Andrew Penner and Michael (Rosie) Rosenthal have plenty of reasons to feel good about themselves these days.
Earlier this month their band, Sunparlour Players, released their newest album, The Living Proof, to the label Outside Music. Since its release two weeks ago, the record received warm responses, including a glowing review from Exclaim.
“So far we’ve been lucky,” Penner said. “The reviews have been amazing. It came out well and it is starting to really gain some speed. So we are really pumped about this record.”
In addition to the album release, the Toronto-based alternative-rock band are currently on tour. On Monday (April 28), the Toronto-based band will be performing in Nanaimo at the Globe Hotel.
Sunparlour Players originally began as a solo project by Penner in 2004. The band takes their name from Penner’s hometown of Leamington, Ont., which is nicknamed the Sun Parlour of Canada.
“I just started writing songs on my own. I was lucky enough to get residency in small club and it quickly became very well received and it just went from there. We got people to help us out and it’s just kind of being going from there,” Penner said about the band’s formation.
The album, The Living Proof, includes “Bless This City,” a song that pays tribute to Penner’s hometown, which is a small community of about 29,000 residents.
“That’s a song that actually has a bit of a history. I wrote it for a movie [The Beautiful City] in 2008, like a score for a movie, and it worked really well there. The recording of it worked really great in the movie but we weren’t super happy with it turned out as a single or if we were to put it on a record. We recorded it specifically for the movie and we wanted to do more with it. It is a song that just ended up sticking around in the set. It just kept on coming back and it always went over really well and we always loved playing it.”
Leamington is located about 60 kilometres southeast of Detroit in Essex County and is home to the second largest Heinz factory in the world. Last year the plant faced a total shutdown after Heinz decided it wanted to consolidate its operations.
However, thanks to a new group of investors and the Canadian Agricultural Act, the plant currently remains in operation. Despite the news, Penner wonders what will happen to his hometown if the plant closes in any capacity.
“The real thing is what happens long term. What happens to the other businesses in that town?” Penner said. “It’s a very well-read story. So many towns in the States and so many towns in Canada, a big industry moves in and then moves out and what happens to the place?”
Sunparlour Players perform at the Globe Hotel at 8 p.m. For more information about the show, please visit www.globehotel.ca.