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The Beaches at the Bronson Centre last December. Photo: Landon Entwistle/Apt613

HOPE Festival: Interview with The Beaches

By Stephane Dubord on July 13, 2019

One of the oddest annual scheduling quirks is back again this year, as HOPE Volleyball SummerFest is being held this Saturday, amidst the final weekend of Bluesfest. This year, music fans are being torn between hip-hop legends Wu-Tang Clan and Snoop Dogg at Bluesfest, and HOPE’s lineup that includes Elijah Woods X Jamie Fine (2:30pm), The Beaches (4pm) and Hollerado (5:30pm). If you can’t decide between those options, here’s a tip: you can take the O-Train to Mooney’s Bay, check out HOPE’s concert series, then hop back on the train up to Bayview and walk over to Bluesfest in time for the evening’s set of shows. Best of both worlds!

We caught up with both The Beaches and Hollerado recently to find out what they’ve been up to since the last time they were in town.

The Beaches have been on quite an upswing. When we chatted with guitarist Kylie Miller, the band was heading up to Oro-Medonte for rehearsals before opening up for none other than the Rolling Stones on an outdoor stage with an estimated 70,000 fans. And while they may have been nervous about it, they ended up putting on a fantastic show. That should come as no surprise to anyone who’s seen them in their few stops in Ottawa over the last few years. Their steady climb can be traced through their gigs in town since releasing their debut album Late Show: from opening for Death From Above at the Bronson Centre in October 2017; to headlining the 27 Club in May 2018; then headlining the Bronson last December.

Having grown up in the industry, first as Done With Dolls, then The Beaches, they’ve often been cited as the role models for girls wanting to start their own rock bands, but as Kylie stated: “We didn’t set out to be role models for girls. We just want to be a great rock band. The fact we’re girls doing it shouldn’t matter.” But it’s precisely that attitude that makes them a great rock band, and at the same time, encourage the next generation of girl rock bands.

Having the opportunity to work with Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw of Metric on their first album, they had strong mentors right from the outset. That album earned them the Breakthrough Group of the Year at the 2018 Junos, and included hit singles “Money” and “T-Shirt”. Striking while the iron was hot, the band released a new single “Fascination” by the end of 2018, followed by a new EP The Professional this year, with a second single: “Snake Tongue”.

Instead of sticking to the old approach of releasing a full-length album in one shot, they’ve adapted their plans to ensure they continue to be top of mind for their fans by continually releasing material. We can expect another single off of this EP (odds are pointing towards “Want What You Got”, though all five songs could realistically be singles – they’re that good), and then a follow-up EP later this year. The two EPs could be considered Side A and Side B of a full-length album, given they’ll be working with Jacknife Lee again on the second half.

While they have a few more festival dates over the summer, rumour has it that they may be back in the Ottawa area next month for a few intimate shows. Keep checking Apt613’s Twitter feed for more news on that as it breaks.

Check out Part 2 of our HOPE concert feature for our chat with our very own Hollerado.

HOPE Volleyball SummerFest is being held this Saturday, July 13, at Mooney’s Bay Beach, starting at 2:30pm. If you haven’t registered to play in the tournament, you can still get tickets to the show at the gate for $27.