GETTING MORE TALE #664: Heading to The Beaches
I’m exposed to a lot of music through the radio. I am lucky enough to hear roughly seven hours of radio at work every day. I feel a bit like Milton from the classic movie Office Space. “I was told that I could listen to the radio at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven.”
I just celebrated my 10 years at my job. There was always a bit of a battle between staff and receptionists over the radio. You see, everybody’s desk phone gets the radio piped in from the same station. It was also the “on hold” music for incoming callers. When I first started, the station was Chym FM. That was a downstep from my prior job at United Rentals, who had Dave FM and all the rock and roll that entailed. But soon enough, my current job switched the station to Dave, after several complaints about the repeat repeat repeat of Chym.
This went back and forth, back and forth, between Dave and Chym. Some clients who were on hold would tell me, “I was really enjoying your AC/DC there.” The receptionist really hated Dave, though. One afternoon she switched us over to a new country station. (That ended swiftly!) Eventually I determined the best course of action was for me to turn off my phone radio, and just bring in my own. So that’s what I did and for the last many years I’ve had my own radio tuned to Dave. I’m happy that this small luxury is accommodated. Rock and roll ain’t noise pollution.
Dave introduced me to many bands that I love today. The Arkells, Monster Truck, Greta Van Fleet and July Talk are just a few from the last couple years. I’m really grateful I get to hear great music every day. The good bands more than make up for the Nickelback, Three Days Grace, My Darkest Days, and other assorted shit they’re forced to play.
The other day, a younger guy at work named Leo came up to me and asked, “Have you heard of the band The Beaches?”
“No,” I answered immediately. “Let me Google them.”
I pulled them up, had a look at the four women that make up the band, and read a few blurbs. “Undertook a tour in 2011 opening for Allstar Weekend” was the line that jumped out, and I said simply, “Yeah, they suck.” Leo laughed that I could know such a thing in 60 seconds of Googling but my judgement had been declared.
I continued reading. “Album was produced by Emily Haines and James Shaw of Metric.” Metric? Hey, they’re cool. They probably wouldn’t produce shit. I approached Leo and told him of my new research. I re-opened the case of The Beaches.
Time goes by. A song comes on the radio. “Here’s ‘Money’, by The Beaches, on Dave Rocks,” said Craig.
Holy shit, The Beaches on Dave Rocks? I put down my pen and listened. It was a song I already knew and liked, but couldn’t remember who it was by. I assumed the singer of “Money” was a guy. Somebody with a high voice, like the guy from Royal Blood, maybe. It turns out, I already liked The Beaches. A band that I declared “sucked” after looking at a Wikipedia page.
Well, fuck me!
That should teach me about judging bands by appearances (a lesson I should have learned decades ago). Double dumb-ass on me. I didn’t even guess the gender of the singer correctly, while declaring that they sucked, also while already liking their single. Triple dumb-ass on me!
So who are The Beaches anyway? Toronto sisters Jordan and Kylie Miller are on lead vocals/bass and guitars respectively. They were joined by friend Eliza Enman-McDaniel on drums, and a guitarist named Megan Fitchett. They formed a teen pop rock band called Done With Dolls (a pretty cool name for an all-girl teen pop band) and it was actually they, not The Beaches, who toured with Allstar Weekend. This early Done With Dolls incarnation does not resemble the band they transitioned to. In 2013 Fitchett left and they took on double threat Leandra Earl (guitars/keyboards). They evolved into a sleeker garage rock band. Their image became cooler with a 60s and 70s-inspired evolution. Yet they still have bite.
Check out that irresistibly simple guitar riff. The backing keyboards of Leandra Earl give it some depth, and then the chorus jumps right out. With tunes this good, Jordan Miller won’t have to worry about making money. It’s gonna happen.
Unlike my crush on Avril Lavigne 15 years ago, nobody can accuse me of liking The Beaches just because they’re attractive. Turns out, I liked them when I thought they were dudes.
The title track to their debut LP Late Show is real punk rock, via Debbie Harry and the Go-Gos. It alleviates any question that these girls will kick your ass. They will indeed, and you will like it. It really is easy to like these energetic tunes.
Don’t be surprised if you hear more about The Beaches as summer approaches. Their music sounds like a good fit for summer action, whether in your car or at a party. The buzz is building. They were nominated for Breakthrough Group of the Year for the 2018 Juno awards, taking place this Sunday (March 25). Keep your eye on The Beaches and wish them luck at the Junos!