• By: Katie Hartai

Travel With the Tourist Company

The Tourist Company is living up to their name this spring.

Cities across Canada are welcoming the Vancouver experimental folk band throughout February and March as they tour the country. Be sure to catch the Tourist Company when they stop at the Raw Sugar Café in Ottawa on March 12.

“I have never been to Ottawa so I am excited to see that side of the country,” admits the Tourist Company percussionist Brenon Parry. “A few other members haven’t been either so we are excited to explore, make some new fans and meet some new people.”

Although the band has been together for a couple years now, they have stayed mostly in British Columbia and Alberta.

“We had an urge to get out to the eastern part of Canada and decided that spring was a great time to do that,” Parry says.

The Tourist Company 2The Tourist Company has come a long way for a group of friends that started out playing together at summer camp. Their confident sound has the acoustic heart of folk, the drive of indie rock and the slightest bounce of hip-hop. Making use of a variety of instruments, ranging from the electric guitar to glockenspiel, their tunes are catchy, vibrant and full of swelling harmonies. It’s no wonder the band has grown to become one of Vancouver’s most intriguing new acts!

“We really try to make music that everyone can enjoy,” Parry says. “Whether it be the lyrics, melodies or instruments, we try and play to everybody’s ears giving everybody the chance to listen and get something out of it.”

Last year marked a dramatic change for the group sonically. While they started off in the folk scene, the Tourist Company is now considered to be more pop-rock.

“There are a lot of experimental elements with time signatures and sounds that we are pretty proud of,” Parry explains.

In 2013, the band released their debut album Brother, Wake Up, which was shortly followed by the Jordan Klassen-produced records Atlantic and Space Race in 2014. Their lead single “Irrepressible Future” is an infectious, toe tapping jam—not unlike the other three songs on Space Race. You can purchase or listen to each album on the Tourist Company bandcamp webpage.

Following their spring road trip, the Tourist Company will be heading back into the studio to begin working on a fourth album. Some of the new music will be introduced to fans live on their tour.

“No date is set stone yet, but we definitely want it to come out this year,” Parry says. “We are thinking maybe a fall release.”

The best part about touring, according to Parry, is the trip itself.

“I might stand alone on this, but I really love driving,” he laughs. “Getting out and driving for a long time, seeing different parts of the country I am not familiar with is just really exciting to me. Now getting to play music on top of doing that, it’s my dream come true!”

The Tourist Company will be hitting the Raw Sugar Café stage around 9 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door.