Toronto-based pop-rocksters The Elwins head to Bo’s Nov. 8th in support of the USS’s Canadian run.
The Elwins’ latest project, 2017’s Beauty Community, features 13 catchy tracks from the opening cut Hey! Ya, You which slides effortlessly into the equally shimmering pop power of Don’t Walk Away From Me.
“One of the things that makes it interesting for us on this tour with USS is that there are a lot of people who don’t necessarily know us,” explained singer/guitarist Matt Sweeney.
“It’s interesting because they do know the songs that are on the radio, so that keeps it exciting and interesting for us. And they can put a ‘face’ to the songs.
“That’s been really fun. With this record, our goal going into it was that we had a whole bunch of songs and our goal was to put the best songs together. We weren’t as concerned about making a concept record or picking songs that had a cohesive message or theme.
“It didn’t even mean (choosing) the strongest singles – but if they were just really strong songs, we wanted to put them on (the record),” he added. “So I think the staying power is due to that.
“We went into the studio with all the songs and our producer and made notes about which were our own favourites and reviewed each other’s thoughts and then kind of came to a consensus on what the top ones were.”
Hocus Pocus continues that polished pop vein, but the uniqueness that has always set these guys apart shines right on through – it’s anything but conventional.
The same could be said for the engaging feel of How Do You Feel? There’s really not a sonic misstep to be found.
New single Never Felt So Good quickly shot up to TOP 20 on the Alternative radio charts and was even featured in a Canadian Tire TV campaign this past summer. The album’s first single, the aforementioned, Hey! Ya, You is now the biggest radio hit of the band’s career, boasting a TOP 10 charting at Alternative radio for 13 weeks.
After touring extensively behind 2012’s And I Thank You and 2015’s Play for Keeps, the members developed a natural chemistry, which continues to propel (and challenge) their collaborative spirit on Beauty Community.
Their disc Play For Keeps (2015) helped garner the band a 2016 Juno Award for ‘Breakthrough Group of the Year’ with its first single So Down Low which amassed over 25 million audience impressions.
Meanwhile, heading into the next project, Sweeney said the goal is to be a bit more collaborative on the writing and arranging side of things.
“We are doing a lot more jamming together whereas before we were kind of off on our own. It’s also different in that we are also playing a lot of new songs on the road whereas before we hadn’t even played them as a band before we started recording them,” he said.
Sweeney’s own musical journey began as a youngster when his mom gave him an option of either delving into hockey or taking piano. He chose the keys.
A few years later, he picked up an electric guitar and found his niche. And then his vocal talents began to be truly recognized as well.
“Once I realized you can also kind of do whatever you want with it, use your ear and make things you like, that’s really when it kind of took off for me.”
As to the beginnings of the band, Sweeney said Stokl was a big part of the inspiration behind pursuing the music dream.
“I didn’t think I could sing, and I didn’t even think of the possibility of doing music professionally. But Travis has this kind of confidence about it. He just said, ‘Come on man, let’s be a band. Let’s just do this.”
Near the end of high school, that dream became a singular focus.
“We just kind of committed to the idea of it.”