The struggle between darkness and light is a huge part of Nanaimo art rock band Gold and Shadow. They’ll be playing songs from their debut album, Torch, on Sept. 9 at the Parksville Fellowship Baptist Church.
The band has spent two years working on the album, lead vocalist Dane Letourneau said.
“We’ve been so lost in the details, we’re ready to share (the album).”
He said the band describes itself as part of the “art rock” genre because they aren’t classic rock and roll. They perform with “rock” instruments, but the band’s style of music is unconventional. They perform longer songs and focus on creating beautiful tunes, he said.
Torch is being released independently by the band and Letourneau said this method is a positive way for newer bands to release music that might otherwise be overlooked, or not fit into the mandate of a record label.
“You have the power to contact people and arrange it in ways that make sense to you,” he said. “The weird music has a voice.”
He used Reddit and subreddits as examples which provide a niche market for artists and listeners and said the Internet has allowed artists to expand their music.
“There’s an incredible variety of music out there,” he said.
The conflicting themes of light and darkness are prominent in Torch, and Letourneau said the music video for the album’s hit, Half Moon, is about a young girl who must confront her fears in an eerie space.
The point, he said, is that there is room for hope, freedom and redemption past the difficult trials one must face in life.
Torch features 10 songs with Half Moon being the latest single.
The band members are influenced by religion, as they are known Christians. Their beliefs carry over into the music, but they aren’t a Christian rock band, Letourneau said.
“(We) don’t want to be in that box.” He said he feels that there is “no room for growth and creativity” in the standard Christian music that caters specifically to the religion. The focus of the band, he said, is more influenced by the Island and the outdoors. “The West Coast has this incredible, visual landscape… I want to make music (that reflects) the landscape.”
Even the name Gold and Shadow contains a Vancouver Island reference.
“The name is directly connected to the landscape of the Island… the arbutus tree has that really incredible flaming, gold bark.” Letourneau said.
The band also enjoys playing in an open space. One of Letourneau’s favourite places to play was in the Buzz Coffee House in Nanaimo because the interior is wooden, the windows are large and the light is bright, opposed to a dark bar.
The band consists of Dane Letourneau on vocals/guitar, Jesse Janzen on bass, Wes Holmes on drums and Jordan Lineker on guitar.
To find out more about Gold and Shadow’s tour dates visit their website at goldandshadow.com