Calgary's Betaboys channel 1987 proms and the teenager motion pictures of John Hughes with sophomore EP, Simply Yesterday

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When Scott Perrin was contemplating the sonic vibes he needed for the Betaboys’ sophomore EP, Simply Yesterday, he had some particular touchstones in thoughts.

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For one, the bassist-songwriter for the five-piece Calgary synth-pop band needed every music to sound prefer it may have sprang from  a Eighties film by filmmaker John Hughes, who was identified for filling the soundtrack to his pouty-teen ensemble dramedies equivalent to Fairly in Pink and Sixteen Candles with bands equivalent to The Psychedelic Furs, Echo and the Bunnymen, New Order and The Thompson Twins. Or maybe they need to sound like one thing a teen might need heard when wandering right into a Music World at their native mall circa 1985.

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Lastly, judging from the said theme of the band’s June 2 album launch at Commonwealth, the songs must also sound like one thing that is perhaps performed at a “1987 New Wave Spring Formal.”

“It’s going to be an superior night time,” says Perrin. “It’s going to be loopy. We wish to give individuals one thing to recollect and make it an occasion. We simply wish to give individuals one thing greater than seeing a band play. We actually wish to make it an expertise and a celebration. So all of us have our promenade get-ups that we’re doing. We hope individuals will gown up. They definitely don’t should, we simply need them to be snug and have a good time. We’re going to have a photograph sales space the place we take a photograph of individuals of their promenade get-up and simply have a good time of it.”

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Clearly, the Betaboys proceed to unabashedly embrace the sounds and aesthetics of Eighties New Wave and synth-pop, which was the entire thought behind the mission within the first place. The band, which additionally options scene veterans equivalent to vocalist Brett Sandford, guitarist Thomas Englund, keyboardist David de Souza and drummer Sean Hamilton, was the brainchild of Perrin. After ending his time with indie blues-rockers Go for the Eyes in 2016, he started occupied with hatching a Eighties-style band that took cues from not solely the large canine of the period equivalent to Corridor and Oates and Duran Duran but additionally a few of the extra obscure outfits like Liverpudlian one-hit-wonders A Flock of Seagulls. Born in 1988, Perrin clearly didn’t attend Eighties proms or comb by means of Music World’s New Wave cassettes in his youth and Fairly in Pink got here out two years earlier than he was born. However, he had lengthy harboured nostalgia for the music, motion pictures and popular culture from that decade. The band launched its debut, So Shy, in 2021 and appeared like genuine inheritors of the period’s distinctive sounds proper out of the gate.

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Nonetheless, given how simply nostalgia can slip into novelty, the true pleasure of the Betaboys’ schtick could also be that it doesn’t seem to be a schtick in any respect. As with its debut, one of many strongest components of the seven tracks on Simply Yesterday is the songcraft that anchors the fashionable leaps into the Eighties. It was once more produced by Chris Dadge with most tracks beginning with Perrin demoing music sketches  on his cellphone utilizing the GarageBand app.

The songs take flight due to a mixture of sturdy hooks, perceptive taking part in and the excellent vocals of Sandford, who’s equally at house carrying candy and wistful tunes equivalent to Newport Seaside and Who I’d Dance For as he’s pulsing synth-pop numbers like Weekday Strangers and the XTC-esque power-pop of the title observe.

The band additionally enlisted saxophonist Nate Waters so as to add some Eighties strains to Newport Seaside and Simply Yesterday. Each Waters and sax participant Nick Graham shall be becoming a member of the Betaboys on Friday on the Commonwealth.

“We actually needed that cocktail-hour sort of vibe and I really feel like we obtained that,” Perrin says. “We added saxophone to our reside present
. That has completely added a lot to our present. Individuals simply like it. That was a extremely cool add to the band.”

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As with many bands, the pandemic put the brakes on what may have been some main momentum for the band in 2021 after the reception of So Shy, but it surely additionally gave the band time to refocus on followup tunes.

“As the principle songwriter, I actually obtained that music for me is about making a distinction for different individuals,” Perrin says. “Because it has come from that place, the band has proven up in a different way in a really constructive method. After years of taking part in music, that’s actually my focus: How can my music and the reside expertise of the Betaboys make somebody’s day? How can it make their week? How can it give them an expertise, whether or not it’s a music or reside efficiency that basically makes a distinction for them?”

The Eighties vibe, notably when seasoned with some saxophone solos, is definitely a great way to maintain audiences smiling, Perrin says. This will likely not have all the time been case, however the cyclical nature of musical style means what was tragically unhip a decade after its launch can simply come swinging again into type a number of a long time after that.

“If we have been attempting to do that band within the ’90s, it might have been very totally different,” Perrin says. “We’re fortunate we reside in a time the place there’s such a big assortment of music obtainable to us. We’re not so outlined by a long time when it comes to (pondering) ‘what got here instantly earlier than this? Nicely, that’s not as cool.’ We’re fortunate we’re doing this now and I completely acknowledge that.”

The Betaboys EP launch and ”87 New Wave Spring Formal’ takes place June 2 at 7 p.m. on the Commonwealth with Krill Williams and Sea of Lettuce.

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