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Photo courtesy of Paul McDermott
Sometimes — especially during Vancouver’s rainy season — nothing sounds more refreshing than a well-constructed beach tune.
This may be one explanation why the Daniel Wesley band has shot to success. After winning the CFOX Seeds 2007 contest, the group’s single Ooo Ooh became the radio station’s most requested song, and they’ve sold out the Commodore several times. Despite their base in a city where rain clouds fill the skies three-quarters of the year, the band delivers catchy, summertime songs.
“We don’t have beach weather all year in Vancouver, and a lot of songs were written when it was pouring with rain outside, but I found ways to feel warm and happy anyway,” he said. “You don’t have to be in some exotic place all year to feel warm … (That said, I try and) write something authentic and real, not cheesy or contrived. It’s not like I sit down to write a beach song.”
Though he doesn’t write in front of a campfire, Wesley’s sound is seemingly birthed from the sun-drenched beaches of southern California or Australia. After growing up in punk bands in the ’burbs (fellow Langley expats GOB are a big influence) Wesley began the band that bears his name.
Reflecting their simple but effective esthetic is the group’s studio approach. Listening to the self-produced recording, the songs are free of clutter. Stripped of production tricks, one can fully recognize each note of the bass and drums, which were recorded live on classic era analogue equipment.
“The drums and bass are all recorded off the floor, on two-inch analogue tapes … like they used in the 60s and 70s,” he said. “We wanted the songs to speak to people, not have all this shit piled on them … If I wrote a song in 30 minutes, I want recording to reflect that ... I don’t want it to sound like it took 100 hours to make.”