EACH OTHER with THE TASTE and Michael Rault at Smiling Buddha (961 College), tonight (Thursday, March 27), 9 pm. $6. 416-788-7586.
Each Other play kinetic, experimental guitar pop that's bright and adventurous in the vein of Women, Chad Van Gaalen and Deerhoof. It's also refreshingly heavy on vocal harmonies and refreshingly light on in-your-face distortion.
"I've never thought of our sound as particularly clean, but for the most part we like to have a lot of dynamic possibilities," says drummer Christian Simmons in the midst of SXSW chaos. "If there's a loud, screechy guitar part, it's usually just for a little bit."
Constant European and North American touring since 2011 helped the Montreal-by-way-of-Halifax three-piece - which also includes guitarist/vocalist Brad Loughead and guitarist/vocalist Mike Wright - hone their Space Echo-drenched sound. They've released a couple of EPs so far, and there's a sense of anticipation around their freshly streeted 12-song debut album, Being Elastic.
They recorded it themselves in their analog studio on Parc Avenue, a space cobbled together over the years with help from Jackson MacIntosh, Simmons's former bandmate in the now defunct, much-admired Play Guitar. (Loughead and Wright, meanwhile, learned the ropes in Long Long Long and York Redoubt.) Like touring, recording has been an important step in shaping their sound.
"We're always working through songs the only way we know how, and so a lot of things come out in the wash. For this album, most of the production is us having fun with our tape machines."
Recently, Each Other scored big by signing with influential Portland-based label Lefse, an exciting step for a band whose members have been working completely DIY since their coming-of-age in Halifax's 90s alt-pop scene. That was two decades ago. What fuels them nowadays?
"It's hard to be sure at this point, but I think most of the original reasons I wanted to play music and tour are still there," Simmons says. "It's certainly not an easy road for most musicians these days. It can be hard to remember why we're doing this at times, but it's just what we have to do.
"And now and then, when things are going our way, it can seem like there's nothing better we could possibly be doing."