Walrus Bring Infectious Psych-Pop To Moncton On Saturday

Photo by Kate Giffin

Bringing their love for 60’s psychedelic pop into the present day, Halifax band Walrus, fresh off a performance at last weekend’s Evolve Festival held just north of Moncton, return to the Hub City to perform at the Tide & Boar on Saturday night.

Their upcoming show is one of a seemingly endless string of dates that the band has on their itinerary in support of their latest release, the Goodbye Something EP, which hit store shelves earlier this year.

The group was formed approximately four years ago by siblings Jordan and Justin Murphy. What started out as a batch of informal songs with no real intent behind them soon blossomed into what would become Walrus.

“Justin recorded a bunch of songs that I had added percussion to. That’s really how we got our start,” Jordan says. “We released some music online, but never really intended to get a full-time band on the go.”

Before the brothers knew it, however, one show turned into a second performance, which led to a third. While they had initially performed as a duo, Jordan says it was evident early on that the music that Justin was writing would be better performed live with a band behind them.

Admittedly it took the Murphys a little while to find a line-up of others that were willing to commit to the onerous amount of touring that the group wanted to undertake.

“Right from the outset of the group, we wanted to stay busy. We wanted to tour and release albums, but it’s not the kind of career that comes with any kind of financial guarantee. We’ve been lucky that we’ve been able to stay busy these last few years, but I also realize it’s not a lifestyle for everyone.”

Jordan estimates Walrus has performed upwards of 250 shows over the last couple of years, performing in support of bigger acts including Wintersleep, July Talk and Arcade Fire’s Will Butler while also playing bars as well as the odd house concert.

The present day music business is a different beast compared to last decade. It used to be that artists promoted albums with live shows, but the inverse is now holding true for may independent artists across Canada and the U.S., including Walrus.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say that we’ve seen a rise or fall in attendance at live shows; it’s been very consistent. Generally speaking, people seem a little more inclined to check out live acts and then buy the music afterward, provided they like what they hear of course. People aren’t buying music the way they used to, but we still run into people that know the band and know our songs. That’s all we can really ask for,” Murphy says.

What: Walrus
When: Saturday July 16, 10 p.m.
Where: Tide & Boar Gastropub, 700 Main St., Moncton