After more than a year of recording and fine tuning, a Squamish original is set to release its first full-length album.
Tantalus Pass, a five-person band of Squamish residents, will release Furrows in the Boroughs at the Brackendale Art Gallery on Saturday (Feb. 1) at 8 p.m. and is inviting the community to celebrate the band’s latest achievement.
But the band’s success may have never occurred if not for a chance meeting of members Doug Smith and Nikolai Gurda.
“It all started one night in the Highlands,” Smith recalled. “I was invited to a party out there and met Nikolai. We started jamming together and hit it off like a house of fire.”
The duo then connected with Rita Kyle and Zachary deJong at an open mic night at the BAG in late 2010 and then added Colin Bates to the fold about 18 months ago.
Smith said the band works on a number of levels.
“We all have similar tastes in music and for whatever reason, we’re very much like a family,” he said. “We have our spats here and there, but then we play and it works. We all recognize it’s a rare thing — it’s not often that bands in small towns are able to stay together for this long. We have a lot of fun doing it.
“I remember we were doing a gig and took a break and a young woman came over and told us that she’s seen us three times and every time a party breaks out,” he said. “We like that and kind of ran with it — that’s kind of the point.”
He said the band’s sound has changed over the years and since Bates joined them, they’ve become a little heavier.
“Since adding him, we’ve rocked it up a bit,” he said. “We’re sort of more melodic roots rock but we wouldn’t look out of place on a bill with a band like Blue Rodeo. We have some songs that have a bluegrass feel but some that are straight-up rock and roll.”
Smith said the launch party should be a good time and will give them a chance to celebrate the hard work that has been done to create the 13-song album.
“It was really a group effort,” he said, noting three members penned the songs. “We all pitch in on the arrangement and it’s really a collaborative effort. Rita is a genius with harmonies so she works on that. Colin is just a consummate musician and fills in the vocal gaps for us and everyone pitches in and finds their spot.”
Saturday’s launch party also features the band collaborating with local talents Cam Salay, Ray Grieves, Michael Kilby and Steve Quane. Smith said the group has had gigs at the Howe Sound Brew Pub, Chances Casino and Lasqueti Island, and said Saturday should be a fun time.
“We’re working with a bunch of different talents who will be getting up over the course of the evening and jamming the night away with us,” he said.
Tickets for the event are $20 and all who attend will receive a copy of the album. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at Xocolatl Chocolate Creations in Downtown Squamish. Copies of the album are also available at Zephyr Café.
For more information on the band, visit www.tantaluspass.com.