Tag Archives: Regina

Fur Eel – “Perhaps Another Time”

When a band releases two albums in two consecutive years, there are a couple usual expectations: first that the music will sound exactly the same. Song titles might be different, there might be some new melodies or rhythms, but the overall sound and quality of the albums will generally be the same. The second expectation is that the music will be completely different, and usually this is a bad thing. There are some bands, however, that are somehow capable of releasing a new album that is both different and the same in terms of their sound, and these are the bands worth loving. Enter Fur Eel.

Fur Eel’s 2011 release Elephant Summer received huge critical acclaim and praise, and after spreading their wings (and music) across Canada, they wasted no time in releasing both an acoustic album (Naked, 2012) and their newest album Perhaps Another Time.

Released in June 2012, Perhaps Another Time is a step in the right direction for Fur Eel. It’s slightly more mature, a bit less synthesized, and a huge demonstration of the band’s abilities. Like their first release, this album brings the ’70s funk, bouncing and grooving along to get the audience dancing, but the band seems to have brought a whole new level of skill to this recording. These tracks are finely polished, thoughtfully written and richly produced, and it’s obvious right away that the band has been working hard to develop even greater talent. Songs have more cross-generational and universal appeal, and with some great diversity between tracks and a number of different influences, Perhaps is an album that will appeal to everyone.

A great thing about Fur Eel is the balance they bring to their music. All band members get equal playing time and guitar licks are used sparingly and unobtrusively, making them cooler, awesome and a lot more enjoyable. They also include some great brass solos on a number of their tracks, featuring sax and trumpet and really funking up the album with sweet bass lines. The album’s like a time machine, taking you back to days of upbeat funk on tracks like “Elephant Summer” and “Smooth City” and Pink Floyd-like psychedelic rock on tracks like “Black Mountain”. If you like Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tv On The Radio and Talking Heads, you will definitely love this album.

The best thing about this album? You can have it for free. Fur Eel decided to do something amazing with this release by making it available for download on their website and you really need to take advantage of it! With the waves they’re already making and the huge critical attention they’ve received, it won’t be long before they’re absolutely huge. Download the album immediately and send the link to all your friends. Once you do that, check out their show schedule; Fur Eel is always touring, and with shows across Canada this summer you need to put on your dancing shoes and see them.

Yes, Fur Eel is for real, and Perhaps Another Time is arguably one of the best Canadian releases of 2012. More info is always available on their website, Facebook and Twitter, so follow them obsessively and spread the word. If they’re already this good on their sophomore album, imagine how far they’re going to go.

Fur Eel - "Perhaps Another Time"

Fur Eel – “Elephant Summer”

The natural tendency when listening to new music is to automatically compare it to something else: “Who does this sound like?” Sometimes this comparison is easy. There might be a clear influence to the sound or perhaps a common element or theme that can be easily compared to some popular artist. It’s the other music, the type without the clear comparison, that really stands out.

Fur Eel is one of these incomparable bands. Part rock, part funk, part baby-making groove, the band has gone against expectations to bring back some retro soul, a very cool experience in both their live show and their album, “Elephant Summer“. Officially released in 2011, the album has taken Fur Eel from their hometown of Regina to venues across Western Canada, all leading to a cross-Canada tour later this year.

All the way through, the album is completely cool to listen to. You might also hear some Prince or David Bowie, and Calgarians might think of the former Kronic Groove Band. It’s a mix of sounds with fantastic chemistry, really smooth melodies and a bouncy rhythm that moves everything along. Everything fits: drums, bass, guitar, and vocals seem made for each other, while the rawness of the album lends to an eyes-closed, oddly sensual funkiness that really grabs your attention. Imagine yourself grooving on a dark dance floor during “Sting” or “When We Feel Alone”, or show off some fancier moves in the more upbeat “Entertainaz”. Whatever mood you’re in, Fur Eel has something for you. They’re just that good.

It’s easy to listen to this album for hours in full concentration or as background music, and while the tracks all fit together as a collection of songs, they’re varied enough to repel the boredom or monotony you might get with other albums. These are great songs on a well-mixed album, and definitely worth checking out. For a taste, you can hear a few tracks on their website, but better yet, buy the album and get out to a live show.

Fur Eel is playing February 18 at The Distillery in Calgary. Do you want to go? Of course you do. This is a wicked four-piece that is a welcome and timely break from the usual drudge, and in the tail end of winter, nothing is more appreciated than some funky beats. Fur Eel: they’re for real, and they’re spectacular.

Fur Eel - "Elephant Summer"

Raising The Funk Level In Western Canada

Fur Eel

4-Piece Funk, Soul & Rock | Regina, Saskatchewan

Highlights:

  • Debut album released in 2011 & currently recording and mixing a new album for a 2012 release
  • Various mini-tours throughout Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta
  • Chosen to perform at 2012 Canadian Music Fest in Toronto (March 21-25)

“Fur Eel”: A play on words that might suggest a hairy sea creature or a response you’d hear from a young adult engaged in a conversation involving something unbelievable. “For Real?”

This funk band from Regina will definitely leave you thinking, “For Real?” as you bob your head and tap your feet along to their music. After the show, it will take you days to get the catchy lyrics, “Who am I writing 4 for…for?” out of your head.

