Vancouver-based band Yukon Blonde perform at Bo’s in Red Deer on Sunday.

Vancouver-based band Yukon Blonde perform at Bo’s in Red Deer on Sunday.

Catching the New Wave

They’re too young to be experiencing early-’80s flashbacks, but members of Yukon Blonde threw hints of Talking Heads and Blondie on their new album. The band has purposely evolved from a guitar-driven rock band to a group with synth New Wave-pop influences. While Yukon Blonde’s first release in three years, On Blonde, has the potential to surprise fans, so far, all the feedback has been positive, said Brandon Scott, the group’s guitarist.

They’re too young to be experiencing early-’80s flashbacks, but members of Yukon Blonde threw hints of Talking Heads and Blondie on their new album.

The band has purposely evolved from a guitar-driven rock band to a group with synth New Wave-pop influences. While Yukon Blonde’s first release in three years, On Blonde, has the potential to surprise fans, so far, all the feedback has been positive, said Brandon Scott, the group’s guitarist.

“We started working with a vintage synthesizer and the new sound came naturally that way. It’s a darker, more mature sound than on our former record, but I consider it a natural progression.”

Band members, who perform on Sunday at Bo’s Bar and Grill in Red Deer, had taken a hiatus from touring to work on separate projects for a few months in 2013.

Lead singer Jeff Innes put out a solo album, while Scott put out an EP of folks songs, called Postcard Writer.

In regrouping to record, Yukon Blonde wasn’t going to sound just like it did on the 2012 Juno-nominated album Tiger Talk, said Scott — not with new bassist, James Bull, and new synth player Rebecca Gray on board.

Innes, the main songwriter, had also been listening to a lot of Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys last winter.

And this early 1980s influence is evident in the campy, glam rock video for the single Saturday Night. It stars Toronto drag queen Sapphire lip-synching to Innes’s voice, provoking viewers to question what they are seeing.

Director Mac Boucher liked this ambiguity, comparing Sapphire’s Diva persona to Tim Curry’s Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

“She’s animated, glamorous and is straight up one of the best performers I’ve ever seen,” stated Boucher.

Scott was also “blown away” by Sapphire’s performance on the video, which has a “’70s Italian film flavour that suited the song’s darker vibe. …

“I feel like the front half of our album is poppy and upbeat,” Scott continued, “but there’s a 1980s New York darker sound on songs like Saturday Night and Starvation.” He cites Talking Heads and Blondie music as influences.

Since the band doesn’t publish its lyrics or discuss songs, listeners will have to draw their own conclusions about meanings.

Scott was raised in remote Quesnel, B.C., and now appreciates its advantages. But when he was 17, he could hardly wait to escape to a bigger centre. He began studying photography at the University of Victoria before being lured to Kelowna by friends who wanted him to join their band, Ludo.

As he’d been playing guitar since age eight, and “the Okanagan had a bit of a record scene in the early 2000s,” Scott was glad to make the move.

In 2005, he partnered with Innes and drummer Graham Jones to form a group originally called Alphababy. “It was a terrible name,” said Scott, so was changed to Yukon Blonde.

Now based in Vancouver, the band has seen a steady turnover of members. Scott considers the current lineup “the best batch of musicians we’d had in a long time,” connecting musically and personally.

He looks forward to playing for Red Deer fans for the first time in a long while.

Tickets to the 7 p.m. concert, with special guests, are $12 to $17 from the venue. For more information, call 403-309-2200.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Regional Airport CEO Graham Ingham has ambitious plans for the airport. (Advocate file photo).
Red Deer Regional Airport revenues climb in 2020

Bringing in more business is the 2021 goal, says director

City council will have to wait longer to hear back from administration on possible alternative sites — if the homeless shelter is moved from Red Deer downtown. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Alternative sites for homeless shelter will be explored by the City of Red Deer

Council gave administration more time to return with a report

Quentin Lee Strawberry was found not guilty of second-degree murder in connection with stabbing death of Joseph Gallant in March 2019. (Photo from RCMP)
Updated: O’Chiese man found not guilty of 2019 stabbing death of Red Deer man

Quentin Strawberry found guilty of assaulting murdered man’s common-law partner

(Advocate file photo).
City of Red Deer property tax bills are in the mail

Red Deer 2021 tax notices are on their way. Red Deer property… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks’ Nils Hoglander (36) scores on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Laurent Brossoit (30) during first-period NHL action in Winnipeg on Monday May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Hoglander scores twice as Vancouver Canucks dump slumping Winnipeg Jets 3-1

Hoglander scores twice as Vancouver Canucks dump slumping Winnipeg Jets 3-1

Edmonton Oilers' Dominik Kahun (21) celebrates with teammate Connor McDavid (97) after scoring the third goal against Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen (34) during second-period NHL hockey action in Montreal, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canadiens clinch playoff spot with single point, fall to McDavid and Oilers in OT

Canadiens clinch playoff spot with single point, fall to McDavid and Oilers in OT

Rory McIlroy tees off on the fourth hole during the fourth round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament at Quail Hollow on Sunday, May 9, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
McIlroy ends 18 months without winning at Quail Hollow

McIlroy ends 18 months without winning at Quail Hollow

Canada , left to right, lead Briane Meilleur, third Val Sweeting, skip Kerri Einarson, and second Shannon Birchard discuss strategy against Sweden in a qualification game at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, May 8, 2021. Both of Canada's teams were shut out of the medals, marking the first time ever that Canada did not reach the podium at either the men's or women's worlds in the same season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Bubble Wrap: Fresh questions for Canada after medal shutout at curling worlds

Bubble Wrap: Fresh questions for Canada after medal shutout at curling worlds

Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Oilers plan to keep playing McDavid, Draisaitl as NHL regular season winds down

Oilers plan to keep playing McDavid, Draisaitl as NHL regular season winds down

Canada's Tyler Ardron, right, tries to block the kick by Italy's Callum Braley during the Rugby World Cup Pool B match in Fukuoka, western Japan, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kyodo News via AP
Canadian men to face Wales and England in July rugby test matches

Canadian men to face Wales and England in July rugby test matches

John Velazquez, right, rides Medina Spirit ahead of Florent Geroux aboard Mandaloun to win the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Darron Cummings
Casse believes colleague Baffert deserves “due process” folowing positive test

Casse believes colleague Baffert deserves “due process” folowing positive test

Canada forward Liam Millar (23) moves the ball past Bermuda defender Eusebio Blankendal (2) during the second half of a World Cup 2022 Group B qualifying soccer match Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-John Raoux
Canadian men to play next two World Cup qualifying matches in the U.S.

Canadian men to play next two World Cup qualifying matches in the U.S.

Most Read