By Andrew R. Mott
CALGARY – Current Swell is a band with a style that is easily recognizable with its upbeat, pulsing pop-folk melodies, but also notably diverse and distinct. Lead singer Scott Stanton’s searing vocals and his heartfelt stories easily set the band apart from their contemporaries. Closing in on 13 years they just released their sixth studio album last spring, When to Talk and When to Listen, produced by Grammy award-winning Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Buddy Guy, Tom Waits.) Willing to take risks, the record has critics polarized: some are adamant it’s the band’s best work to date, and others saying the complete opposite.
Addressing the record’s split reception, Stanton explains the band’s aspiration to try and always reach new audiences. “Every record is different. Dave (Lang, vocals/guitar) and I wrote this record together, where in the past we have mostly written separately. We want to reach as many people as we can and travel the world doing it.”
One thing that is never in dispute is the band’s live show. Whether playing to a crowd of 45,000 on Canada Day in Victoria, BC or in a small rural pub, Current Swell has an energy and dedication to the music that gets people moving and singing along.
Touring with new material, looking to build their fan base also comes the need for balance, especially when a loyal audience has the overwhelming desire to hear the band dig deep into their catalog. Stanton knows that response all too well: “Shut up and play the hits! The funniest thing about performing is when the crowd is having a blast. That’s what we love to do and that’s our job. We will definitely be playing a collection of our work.”
With recent changes in the band breathing new life into the project, Current Swell is in a good space right now. Reflecting on the upswing Stanton effused, “That’s all we talk about, how great things are moving, going forward and how fortunate we are to get to play music. We just came off the best European and Eastern Canadian tour we have done. People singing along to all the songs, new and old. We are just really happy.”
Current Swell performs November 18 at Marquee (Calgary), November 19 at Wild Bill’s (Banff), November 21 at Bo’s Bar & Grill (Red Deer), November 22 at The Exchange (Regina), November 23 at The Park Theatre (Winnipeg), November 24 at the Broadway Theatre (Saskatoon), and November 25 at the Needle Vinyl Tavern (Edmonton).Bo’s Bar & Grill, Broadway Theatre, Current Swell, Marquee, The Exchange, The Needle Vinyl Tavern, The Park Theatre, Wild Bills