With Canada Day having just passed, the next major holiday in North America is the United States of America’s Independence Day.
And when the U.S. celebrates its independence from Great Britain on Saturday (July 4), Boston-based band Bent Knee will be more than 4,000 kilometres away performing at the Queen’s.
“We are really excited to come to Nanaimo,” Bent Knee vocalist Courtney Swain said. “This time of the year British Columbia is so beautiful. I am just really looking forward to being there.”
Their stop in the Harbour City is part of a lengthy tour that began back in May in Massachusetts and has worked its way through the continental United States and into Canada.
“This is our 10th tour as a band and this is our longest yet,” Swain said. “We really worked up to doing this tour.”
Bent Knee was born in 2009 on the campus grounds at Berklee College of Music.
“None of us are originally from Boston, but we all met one way or another at Berklee College of Music,” Swain said. “The guitarist, Ben [Levin] and I started writing music together in 2009.”
What started out as a music project grew bigger as more people started joining the band.
“Our synth guy, who is also our producer, Vince [Welch] came on board and it became a live band project,” Swain said.
Today Bent Knee includes Swain, Levin and Welch as well as violinist Chris Baum, bassist Jessica Kion and drummer Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth.
Although Bent Knee describe their style as a mixture of art-rock, avant-indie and progressive, Swain says it is very difficult to classify their musical style.
“Our music is very dynamic,” she said. “It is hard to describe because in our writing we work really hard to bend and morph genres and fuse things together.”
Bent Knee released its first record, Bent Knee, in 2011 and their second record, Shiny Eyed Babies, last year.
“Shiny Eyed Babies is pretty dark in terms of content,” Swain said. “But, I think, the soundscape and production is really stellar.”Story continues below
Swain says that Shiny Eyed Babies, which features two different string quartets, has a different sound compared to the group’s first record.
“We travelled to a church in Georgia to record a church organ … and we had some ethnic instruments in there too and the combination of all that is a really full-sounding album,” Swain said.
Currently, the band is finishing up a new record, which it will begin tracking once it returns to Massachusetts in August.
“When we wrote Shiny Eyed Babies we were very meticulous about the writing. We would hash out every detail before we would bring it in front of an audience,” Swain said.
However, for the new record, which has yet to be named, Bent Knee is taking a different approach.
“Part of the purpose of this tour has been to take those songs and play them in front of live audiences and get them under our fingers,” Swain said.
Bent Knee performs with Roberts Hall at the Queen’s on Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.