Interview by Annie Da Silva
Emerging from spontaneous bursts of collaboration, The Wells’ songs often begin without intention. A delicate progression of sweeping chords or an intricately melodic percussive rhythm are repeated and reshaped until evolving into the silhouette of a song. Here they find themselves asking, what does this song feel like? Pulling from an eclectic spectrum of influences such as indie, folk, melodic electronica, punk and jazz, The Wells strive to create something truthful and unique.
Formed in the spring of 2014, The Wells consists of Jolene Marie (vocals and keys), Sarah-lynn Wilson (bass), Graeme Rice (guitar) and Jordan Phillips (drums). Thriving on the love and support of the local Calgary music scene, some of their favourite performances include Market Collective’s 7th Anniversary in East Village and BIG Winter Classic.
Jolene Marie, from Calgary band The Wells, gives insight about their upcoming EP ‘Quiet Town’ and the big plans lying ahead for the group. While previewing this well-thought-out EP, it’s easy to see the commitment and love The Wells have for their new sound. ‘Quiet Town’ is full of atmospheric sounds and beautiful lyrical content that will guide you through each song into nostalgic, familiar imagery making you wonder where you’ve heard these stories before.
How did The Wells form as a group
Jordan and Graeme grew up together and Sarah and I are sisters. We all met when Jordan replied to an ad of mine; I was looking for a band and they were looking for a singer. I guess you could say we met online.
Can you give us some insight on your band members’ musical backgrounds?
Jordan started playing drums in Junior High jazz band and Graeme started playing guitar during Junior High as well. When our original bass player left, we wanted Sarah to join the band so she took up bass. I’ve always sung and written songs. None of us had performed before getting together, so it’s been cool to experience a lot of firsts together.
What inspired the band name?
It was an old inside joke but now it’s sort of taken on its own meaning, at least to us.
Was there a reason for the gap between releases?
Our sound changed a lot from our last release four years ago. The change in our sound had a lot to do with the gap. At first we were recording these songs that didn’t feel like us any more, it was really uninspiring. When Wil Moralda offered to produce the EP, we decided to just do the newer stuff. Everything went really smoothly after that.
I’ve been lucky enough to preview the album and so far ‘Time To’ has been stuck in my head for days, I can’t get enough of the song. Can you explain the inspiration behind the track?
Thank you very much; we’re glad you like it! Time To is about looking at yourself in the mirror and not recognizing the person staring back at you and knowing you’re the only person who can change things and kind of yelling at yourself to do something about it.
Do you have a favourite studio to work with in town?
So far we’ve been lucky enough to work with Wil Moralda and we can’t say enough good things about him. Hi Wil!
Who are some of your influences?
As far as what we bring to the band, it’s a mix of indie, melodic electronica, baroque pop, folk, punk and jazz. Graeme pretty much learned how to play guitar from The Tallest Man on Earth and he pulls inspiration for arrangements from Jeff Rosenstock. I grew up singing along to musicals and Janis Joplin. Lyrically a big inspiration is Elliott Smith. Sarah brings influences from soft electronica both melodically and conceptually. Jordan pulls stylistic and structural inspiration from Bombay Bicycle Club and We are the City.
Are there any artists in town that have caught your attention?
Of course! We love Yvette, Thomas Thomas, Handmade, I Am The Mountain, 36?, The Ashley Hundred, and Windigo. We’re really lucky to live in such a talented and supportive city.
What’s next for The Wells after this release? Any upcoming shows?
We plan to record a full length album and go on a western tour. We’ve written a lot of new music since recording ‘Quiet Town’ and we are really excited to get into a studio. We’re also looking forward to playing a lot of shows. After the release we’ll be at Koi on August 10.
Lastly, if you had to describe your sound as a Doritos flavour, what would it be and why?
I think the best fit would be the Doritos collision bag with guacamole and habanero! You might not know they even exist but once you try them you’re like, “hmm, that’s not bad, actually”.
Anything else you’d like our readers to know about ‘Quiet Town’?
The album art is of our very good boy Tego and he hopes you enjoy the album very much!
You can stay up to date with all of The Wells’ releases, shows and music adventures through their Facebook, Instagram and website as well as find ‘Quiet Town’ on all streaming sites! Be sure to stop by Broken City on July 26 to hear this wonderful album live!!