Courtney Dickson, Arts & Entertainment Editor Ω
More than one year since their last EP, Kamloops’ own Van Damsel officially put out their latest work on Oct. 2. Right in the midst of the Peak Performance Project, The Sunshine, Girl’s release could not have been better timed.
The title track, “The Sunshine, Girl,” is perhaps one of the catchiest songs to come out of Canadian music in the last few years. Soothing vocals from front-man Sebastien Ste Marie and bouncy guitar make it difficult to not get up and dance. As listeners will find with a good portion of the new EP, the lyrics express the group’s desire to take a special girl to the coast and hang out on a beach.
The first set of vocals in “August” sound like that of City and Colour’s “Fragile Bird,” though the mood shifts as the chorus rises and they sing, again, about going surfing and hanging out with a girl on the coast, sounding like an electronic version of The Drums.
“We could have some fun and try to make a baby,” is anything but subtle. The humour in their lyrics makes the music that much more enjoyable and easy to move around to.
“This song is called ‘Communist’ and it’s about my brother,” Ste Marie told the crowd during a recent performance in Kamloops. For a song with such a bold title, it sure has an upbeat, poppy sound to it. Lyrics like “I’m so glad you finally found out what you wanted all along” also make the relationship between the song and Ste Marie’s brother a little more understandable.
You’re not going to fall asleep listening to this EP. Even though “Sun & Sand” is a little slower and initially sounds a little like Blink 182’s stuff during the early 2000s, the chorus turns it into another danceable track.
Guitarist Richard Bregoliss particularly showcases his talent on this album, and his contributions are precise and unique.
There’s no reason why these guys couldn’t become internationally popular; they’re not just another B.C. indie band. Their music is universal and well-written. It’s even safe to say that if the people who create the playlist for surfer clothing store American Eagle got hold of this album, they’d have the whole thing blasting throughout their stores. Fans should look forward to hearing their full length album, expected to be released early 2014, as it will also feature songs from The Sunshine, Girl.