Back in July 2011, I was awash with praise for St. Catharines-based band Talk In Blue, whose debut EP was soundtracking my morning coffee and paper reading. Sadly, the band is no longer, leaving that impressive EP as its sole release, but the spirit of smartly written and expertly played pop songs continues with the arrival of Stonetrotter.
Former Talk In Blue bandmates Dave Allen and Ben Pearson returned to their hometown of Barrie, connected with Ben Lemen and Courtney Dubois (who were making folk music as Little Lakes) and started regular gigs around town, playing covers and sprinkling their growing repertoire of original tunes into the set. Adding Evan Dwinnell on drums meant the other four could stop rotating instruments with each song and take up permanent places behind their instruments.
The songs on What’s Goin’ On (With My Love)?, Stontrotter’s first EP, are so beautifully constructed you’ll want to put them in a frame and hang them on your wall. “The Architect” is alive with soul swagger that’s so very rare for an indie band. “Firestarter” hints at Lemen and Dubois’ folk heritage and marries it with Allen and Pearson’s predilection for pearly pop. “A Ghost in My Own Skin” and the title track round out the four-song EP’s tracklist, which is available as a pay-what-you-want download from Stonetrotter’s Bandcamp page.
If you’re in the Orillia area tonight, Stonetrotter are playing at The Brownstone (178 Mississaga St. East) before heading back home to Barrie to play at The Clarkson Pub, tomorrow night, Saturday, August 24th.