With the Cicada Music Festival fast approaching, many of the local bands scheduled to perform have been gearing up for their performances. For some of these bands, the festival in Henley Island is an incredible opportunity to have their music heard on a big scale alongside some of the finest up-and-coming names in Canadian indie music.
One such band is St. Catharines’ own The Bae Beach Club, whose blissful, ambient surf-rock will make a name for itself alongside Terra Lightfoot, Dan Mangan and Joey Landreth on October 13.
“This is definitely one of the biggest, if not the biggest, events for us to date,” said Kiki Kinaschuk, the band’s lead singer, rhythm guitar player and songwriter. Joining her in The Bae Beach Club are drummer Chase Donoghue, lead guitarist Noah Rastegar and bassist Damian Birdsey. Having released their second EP, Our Escape, in May this year, they’ve had an impressive run of shows surrounding the Cicada festival, including a rooftop gig at the Niagara Artists Centre this past August, a slot at the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival later on this month, and a few Toronto shows in October.
They’ve come a long way in the three years since the band’s inception, especially since their creation was so innocent and unassuming.
“My goal was to play a show that summer for fun and see if I could do it,” Kinaschuk said. “That first show was amazing, so we collectively decided it was a good idea to keep it going.”
Clearly, their sound has struck a chord with their audience. Their surf-rock overtones, combined with post-rock ambience and a 50s sense of harmony and melody create an utterly unique sound that can’t be found elsewhere.
“Our sound was something that I knew I wanted to do from the start,” explained Kinaschuk. “My whole life I have spent my summers at the beach sailing. After many boat trips around the Great Lakes, I was pretty obsessed with the atmosphere that came with those adventures.”
“It naturally came through in my songs and turned into a really cool way to share a feeling that I love so much and am constantly searching for.”
The band used to be called KNOW; the change to The Bae Beach Club was a suggestion from Donoghue after recording a song titled “The Bae Beach Club” for Our Escape. The move is one that readily embraces the sound Kinaschuk is searching for and captures the atmosphere created at the band’s shows.
It’s really quite incredible how cohesive the band’s sound is, especially considering how different the musical background of each member is. Kinaschuk cites Jack Johnson, Bahamas, and Daniela Andrade as her own inspirations, but guitarist Noah Rastegar has a heavier, prog-rock background; he was previously a singer and guitarist for another local band, the space-rock group Morning Dwellers. It’s a huge change of pace for him, but his style blends perfectly with this group, his out-of-this-world guitar sound lending an ethereal feel to the music. It’s a union that creates a pitch-perfect sense of nostalgia, as though there’s a whole world coming to life inside of the music.
Kinaschuk is excited to be performing at Cicada. She’s still trying to wrap her head around sharing a green room with so many artists that she admires so deeply. She’s even more excited to be there with her band. If one thing, above all else, has become apparent through our conversation, it’s that this wouldn’t be happening if she or her band mates didn’t love doing what they do.
“My favourite part of being in the band is definitely the time spent with the boys creating something we are all proud of,” Kinaschuk said. “It’s really cool to hear about friends and strangers jamming out to our music.”
Kinaschuk tells me that The Bae Beach Club are working on something huge for the not so distant future, but she refused to give me any specific details. Personally, I’m hoping that we`ll get to see some of that in action when they take the stage at Cicada, but whatever they decide to do with their performance, they`ll surely put a smile on everyone’s faces.