Bound by friendship and natural talent, Spiral Beach have found themselves dancing their way out of adolescence and into maturity
Experience has been an incredible asset for the Toronto indie rock band. Not only have Spiral Beach developed a rather large and loyal collection of supporters, but they have also left their signature on several Canadian cities and venues because of who they are. Comprising of Airick and Daniel Woodhead, Maddy Wilde and Dorian Wolf, the quartet have created a brand of indie rock that can’t be found in a single line of genres. With hints of funk, pop and pyschedelic hallucinations transcribed into melodies, their sound is noted to provoke an individual to do one thing: dance foolishly.
On their latest tour, the quintet managed to give concert-goers across the nation a taste of the circus-like spectacle that is their live performance. Hitting stops from Vancouver to Toronto with former The Big Time Out Festival colleagues Hey Ocean!, the band entertained the masses with tracks from their two dynamic full-length releases.
“We love going to the other side of Canada because we’re definitely down with the whole West Coast hippy vibe,” says drummer Daniel Woodhead. “It’s pretty refreshing after spending all your time in the mess that is Toronto.”
Along with experiencing adventures in foreign cities and towns, Spiral Beach also got the opportunity to introduce their upcoming record. With it being almost two years since they released their sophomore record, Ball, fans have shown their genuine impatience, constantly posting questions about the new material on the band’s MySpace profile.
“We have actually been mixing while were on the road the past few months” says Woodhead. “Our producers Mike Olsen and David Travers-Smith have been sending us the latest version of the tracks to listen to in the van. We got the final master tracks while we were in Edmonton and they sound awesome.”
When the group was working on Ball, they decided to do something different when it came to the recording process. In order to capture the essence of a live performance, Spiral Beach invited a few close friends to a barn in Hamilton and carried out the recordings there. This time around, the band flipped on the unorthodox light switch and took a completely different approach. Instead of spending time in rural Ontario, the four bundles of talent spent a series of months working in several different record studios in Toronto. The goal: to come out with something that sounds like a polished full-length.
“We’ve always written songs in the same way, so we kind of just streamlined it and refined the process in which we do things,” explains Woodhead. “Airick and myself will sit down with an acoustic guitar or piano and work out the basic structure and melody. Then we’ll take it to the other guys and work out the arrangement in rehearsal.”
Working from a different perspective has had a dramatic effect on the sound and quality of the band’s new material. The music that defines Spiral Beach is still intact, but the limbs that support it have been rearranged. Instead of being tinted with a sprinkle of pop rock, their sound has a bit more edge, spunk and raw power. The ability to dance to each hook and chorus is still apparent and is now accompanied with the chance to silently play with the air to mind-teasing solos or captivating drum fills. Such change can be classified as a sense of improvement, but under the microscope, it’s a sign of maturity even though their adolescent faces can’t show it.
“I think we’re getting better at what we already do,” says Woodhead. “The band is tighter than it’s ever been and we still all get along as friends. It’s always going to be hard trying to make ends meet as an artist, but it’s definitely worth it.”
With their third record slated for a summer release, Spiral Beach plan to take a break from the constantly evolving road. As the summer children they appear to be, the band hopes to spend some time with those close to them and take a few more trips back to the recording stage. Despite their success, the group is still trying to figure out who they are in a Canadian music scene full of ongoing creativity and imagination.
“We are mostly trying to solidify our sound,” remarks Woodhead. “A lot of the time we’ll write songs with a really obvious influence from a particular style of music. This time around, we just want it to sound like us.”