Sunglaciers are about to become your new favourite band, with a debut UK tour and a new album in the wings, ready to go. We had a chat with Evan Resnik to find out what’s what.
Like their name might suggest, Sunglaciers’ music blurs the boundaries between dazzling indie-rock melodicism and icy post-punk experimentation.
There’s a new album, Subterranea, due for release later this year and, perhaps, remarkably, given they’re based in Canada, they’re about to hit the UK for a mini tour.
The band could have spent 2020 brooding and mulling over their planned tour that didn’t happen, but instead they got creative and wrote, recorded, mixed and finished their follow up to 2019’s Foreign Bodies album.
Ahead of the tour and, in particular a Liverpool date on 12 October 2021 promoted by Moonfrog, we caught up with vocalist Evan Resnik for a chat.
P3dro: Where are you and what are you doing?
Evan: I’m in Calgary, Alberta, which is in Western Canada, just east of the Rocky Mountains. What am I doing right now? I’m enjoying the first official day of the fourth wave, lockdown. I’ve got no job for the next two weeks.
I work in an English pub, called The Ship and Anchor. And it’s probably the closest thing you’d find to an actual British style atmosphere in a pub around this part of the world. But yeah, we’re doing takeout only for the next few weeks here, as we try to crush the last of these new variants and allow the vaccine numbers to catch up.
P3dro: Tell us a little bit about the about about the band. How did you form? How did you get together?
Evan: The band really started in 2017. When my drummer and good friend Matthew joined the project. At that moment it was just myself, really. I’d played a couple of shows with some friends but hadn’t gotten serious and so Matt joined on drums after I’d parted ways with our first drummer. And from there, we really started committing ourselves to spending more time with the song craft and really trying to try to formulate a bigger picture.
And we’ve experienced a steady, if modest rise in popularity around here. And, now it seems like things could actually happen for us where we could get some touring and get some recognition. So it’s been a long steady climb, but it’s, getting exciting, I think.
P3dro: Where did you get the name from?
Evan: I had a partner, and we were travelling around or walking through somewhere in the north of Italy. She used to modify her language on the fly, maybe out of boredom, maybe just to be fun. But she asked me one day to hand her her sunglasses. But she said can you can you pass me my SunGlaciers, please? And I said, oh, maybe I’ll start a band and call it that one day. So here we are. I’m stuck with it.
It’s a nice name that sounds cool. It means nothing.
P3dro: Tell us about the recording process for the forthcoming album. We read from the bio that you managed to get it all sorted out during lockdown.
Evan: Yeah, that’s really when it started. Heading into 2020 we were just finalising a self booked tour, we were coming out to the UK and Europe in May, June 2020. And then everything stopped.
But we were very fortunate, I was getting ready to move out of my house which is where our rehearsal space was. And so we talked to, actually, the first bass player in the band, who is a part owner at a commercial recording studio. So, we signed on to get in there evenings and weekends, just to jam there just to use the space.
But then once the once the pandemic hit, we we found ourselves with 24 hour access. And the principal owner’s got all this great vintage outboard gear, a bunch of cool stuff, there’s a there’s a full on tracking room and control room. So Matt and I, because we had spent so much time together before the lockdown, were able to, stay in a cohort, so to speak, without any fear of being being part of the spread of the virus.
We just got to work and we wrote 25 – 30 songs and then recorded our favourite 13. We had months to do it. So when we had this space all to ourselves it was really nice to be able to maintain our sanity that way and not get too bogged down by the busted up tour plans and just make the most of the situation.
P3dro: That’s pretty fortunate really, because a lot of bands have been swapping files by Dropbox and email.
Evan: Yeah, and a lot of a lot of other bands, friends of ours, can’t get together and jam even now because we’re still dealing with this shit. So yeah, super, super lucky.
We’ve actually just started recording the other ones we wrote, and some more new ones. So we’re right back in the studio now as well.
P3dro: Is that album number three?
Evan: Yeah. Yeah, that’s right. You know, just in case there are more lockdowns and we need something to occupy our time.
P3dro: Have you had to delay the release of the new album because of lockdown?
Evan: Well, yes and no. The album has only has only come about, and is now finished, because of COVID. We had a lot of big plans for 2020 on the strength of our first record. We had a tonne of festival invitations around Canada, we had a cross Canadian tour booked for summer. So a lot of these things in the works that were really going to be good for us, but were going to keep us out of the recording process.
