Charlottetown's own The Meds bring their toe-tapping indie pop-rock to Halifax when they celebrate the release of their debut album South America.
Lead vocalist Kyle Drake and backing vocalist Iain McCarvill dialogued over a bad cell phone connection at a roadside pit stop en route to a show in Waterloo. The band tours almost constantly, so it's no wonder the idea of touring dominates its latest single.
"Running the Edge Down," for instance, offers a catchy lament of life on the road. "Staying up all night, driving all day, it's running the edge down," says Drake. "It's really about burning the candle at both ends."
The singer's diamond-clear vocals aren't limited to conveying the trials and tribulations of a touring band. "This album is the pick of the litter of our songs," says Drake. South America showcases a variety of themes ranging from heartache, to transcendence, to the beauty of the natural world---all on the back of a simple, steady beat and some memorable bridges.
Songwriting skill, musical talent and popular appeal attracted Canadian music industry powerhouses like Colin MacDonald and Matt Mays to The Meds. After randomly grabbing their demo from a collection in the trunk of his car, Mays fell under the island boys' sway. Mays made South America his first project as a producer, working over each track with the exception of MacDonald's "Running the Edge Down."
"Matt's the type of guy that when you put a guitar in his hand and put him in the studio, he's brilliant," says Drake. Over the past few years the rocker has proven himself an invaluable mentor to the men of The Meds. Mays has tightened the band's sound and polished their brand. Drake says, "Matt basically sent us a sketch of our album cover---right down to what we're wearing."
"I think it's a bit of a labour of love for Matt," adds McCarvill. "He's never asked us for anything." --JN
The Meds w/Royal Streets, Jerry Leger
Wednesday, May 14 at 8pm, $12.50/$15
The Carleton Music Bar & Grill, 1685 Argyle Street