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"Saskatoon's always a good party night" - Yukon Blonde to play the Capitol Music Club May 7th

by Scott Roos

photo by Raunie Mae

This coming Tuesday, May 7th, as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations for Saskatoon’s Capitol Music Club, Vancouver indie pop scene stalwarts Yukon Blonde will take the stage to no doubt provide an evening of high quality musical entertainment. Having just released their sixth full length studio effort this past October, which they entitled Shuggie, the band has done a few sojourns around Canada but has yet to air those songs out in the prairies. Until now, that is.


“I find Saskatoon's always a good party night. It never disappoints there,” Yukon Blonde guitarist Brandon Scott told NSMZ in a recent telephone interview.


At this point in the band’s history, they have been around for over 15 years. Their sound and style has evolved but, in general, in their own way, they have forged a unique legacy and slowly but surely become a much beloved band for many which, in turn, can make it hard to formulate a setlist. Especially when they have compelling new material that they want to share with their fans.


“We have so many songs now. It's a little crazy. So trying to pack it all into an hour and a half is a little tricky. But again, we're being a bit self-indulgent with Shuggie because we do like playing the songs. So we're playing quite a few off that record. Yeah, and you know, peppering in the hits of course. We're gonna bring a couple of old old ones for fun. So yeah there's some old timers in there,” muses Scott on the setlist crafting process.


In terms of Shuggie itself, it very much picks up from where the band’s last album Vindicator left off. Ever since the group’s 2010 self titled debut full length, Yukon Blonde crew have been evolving their sound to a more electro indie pop sort of vibe. They’ve maintained folksy elements, and quietly clung to some of the punk rock straws they were grasping at early on with their DIY attitude and subtle guitar riffs, but, essentially, they are largely a different band from when they first started out. That’s not necessarily meant to be a judgmental statement. It’s just a fact. You may hear the band nostalgically crank out a Tiger Talk anthem or two in Saskatoon but, by and large, they will  be predominantly leaning into the “new” direction. It’s a sound that they’ve been refining for some time.


“I think (electronic sound) was always there with our singer Jeff (Innes),” Scott recalled, “When I first met him he was always making instrumental electronic music like Caribou style stuff and some Boards of Canada sounding stuff. So it was really ingrained in him and he wasn't really that interested in songwriting (at first) and then he really put his foot down he got really good at it (songwriting). I think maybe I brought a bit of folk to the table and we just kind of started that way.”


“I don't know if he (Innes) just thought a lot about synthesizers and got really into it. During the On Blonde period, he put out a solo record under High Ends… And so that was kind of where that sound was starting to happen,” Scott explained.


Vindicator was the group’s first effort where they wrote, recorded and produced entirely on their own. Where Vindicator shows an experimental side, Shuggie seems more measured in its approach. With this latest effort, the band has, pardon the pun, seemingly found their groove. The result is a slow burn, mellow, mildly psychedelic, brooding, funky and danceable. It shows the band at a lyrical and melodic maturity.


“We just kind of dove in and doubled down and kind of got really involved in the production side of things to the point now where everyone in our band has their own respective studio. Everything is self-produced now and self-mixed. This is very much in house now. We can kind of work at our own pace, but It gives you that time to really dive into the weird sounds and take the time with it.”


Singer-songwriter Layten Kramer will be opening for Yukon Blonde on this series of dates. The band has toured with him before in B.C. and formed a close bond with him. 


“He's such a good guitar player and songwriter.  It's a good vibe… I think he compliments the show really well,” added Scott.


For the show at the Cap, doors will open at 8 pm. Tickets for shows can still be purchased HERE but are moving quickly. 



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