Ever wonder what happened to the bands featured on the original American Pie soundtrack? Get ready to be re-introduced to the kind of mature pop rock that helps make high school movies starring 25-year-old actors so memorable: The Sylvia Platters are releasing their debut album Make Glad the Day on Nov. 27. The Martlet had a chance to speak with the band and check the album out early.
The self-proclaimed power pop group excels at upbeat tunes that strangely keep eliciting my junior high school memories. Their album will take you back to the early 2000s, a time when pop garage bands boasted angsty officious vocals and dancey guitar riffs.
Comprised of Nick Ubels (vocals, guitar), Tim Ubels (vocals, drums), Luke Agawin (guitar), and Simon Tressel (vocals, bass), the Langley-based group formed about two years ago from various cities in the Fraser Valley. This may seem like an unlikely place for modern pop devoid of any country twang. In fact, far from country influence, Make Glad the Day experiments with the infamously jazzy sound of the saxophone, which lends some originality to the band in an already pop-drenched world.
Lyrically, Make Glad the Day does just what its title suggests, with its light-hearted reminiscence of emotional experiences. According to Nick Ubels, the album is “an attempt to grapple with or celebrate [life’s] fleeting moments and experiences, positive and negative: to appreciate them for what they are and the life they make up. I think a lot of the songs reflect ways we deal with this anxiety, exhilaration, and beauty.”
The incessantly happy nature of most of the songs will drive away any negative or anxious feelings, which seems to be the music’s ultimate goal. It helps that the album’s audio is mastered precisely for all you audiophiles out there, and the cleanly self-produced tracks already sound fit for daytime radio.
The Sylvia Platter’s album title comes from Percy Shelley’s poem, “Mutability;” and on that note, yes, the band actually reads Sylvia Plath. Compared with the band’s whimsical and celebratory musical tone, their reference to Plath seems mildly ironic, given her dark and imposing reputation. I think the Walt Whitmanners might be more fitting.
The Sylvia Platters are energetic about performing and thrilled to be a band. That emotion absolutely translates into their music. Newest band member Agawin said, “I will never forget the first time I played a show with a band. It’s such an adrenaline rush for me every time I’m on a stage. The energy and relationship between everyone in the room, whether they are performer or crowd member, is something special that can’t be replicated.”
Drummer Tim Ubels added, “I always enjoy the feeling of being able to walk onto a stage, pick up my sticks, count in, and fill the room with music that gets the audience’s attention.”
Check out the Sylvia Platters when they digitally release their album on Nov. 27 at bandcamp.com/sylviaplatters; you can also pre-order their vinyl set to release in early 2016 at thesylviaplatters.com.