Locomotive Ghost will be bringing the sounds of the four seasons with them to The Elite on Oct. 29.
The indie-folk group will be playing tracks off of the four distinct, yet collaborative, works Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer showcasing the Seasons project which was recently released as a CD compilation on Oct. 17.
The Calgary-based band has never made the trip to Penticton, despite the two founding members, Ben Nixon and Mike Buckley, forming the group in Nelson. The move to Alberta was initially supposed to be a temporary one, but Calgary turned out to be the best middle ground for the band members to settle down.
“Calgary just turned out to be way better than we expected,” said Nixon, bassist and performance poet for Locomotive Ghost.
The southern Alberta home base helped Locomotive Ghost launch the first installment of Seasons, which came out last April.
The band put the “indie” in indie band as they put the ambitious project together in-house, right down to the hand painted vinyl sleeves.
“It was definitely challenging. It was a ton of work, but it helped us connect with the project more,” Nixon said.
The band planned to release a collection of seven inch vinyls with a single on each side, but the scope of the project continued to grow as they were creating it.
“What we realized as we were writing those tunes and arranging them was that it started to feel like those couple of songs were a progression through the seasons. It felt like we went from winter to spring,” Nixon said.
Nixon said the idea of doing an EP for each season continued to come up in conversation, but seemed too daunting at first.
“Eventually we said OK, well, if we’re all committed to doing this and know we’re all going to get a little bit crazy and stressed out for the next while, but we think it’s worth it, let’s go ahead. So we did.”
Creating the project from the ground up made the band responsible for both the creative and business side of things, but according to Nixon, it became much easier to sell something that they had put so much effort into.
“It’s really easy to feel shy about trying to sell yourself,” Nixon said. “When it’s something you have a lot of pride in, the entire project, it’s easy to tell people it’s cool because you believe in it yourself.”
The initial release of Seasons had the music exclusively released on vinyl, a trend becoming more and more common among independent bands. Nixon sees it as the business of demographics, which has essentially flipped in recent years.
“The people who would be interested in buying vinyl tend to be people under 30, so the people who didn’t really grow up with vinyl. Whereas the people who grew up with vinyl just want CDs,” Nixon said.
The upcoming show at The Elite will feature songs written before the Seasons project and a few new unreleased tracks as well, but will focus largely on Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer.
Locomotive Ghost has been competing for votes with bands across Canada entering the CBC Searchlight contest, a fan-driven vote that highlights Canada’s best a brightest musical acts, winning as regional finalists in the West.
The contest was interesting said Nixon, adding it was just as much about social media marketing as it was the music.
“You want to engage people so that they’re excited enough and feel like they’re a part of it enough to consistently support you,” Nixon said.
The band used quirky photo shoots and spelled out messages in Lego blocks on their social networking feeds.
“It’s not only a challenge in getting support, but it keeps things fresh when you have to try and find ways as a group to be creative outside of just the music,” he said. As the band moves forward they hope to find some semblance of a musical direction out of the wide-spanning sounds of Seasons.
Locomotive Ghost also recruited local artist Papa Thom to open up their performance at The Elite. They came across his act and discovered his tour providing guitars and meals to shelters across Canada, and decided to get in touch.
“We came across him really by chance online and thought he seemed so cool that we called him up that minute and booked him,” Nixon said.
The show starts at 8 p.m. and is supported by donations. For more information contact The Elite at 250-492-3051.