As if being married isn’t hard enough, why not also play in a band with your spouse?
That’s the surrealistic reality of Wiklund vs Wiklund, comprised of vocalist Melody Wiklund and her musician husband Dan.
The Red Deer-based couple went through several musical transformations before becoming a powerhouse duo that’s holding a release party on Saturday at The Krossing for their first CD, Love Aches.
The Wiklunds are both originally from southern Manitoba and moved to Red Deer together in 2001. Dan explains this “beautiful” Alberta city had a more rocking social scene than the communities of 150 and 200 people they hail from.
“And it was a lot less intimidating than moving to Edmonton or Calgary,” admitted Melody.
After getting married in 2003, they helped found several local bands, including the headbanging Night at the Chelsea and rhythmic rockers The Well Witchers.
Now the Wiklunds perform as a pared-down roots duo. In part, it’s because being in a band always comes with “challenges,” said Dan, with a laugh. “You’re always switching out members…”
But also it’s because “we just wanted to see if we could do it — just us,” said Melody.
“When we first came to Red Deer, it was just the two of us. Then we had all these bands, and now it’s just the two of us again, and we have to rely on each other, which is kind of nice,” she explained.
“We wanted to see if we can still make it happen.”
Judging by Love Aches, the pair can create rich musical landscapes without forsaking their toe-tapping melodic roots.
Songs on the disc range from a ballad about overcoming life’s hurdles to The Raven, which touches on Dan’s feelings about his father’s death.
Dan said his dad started the first band he ever joined, and was his best friend and business partner.
“I guess I didn’t always have the coping mechanisms (to deal with the death of a parent), so the music became like a sort of therapy, like a therapeutic outpouring…”
Of the tune Open Book, Melody said, “Everybody makes mistakes, but can you get past them and still offer love and acceptance? … In an ideal world, everything would always be perfect — but no, we don’t always get along,” she added, with a chuckle.
The pair pay homage to her dad on the song Deer Hunter and on a video to be featured on YouTube (no animals were harmed in the making of it, Melody joked).
There’s a line in the song that goes: “The world is still spinning as it did in the past, so why is everybody moving so fast?”
She believes her father, who waited patiently in the forest to shoot deer for food when the family’s freezer was empty, taught her a lot about patience — a key ingredient for success in relationships and life.
The tune also passes on another piece of advice from her dad: “The world can be cold, life can be mean… but being kind is free…”
Wiklund vs Wiklund performs at The Krossing with acoustic opener Justin Mundy, the Vintage 45s as the duo’s backing band, and The Klamdaggers.
For more information, contact the venue.