Photo Credit: Richard Yagutilov
Not all Canadian indie bands can attribute their formation to a “whiskey storm” but that’s how Fast Romantics describe their story. Formed in Calgary five years ago by singer/songwriter Matthew Angus, bassist Jeffrey Lewis and drummer Alan Reain, the group then picked up two Australian ex-pats, Shane O’Keeffe and Lauren Heron. Their Ottawa connection comes from Reain, who was born and raised in the National Capital and also attended Carleton University. Now with the recent release of their sophomore album, Afterlife Blues, Fast Romantics are wrapping up an extensive Canada-US tour with a performance on Dec. 19 at the Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield.
For a second time, the band collaborated with producer Howard Redekopp on the album, which brought a sense of comfort and ease to the recording studio. It wasn’t long before the 10 songs were polished.
Matthew Angus says he suddenly realized he had broken up with a lot of people and never used those experiences to write lyrics before. Once he began putting pen to paper, the album flowed freely.
“There’s that cycle of heartache and stumbling upon love, dying and then waking back up,” Angus explains. “I’m not trying to be all that clever anymore; lyrically, a lot of it is dead simple. Like music from the early 60s, when you could just spill your guts, and people would thank you for it, and that would be that.”
He added that Afterlife Blues isn’t all heartbreak, but playful and even euphoric.
“There’s a good blend of blood, guts and bliss,” Angus said. “That’s the sort of record we wanted to make.”