Halifax’s Kestrels hit Metro tonight

Since their formation in 2008, Halifax band Kestrels has quietly amassed a dedicated following of fans thanks to the release of two seven-inch singles in addition to a full-length effort. Though indie rock might not be an altogether inaccurate description of the band’s sound, Kestrels take the genre a step further than many of their peers who are satisfied to not challenge their listeners outright. Incorporating changing time signatures with controlled noise and an obvious love of pop music, Kestrels are set to perform at Moncton’s Plan B Lounge this evening. The show starts at 10 p.m.

With their previous full-length effort Primary Colours now more than two years old, Kestrels have been working away at putting the finishing touches on their next full-length effort. Asked how he feels the band has grown as people both collectively and individually, Kestrels guitarist-vocalist Chad Peck says the growth that the group has undergone in the past three years has been nothing short of remarkable.

“We were really green during the first few years as a band,” Peck starts. “I remember recording our first seven-inch single in the loft at one of my apartments and not really knowing what was going on. But I remember sitting in my room, cutting and folding the sleeves to that seven-inch single and becoming really excited at what was going on. I think a lot of that spirit carried over to Primary Colours as well; it was such an optimistic time and all of the songs came really easily to us.

“At one point though, I got really tired of playing the longer songs that were featured on Primary Colours and the result of that was our last release, The Solipsist seven-inch single. The songs on that release are shorter, faster and much more direct. I really love that EP although but it definitely has a darker edge than Primary Colours does.”

In October 2010, Kestrels began the process of recording the follow-up to The Solipsist in their hometown of Halifax. Peck says the songs contained on their next effort are a direct response to the darker tones contained on their prior EP.

“Our new record has really happy sounding songs with sad lyrics but actually ends off with some sort of inherent optimism in the final minutes of the record. I think the songs and sound of the record solidifies who we are as the band I hear in my head. I don’t get drawn in to new bands as easily as a lot of my friends so my influences might be a little eclectic compared to the current crop of bands. All of my favourite bands like The Beach Boys, Dinosaur Jr. and My Bloody Valentine have had long and varied careers and tend to stay true to their collective interests and impulses.”

Peck says that he hopes to see the group’s new record, A Ghost History, released in February or March of 2012. Prior to the release of the next Kestrels full-length however, Peck says that November will bring the release of a free digital-only EP that will feature a total of three tracks; one from A Ghost History, an outtake as well as a cover from seminal shoe-gazing act My Bloody Valentine.

In the even more immediate future however, Peck notes that Kestrels will be performing two shows during next month’s Music Nova Scotia Week to be held in Yarmouth. Even though this will be Kestrels first time taking part in Music Nova Scotia Week, Peck says that he and his band mates have modest expectations of what may or may not come from their showcase opportunities.

“The fact we are playing two shows is kind of exciting,” Peck says. “Having read the Henry Rollins tour diary last year and then seeing Superchunk, The Swirlies and Sonic Youth this past summer has pretty much reinforced the idea that you give 100 per cent as a band whether you’re playing to an empty room or to a room full of music industry types.”

Article published in October 28, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript