Formed five years ago, Toronto indie-rock band Jane’s Party, serves as the backing band for no less than two other artists while also creating its own infectious brand of pop. Complimented by guitar-driven pop melodies, echoes of the Beach Boys and the Kinks resound through songs on the group’s newest record, Hot Noise.
Like countless bands before them, Jane’s Party began their career playing cover songs. And as is the natural progression with many bands, they soon found themselves favouring their original material over covers.
In 2009, the group released The Garage Sessions, an album recorded, appropriately enough, in a garage at their then home base of the Jane and Finch area of Toronto. Because of the limitations of the recording equipment used to make The Garage Sessions, Jane’s Party member Jeff Giles says the band didn’t feel as though it was the best representation of where their hearts lay musically.
‘Our first album definitely reflects more of an acoustic nature than how the band was coming across live,’ Giles says. ‘But then we decided that we were eager to head into a bigger, more rock’n’roll-oriented sound.’
Giles says that he feels the group was more accurately represented on their 2011 EP Jane’s Party . Their track ‘Alone Together’ helped to raise the band’s profile, having been featured in a promotional video for the Toronto Independent Film Festival while also earning respectable airplay.
Feeling buoyed by the momentum, the summer of 2012 took the group to Toronto area studio Ill Eagle, to begin recording their latest effort, Hot Noise . Engineered and produced by Toronto musician Taylor Knox, Jeff says the group had originally planned on including some of the material from their EP on what would become Hot Noise .
‘The plan was to have one or two songs from the EP carry over to the record, but we found ourselves writing completely new material. We ended up recording 14 songs for Hot Noise , 12 of which made it onto the record.’
The studio, tucked away in Toronto, is owned by the members of Toronto indie band Zeus. Jeff says that Jane’s Party struck up a friendship with Zeus after performing with them at a show in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. He says that the studio, combined with Knox’s professional yet relaxed attitude towards recording was the perfect environment to make the group’s new album.
‘The studio is a really well-kept secret,’ he says. ‘It is a tiny spot, but the sounds you get in there was exactly what we were looking to capture for this record.
‘Taylor was amazing to work with just because he was so calm and cool through the whole process. We’ve had rough studio experiences in the past, but working with Taylor was the complete opposite of those times. Taylor was positive and encouraging through the whole recording process. We felt as though we could really let loose and experiment as we wanted. That vibe really comes through in the final product.’
While Jane’s Party are indeed their own band, they also serve as the backing band for Devin Cuddy and Whitney Rose, the latter of whom performed at Plan b Lounge last week. The close-knit relationship between Cuddy, Rose and Jane’s Party is nothing new and in fact dates back to Jeff ‘s university days.
‘I lived with Devin for a few years when we were both in university. We were into the same types of music and would often jam together. In the beginning, we didn’t have a place to play in Toronto, but we soon found a home at the Cameron House.’
After a friend of Cuddy’s began managing the legendary Cameron House venue in Toronto, Jane’s Party and Cuddy soon became fixtures in the club. They would pass some of their time jamming in the venue’s backroom, discovering a wonderful musical compatibility between them.
‘Everyone’s path is a little different,’ Jeff says. ‘For me and the guys in the band, we didn’t really feel a strong connection to the Toronto music scene until we started actively playing and hanging out at the Cameron House. The venue is a great hub for a lot of artists and people in the industry. It really is nice to find a home and hub like the Cameron House in a city the size of Toronto.’
Article published in the July 16, 2013 edition of the Times & Transcript