Fur Eel

The band Fur Eel formed in the summer of 2010 after Justin and Thomas wrote the song “I See”. Taking from each band member’s eclectic music tastes, Fur Eel delivers a sexy stage presence reminiscent of the biggest 80’s pop stars combined with the classic rock guitar riffs and solos comparable to your favorite hits, layered over top of grooving drums and bass that will get your feet tapping and your hips swaying.

Justin, the lead singer, is strongly influenced and inspired by Prince and it shows in his on-stage dancing swagger and deliverance of lyrics. Each word is punctuated, accentuated, and delivered with specific tone and pitch and followed up with precise and melodic finger-picked solos.

Indie403 had a chance to sit down with the lads in Fur Eel and talk all things furry prior to their set at The Ironwood on January 3rd, 2012.

Thomas St. Onge: “There are not a lot of people doing what we’re doing in Regina. Most people our age are doing the Indie rock stuff and the generation ahead of us is playing a lot of country music. Most of the venues in Regina are well attended though, so you get a lot of support throughout the scene.”

Fur Eel

Currently working on their second album with an anticipated release in the spring of 2012, Fur Eel prides itself as a fully functional DIY Band. The albums are self-produced with the help of Thomas’s father, who primarily takes on the mixing aspect of the album production.

“We’ve been doing it all ourselves. We’ve never tried to tour before, put out an album…it’s been a learning process and we’re having a lot of fun with it”.
~Justin Sheppard – Fur Eel

Justin Sheppard: “We honestly have super supportive families. It makes all the difference to have their support. Thomas’s dad helps us with the mixes amongst other stuff, James’s parents lent us their van to drive out on our last mini-tour, Travis’s dad is at pretty much any show he can make it to, including a few shows in Winnipeg and Saskatoon, and my mom helps us out with the business side of being a working band. A lot of bands don’t get that kind of support base in their family.”

Fur Eel

“Fur Eel is not just about performance and entertainment…they are musical magicians. They own their instruments as well as the stage”.
~Indie403

Fur Eel just returned home from a mini-tour that saw them play in Calgary, Regina, Brandon and Winnipeg, with a video and interview session in Saskatoon for an episode of Stripped Down. They hit the road again in February for a week and will be returning to Calgary to funk up The Distillery on February 18th, followed up by a month long cross-Canada tour in May.

Be sure to watch for Fur Eel at this year’s Canadian Music Fest in Toronto from March 21st-25th. Music fans at the Toronto festival will soon know who funk’d up The Prairies.

Fun Fur-ry Fact:
The Leader Post, Regina’s most subscribed newspaper, recently had an article that featured top choices in music from 2011 and Fur Eel was one of Mike Shiplack‘s selections. The rest of the selections are listed here.

Taylor Cochrane – “Acoustic”

When Calgary-based Taylor Cochrane left his role as lead vocalist for The Kronic Groove Band, many of his fans expressed dismay: Where would Taylor go? What would he do? What was next for the talented and much-loved artist?

Fans had no need to worry, however. From start to finish, Cochrane’s debut and highly anticipated album “Acoustic” is an incredible collection of original songs that showcase the artist’s impressive talent as a songwriter. The album represents years of struggle and accomplishment for the talented Cochrane. A self-described “attention whore”, Cochrane shows skill and passion that most artists can only dream to achieve. Starting with the catchy “Narcissism and Yellow Fever” and ending with a bang with “This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You”, the album gets better with each listen. Cochrane draws on the inspiration of Elliott Smith, Say Anything, Regina Spektor, and The Beatles, adding his own brand of lyrics and energy to create a unique fusion of folk rock, reggae, ska and pop.

From the dreamy “It Feels Like We’re On A Safari”, which evokes images of beach parties and summer picnics, to the slower and honest self-reflective piece “Hypocrite”, Cochrane is a storyteller and a salesman. He’s not simply singing lyrics – his stories are believable and heartfelt, and his emotions, whether self-consciousness, hypochondria, or incredible sexual repression, come through clearly with each rhyme or folky phrase. At times bizarre and somewhat shocking, Cochrane’s lyrics are nothing less than honest, revealing a surprisingly deep and thoughtful writer. The listener is pulled in with catchy melodies and beats, but the lyrics themselves have so many double entendres and tricks that each listen reveals something that had previously gone unnoticed. With numerous double meanings, Cochrane’s lyrics are impressive and at times beautiful, at the very least.

It is refreshing to find a songwriter who doesn’t take himself so seriously and who is not just “dumping his depression on the world”. Cochrane reminds us of the ups and downs of being young, the struggles of life and relationships, and the day-to-day joy of being a gangster thug. We may not all feel the same way or understand what’s happening, but we can appreciate Cochrane’s quirkiness, his humour, and his incredible talent as a songwriter who still has so much left to share. The album truly is an incredible achievement of which Cochrane should be extremely proud. There is no doubt that he has “the wit, the talent, the confidence, [and] the inspiration to be great”, and no less is to be expected.

Listen to “Acoustic” and expect to love every track. You won’t be disappointed.

Taylor Cochrane - "Acoustic"