The Elwins, from Keswick, Ontario, located about an hour north of Toronto, are quickly rising in the indie alternative rock scene. They consist of lead singer & guitarist Matthew Sweeney, drummer Travis Stokl, guitarist & keyboardist Feurd and bassist Frankie Figliomeni. They have released two albums thus far and are currently amid the writing and recording process of a third.
A Few Accomplishments
In 2012, the first studio album released by The Elwins was And I Thank You. According to Canadian music magazine Exclaim!, this first album was one of the most anticipated Canadian albums of the year. It reached the 18th spot on Exclaim!’s 20 Most Anticipated Canadian Albums of 2012. This was a solid album with a few really great tracks.
More recently in 2015, The Elwins released their second album Play For Keeps. This time around the entire record really came together. It’s packed with great songs including hit single So Down Low, that features a clean opening guitar rift and a ridiculously catchy chorus (seriously, try listening to this one without singing along, I dare you). The Elwins are making some serious noise in the Canadian indie music scene.
This summer and through the fall of 2016, The Elwins took part in what feels like a thousand live performances. They teamed up and toured with some other great Canadian artists including Tokyo Police Club and Born Ruffians. The Elwins go way back with Born Ruffians, having collaborated with lead singer of Born Ruffians, Luke Lalonde, to bring us something completely different and fresh; a cover of Beyoncé’s song Countdown back in 2012.
The Elwins were on a mission this year and their goal was a clear one: to grow. I think it’s safe to say mission (nearly) accomplished. I mean hey, when the Juno Canadian Music Awards nominate you as Breakout Group of The Year in 2016 you must be doing something right. The Elwins fell just short of winning the award with Dear Rouge officially named as the winner.
I was lucky enough to see The Elwins perform live on three separate occasions this year. I saw them twice at free shows and once at Adelaide Hall as headliners. The free live shows were fantastic, but the performance The Elwins put on at Adelaide Hall in Toronto brought things to another level altogether. With a full house packed nearly shoulder-to-shoulder in a basement bar, the atmosphere was bumpin’, literally. The Elwins got the audience involved from the get-go, everyone was really into it. They also gave the crowd a little glimpse into the future by playing three brand-new songs that are expected to be released on their new album sometime in 2017.
What Separates The Elwins From The Rest
The bottom line is that The Elwins just love to make music and are clearly doing everything they can to savour every moment in this competitive business. What I really find fascinating about this band is their drive to keep their fans happy. The Elwins played dozens of free live shows this year just to let their sound grow and have the opportunity for anyone to hear their music. I live in Aurora, and The Elwins played at the opening of a local church/community center in-town to raise money for a youth event. To me, that’s what music is all about. Now that’s a class-act, Elwins.
I got the chance to meet The Elwins a couple times this year. I met Feurd at Riverfest in Elora during the summer. I then ran into the band twice during separate concerts; Young The Giant at Rebel, and Born Ruffians at the Danforth Music Hall. Man, they’re just genuinely nice people. I can’t say enough good things about these individuals.
When can I see them live?
Unfortunately, The Elwins currently have no up-coming tour dates in the foreseeable future. They are however performing at String Fling in Toronto on February 2nd, where The Elwins, along with a few other bands, play songs with a four-string quartet. Past String Fling events have gotten some amazing reviews. Tickets to this unique show are still available here.
It’s probably safe to assume The Elwins are either in the midst of writing or even recording a new album. So far there is little news as to when this new album is expected to release, but if I were a betting man I’d put my money on a release date sometime in the second half of this new year.
Check out my pick of their favourite songs!
Super stoked to hear what The Elwins have in stock for us in 2017. Check these guys out, and never forget to stay loud.