Arts

Photo: Courtesy of Olivia Jaffe.

Kelowna-based indie rockers to play at the NAC on Nov. 22 with Hey Rosetta!

Ottawa may be referred to as the “City That Fun Forgot,” but according to Jeffrey Innes, the lead vocalist of Canadian indie rock band Yukon Blonde, the nation’s capital is actually one of the most fun cities to perform at in all of Canada.

Luckily for Innes, Yukon Blonde will soon be returning to one of their favourite cities in the country with Hey Rosetta!, another well-known Canadian indie act. The two bands will be performing at the National Arts Centre (NAC) on Nov. 22.

Yukon Blonde are touring in wake of their latest album, On Blonde, which was released in June of this year. The new record has been widely talked about due to its new, more synth-based sound that strays from the band’s more classic indie rock that they’ve been known for in the past.

“Everybody was on the same kind of vibe,” said Innes. “Everybody really wanted to kind of get a little deeper, explore things sonically. So when we got together to sort of hash out the songs, we rented out a cabin on Galiano Island and then just went out there for a week, and worked relentlessly for 16 hours a day.”

One of Innes’ favourite parts of recording on the new record was working with Tony Hoffer, who mixed the songs on their album. Hoffer has worked with everyone from Beck to Depeche Mode, and the members of Yukon Blonde are huge fans of his work, and felt he fit the direction that they wanted to take the record in.

With a big name like Hoffer joining their record, it’s clear that Yukon Blonde has been gaining ground in the Canadian indie scene over the past few years. Although the majority of their fan base is in Canada, Yukon Blonde will be performing part of their tour in Europe this year, with appearances in Madrid and Amsterdam.

Even though many Canadian musicians may not be as widely recognized internationally, Innes is still proud of belonging to what he calls a very “loving and supporting scene,” especially because of the government grant system that’s in place for Canadian musicians.

“I’m really happy that the Conservatives aren’t back in power, because that was getting completely stripped,” said Innes. “I love that about Canada. The country is really supportive of the arts, and the artists within the community are really supportive of each other, which is really cool.”

Innes and his band showed off their passion for Canadian politics this past month during election season. Yukon Blonde joined forces with Hey Rosetta! to urge their fans to vote in the federal election on Oct. 19. Their collaborative song, “Land You Love”, was part of the anti-Harper campaign #ImagineOct20th that was supported by numerous Canadian artists including Feist and Dan Mangan.

With the Conservatives out of power, and having a brand new sound to share with their fans, it seems like the best possible time for Innes and his band to return to one of their favourite cities in the country.

“Every time we’ve played there, literally every time we’ve played there, the crowd is incredible. Ottawa’s such a wicked rock and roll town.”

Yukon Blonde will be playing with Hey Rosetta! at the NAC on Nov. 22 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $29-$37, and are available on ticketmaster.ca.