By Jodi Brak
CALGARY – Pop-punk music is often associated with teenage angst, and for good reason. The genre is largely defined by emotionally charged vocals and melodic instrumentals that tend to linger on themes of the trials and tribulations of the young adult psyche. But there is a definite split between groups that play in major keys (bringing the pop to pop-punk, if you will) and groups that stick to the more traditional minor progressions that give punk and emo music its more minor, introspective sound.
Seaway is one of the former; a group that remains instrumentally upbeat even when singing verses about heartbreak and anxiety. Their music is full of lightweight drumbeats and smooth guitar hooks, and an attempt to extract positivity from their songwriting as much as possible.
Of their third studio album Vacation, vocalist Ryan Locke says, “We’ve kind always had this idea of how we wanted Seaway to sound. Sort of a throwback to the classic pop-punk sound but without trying too hard to rip off anyone. We’re trying to make our own brand of this style of music, and I think we nailed it on the head with Vacation.”
He continues, “I think it’s a very eclectic album. You know, it’s easy to sometimes set out to write an emo album, or a punk-rock album or whatever, and from start to finish every song sounds like a variation of the same sound. But I think that every single song on vacation ‘has its own vibe or its own cool sound that sets it apart. We tried a lot of different stuff on this record.”
Released on September 15, Seaway’s latest album already has radio singles, along with a collection of music videos online. One of the bouncy, carefree singles gaining traction for the group, “Lula on the Beach,” is certainly a departure from what fans might come to expect from Seaway’s music, featuring a very distinct beach-pop vibe. The video features the band crooning on the lakeshore, surrounded by a bevy of dogs. Locke says this track was definitely an exercise in trying something new just for the sake of it.
“I think I’m speaking for the whole band when I say this, but “Lula…” was a song that we all said, ‘Let’s just try something new on this record.’”
He continues, “It has a lot more of an indie rock vibe, almost has some Weezer vibes going on there. It’s definitely different from other music we have written in the past, and that’s something we set out to do on this last record. We’ve been a pop-punk band, we’ve made pop-punk records, and if we’re going to make a career out of this, which is definitely the end goal, we need to make something more accessible… Something that people who maybe don’t listen to pop-punk music might like because it offers more than just that one type of sound.”
Seaway will be playing November 7 at the Park Theatre (Winnipeg), November 8 at Louis’ (Saskatoon), November 9 at The Needle Vinyl Tavern (Edmonton), November 9 at The Rickshaw (Vancouver), November 16 at the Marquee (Calgary) and November 17 at The Exchange (Regina).Louis', Park Theatre, pop punk, Seaway, The Exchange, The Marquee, The Needle Vinyl Tavern, the Rickshaw