And we decided to just sit on it for a little while and then see how things started to take shape and I suppose we’re still sitting on it a bit, we’re either looking at autumn or winter, to put it out.
P3dro: So tell us a bit about the European tour.
Evan: It looks like we’re just gonna keep it to the UK. With the variable of everyone’s recovery on the continent. So, we’ll go with the short thing or the surest thing, which would be a UK tour. Which is still great. We’ve never been over there. We have a good sense that that people will be receptive to what we bring for them. So we’re playing Focus Wales in Wrexham. And then from there we’ve got Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, London, Bristol. There’s a couple more. It’s not not fully formed yet.
P3dro: We think you will go down well. We were listening to the new album and there’s a kind of indie psych vibe to it. There’s a market for that kind of stuff.
Evan: I think so. I mean, everything new that’s come out of the UK over the last year I’ve been super into. It seems like the right kind of energy for us to go over there and play for a while.
P3dro: How do you go down in Canada then?
Evan: Oh, they hate us. Yeah, right. No, it’s been really good as well. We’ve only played Eastern Canada once, when our first record came out, at the end of 2019. We played a couple of shows in Toronto and Montreal and made some nice friends over there had some really good turnout for our shows. So, we’re excited to get back there as well and will more than likely do some sort of Eastern Canada swing either before or right after our UK leg.
And then, similarly in Western Canada and Alberta we’ve been playing around here for a good three, four solid years now. We have established a good, tight little fan base and played some shows out on the West Coast as well.
So the funny thing about the Canadian music scene is it’s so small, really. You get on a tour circuit and end up playing with the same bands or you see, you’ll play with a band and you know, two of the members from a band you played a show with a couple years back, and it seems to be just the same sort of tight group of super committed people.
There’s a really great sense of community, at least in the circles we run in. And it’s really encouraging and exciting.
P3dro: What about Calgary, specifically what kind of venues do you have there?
Evan: On the whole, it’s great, it seems to be losing venues pretty quickly at the moment, and not necessarily just a COVID thing, either. It was kind of happening for a few years before that as well. But yeah, same kind of thing, sort of a microcosm for for the country. It’s active, it’s healthy, it’s enthusiastic. And it’s relatively small for a city of 1 million.
There are probably only six or seven venues that that I would call good, and most of them are pretty small. And it just lends to that that sense of community. And there’s a good energy here, there’s a lot of active musicians who are really passionate, very supportive. There’s a couple of different scenes, you know, with a little bit of overlap. For the most part, everyone’s really, really sweet to each other.
And, yeah, we all can’t wait to get back out into into a crowd and rubbing shoulders again.
P3dro: We think that kind of support is going to be quite important, isn’t it? For the next couple years, at least.
Evan: Yeah. And I think you’re right. I think everyone, everyone now just really, really misses the experience. And I’m almost hoping there’s a decent amount of regret out there as well. And we can count on them to come out more as well and really see it see a resurgence of just good small local shows.
P3dro: So, just a couple of quick ones to finish off with, Evan, what are you most looking forward to about coming to the UK?
Evan: Oh, man, what’s not to look forward to? We read so much about touring in the UK and Europe and how it’s a different experience from from in Canada, and really, really interested in seeing what that’s like.
I just hear from all my friends Oh, you get really, really get taken care of over there? Well, they really come out and support you. And, and that’s not to say that our scenes and our communities aren’t great. But there might just be a little bit of a different ethos when it comes to going out to live shows. And I’m really excited to see that.
Also, just in general, to be out playing and seeing a new town every day. And that excitement and that simplicity of life where you wake up and you’ve got two jobs, one job is to get to Liverpool. And the other job is to is to make sure all your all your gear plugs in correctly, and you can make sounds, then the rest will take care of itself.
P3dro: And the last one is to recommend a band or an album that you think we should be listening to right now.
Evan: There’s a great band from Edmonton called Wares. And they put out a record last year in the middle of the lockdown called ‘Survival’, which is fantastic. It’s just great, great indie garage, but a psych, bit of angst. It’s everything you need.
And sort of on the other end of the spectrum, a friend of ours out in Montreal called Eve Parker Finley. And she put out a record a few months ago, which is just it’s quite magical. It’s it’s a really beautiful orchestral, electronic, classical sort of resume launch. And it’s it’s really, really nice.