After two years of “writing songs, scrapping songs, starting from scratch and just kind of doing that over and over again until we were really happy with it,” Vancouver Island soul-pop group Lovecoast has recorded its debut full-length album, The Trip.
The group, formed in Nanaimo by VIU students Danielle Sweeney (vocals), Jesse McNeill (drums), Andrew Fraser (bass), Matt Aasen (guitar) and Phil Hamelin (keyboards), is launching the CD in Nanaimo at the Queen’s on April 13, two weeks before its release.
“It’s a true testament to who we are as musicians and performers and the live quality that we like to bring to our music,” Sweeney said of the record.
“I think that there’s a strong push towards artists really producing their music to a level that maybe isn’t representative of what they want and more representative of what people want to hear. So we really tried to make a record that was 10 songs that we love.”
For The Trip, Lovecoast reconnected with producer Tom Dobrzanski of the Zolas, who worked on the band’s 2014 EP Chasing Tides. With two years of writing and pre-production behind them, it only took the group three weeks in Dobrzanski’s Vancouver studio to sort though dozens of songs and record the album.
Sweeney said the Trip refers to the experience of falling in love, a sentiment that flows throughout the album.
“There’s a lot of love songs,” she said.
“There’s a lot of songs about falling in love, songs about somebody else falling in love and you not being that into it and all of the different things that encompass what loves does to a person.”
When it came to deciding on album art, Sweeney said she hit an artistic block. It was around this time that the singer’s grandmother passed away and everything got put on hold. It was when she was looking at photographs of her grandmother as a young woman that Sweeney felt motivated to move forward. Those images now adorn the album sleeve.
“She wouldn’t want me to be not doing what I’m doing. She’d want me to continue the record and finish it and not put everything on pause just to sit at home and be sad about it,” Sweeney said.
When Lovecoast comes to the Queen’s, Sweeney says she expects to see lots of familiar faces.
“I think all of us being VIU grads, too, really makes it that extra special because all our music friends come out, all our friends who are musicians we played in bands with or are just friends from university in general,” she said.
“It’s just a really great atmosphere for us all to be in. A lot of our parents come. Hometown shows are always that ones that feel the best.”
WHAT’S ON … Lovecoast, Towers and Trees and Paul Mitchell perform at the Queen’s on Friday, April 13. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Available at the Queen’s, Lucid, Desire Tattoo, Woodgrove Sunrise Records and online at myshowpass.com.