Local fans of indie folk rock in the vein of Fleet Foxes, the Decemberists, and Neil Young are in luck, as Vancouver act Echo Nebraska are playing a pair of shows on the Island.
The five-piece played first at Brentwood Bay Music in the Park on Wednesday, before heading on to Hermann’s Jazz Club on Thursday, July 27, as part of what guitarist and keyboard player Andy Schichter says is an emphasis over the last year on touring.
“We were in Ontario this past April for Canadian Music Week, and did another week on the road there, then Montreal,” he says. “And this summer, we’re touring around festivals.”
The band—vocalist Devan Christodolou, drummer Mike Lauder, violinist Carly Frey and bassist Dan Ponich—announced their arrival on the scene in 2014 by releasing a music video for their first single, “Hey,Allison.” The video netted them a spot on CBC Music’s list of Best New Music Videos for November that year.
“That was very cool,” says Schichter. “We did not expect that, so that gave us some good attention right away.”
Their first EP, Send the Ships, was released to widespread acclaim the following January. In forming the band’s sound, Schichter says acts such as Neil Young, the Beatles, Fleet Foxes, and the Decemberists were all influential. “That’s the style we try to emulate,” he says.
Echo Nebraska came about in late 2014 when Schichter was working as an audio engineer for Christodolou’s previous band Amber Hills.
“Every so often he would play some more folk acoustic songs in the back of the studio on the couch, and I kinda dug what he was playing. But it didn’t quite fit that band’s sound,” Schichter says. “So I just asked him if he wants to come over to my home studio and try out some demos.”
Following a run of shows this summer, Schichter says the band will head into the studio to record a full-length follow-up to Send the Ships for release next spring. “That’s kind of the goal,” he says. “I think we’ve kind of stretched Send the Ships as much as possible, [and] we really want to record new music now that we’re a live touring band.”
And if you want to take an early listen to what’s in store, you may be in for a treat at their upcoming shows. “We play a lot of new material, especially this past spring when we debuted a couple of songs in Ontario,” Schichter says. “It’ll be nice to play it in B.C. and see the reception.”