out precisely how they wanted the disc to take shape.
But life – as it tends to do – turned out to be a bit more hectic than they had anticipated.
“We recorded it in August of last year over three weeks in Vancouver, and we had that studio time booked for months and months in advance.
“Life kind of took over, and we didn’t realize how busy we would be,” he said, adding that the guys spend a huge chunk of the year on the road. Only weeks prior to hitting the studio, they knew they had more tunes to craft – so they got to work back home in Edmonton and the creative sensibilities soared.
“It ended up working out well – a bit stressful, but that kind of stress helps inspire, too,” he said. “I spent a lot of time trying to flesh out what I wanted to say through the songs I wanted to show up on the record.”
For Mann, writing is primarily organic – ideas tend to float to the surface as he considers the types of tunes he himself would like to listen to as well, he explained. “When I find myself humming along to them a week later, then I know they must have legs,” he added with a laugh. “There’s something cool about that, when it speaks to you.
“So with this record, it came together very organically but also in a very focused way.
“We had to dedicate the time to let these songs come to life. Because of that I think that lyrically it’s our most conceptual record. The whole thing is very much one theme, and feels like the songs are kind of saying the same thing but in different ways – and it stays interesting throughout.”
Tough Luck succeeds in capturing the band’s dynamic ‘live’ sound with an organic production that’s instantly engaging.
Sonic gems abound, from instantly engaging disc opener How It Feels, the finely-crafted Find My Footing and the relatively simply-structured Lonely Nights to the haunting tones of We Don’t Let It and the stellar Better Days.
The disc also features the single Slow Down which hit number one on the CBC Radio 3 Top 30 late last year.
As mentioned, Tough Luck comes on the heels of critically-acclaimed Long Walk Home which has amassed almost 2 million streams on Spotify and garnered the trio two nominations at last year’s Western Canadian Music Awards and won them four awards at the 2017 Edmonton Music Awards.
They also enjoyed radio success with their single Love Keeps having reached number one on the CBC Radio 2 Top 20, number 21 on the Canada Alternative Rock Charts reaching an audience of over 4 million people through commercial radio plays.
As to the band’s history, the guys go way back – having grown up and played music together from way back when.
Mann and Wood went to the same elementary school together. And when Mann was about 11, Connor moved to the community Wood and he lived in which is Riverdale in Edmonton.
The three formed a bond and started jamming not too long after.
Today they are full-time musicians. And enjoying every minute of it, having formed Scenic Route to Alaska in 2010.
From the start, the attention and accolades have poured in and earned them performances at events like the Edmonton and Canmore Folk Festivals and CMW.
Meanwhile, the guys are gearing up to hit a number of dates through other regions across the continent (including exciting hot spots like Hollywood and San Francisco), winding up with some European dates by the time the tour wraps in May in Switzerland.