One of the questions most often posed to me, and indeed one that interested myself before arriving on this side of the world, is ‘what’s the music scene’ like in Vancouver? Now, I’m not an expert authority by any stretch of the imagination but I certainly feel I’m now getting to grips with it now.
There are a lot of great acts producing equally impressive music in the city (and surrounding areas) and if you are looking for an intro to what’s going on (in terms of ‘bands’ at least), this debut compilation from independent record label, Big Smoke, aptly titled The Vancouver Connection, Vol. 1, is as good as any place to begin. Formed this year by Adam Sharp, Big Smoke aims to establish itself as a firmly Vancouver-flavoured hub for like-minded artists, and across ten tracks it offers a splendidly diverse selection of what the city has on offer. From the gentle, laid-back summery guitar grooves and effortless melodious indie of Avid Walkers‘ ‘Conversations’, or Reef Shark’s ‘Mind Race’, the uptempo, fuzzy riffs and lo-fi tenancies of Dead Soft’s ‘Sometimes I Forget’, racey indie-rock of Woolworm‘s ‘Heathen Too’ and rich textures, melodic subtleties and propulsive yet dreamy euphoria of Mesa Luna‘s ‘Drum Carpet’; there is something to suit almost everyone’s pallet.