Booty making waves

WHOANDWHAT in Calgary on Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. WHYANDMORE. (Photo by Ryan Wellicome/SAIT Polytechnic)

Marking Alberta’s second annual Peak Performance Project happening throughout October, among the twelve artists showcased, one act, known for their self-described “booty-wave” music stands out from their fuzzed out peers.

Known as Beach Season, the young Calgary duo are making waves with their signature R&B sound. And, being one of the few more prominent acts from a genre that is usually outside of Calgary’s main musical silos: folk, garage, punk and a menagerie of all three, they’re set to perform at the Nite Owl on Oct. 23 alongside Layten Kramer and Cowpuncher.

With only one debut EP, Internet Evening, released by local record label Close To Modern, the duo—Sam Avant, 21, and Simon Blitzer, 22—under their current moniker, has only been taking music seriously since the past year. With all the momentum they’ve been gaining in such a short amount of time, they’re quite ecstatic.

“[Right now] we’re just trying to ride the wave with it,” Avant says.

“Colleen (their manager) has been doing a lot of work for us and hooking us up with a lot of shows and we just want to have fun with it.”

And while their focus is primarily on making music, they don’t discount the support from the local community.

“We’ve made a lot of friends and colleagues that have also helped push us farther.”

Avant and Blitzer have known eachother for some time. During their days in school, they would collaborate in a garage and make music that then made their transition to hip-hop and their eventual progression to R&B.

“I’ve always wanted to take music seriously,” says Blitzer, who does much of the instrumentation and production for the duo while the latter sings—although both have a seasoned background in various musical styles such as jazz, blues and rock.

“With our [former] hip-hop project, I thought that would be a career for us, and then it kind of just naturally shifted towards Beach Season.

“With taking music seriously, there’s a lot more work to it that you don’t see in the beginning. You start to learn more about how to do things [within the industry] and how to do it successfully.”

Alberta’s Peak Performance Project, originally created in Vancouver by 102.7 The Peak and BC Music, not only highlights the province’s standout acts, but also prepares them for the broader music industry with an intensive week-long training camp.

“There’s a lot to do … a lot of trial and error, but it’s all what the real music world is like—it really prepares you and by the end of it I feel that with everything that we did, it’ll make a really nice resume,” says Avant.

And while the prize money is quite a large lump sum (first place: $100,953, second place: $75,000, third place: $50,000), they don’t feel like the competition is the most important thing that they could take from it. More so, it was about establishing a community and making connections.

“We made tons of new friends,” says Avant.

“We didn’t think anyone would like us because of how we sound, but they’re all music lovers, and I think that’s why we were all chosen to take part.” Beach Season will hopefully be releasing their debut LP later this spring. On Oct. 23, they’ll be playing alongside Cowpuncher and Layten Kramer at the Nite Owl. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. with a $15 cover.

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