Since West My Friend was conceived in a Victoria café in 2009, they’ve emerged as a unique voice in the city’s music scene. Described as everything from indie-roots to chamber-folk, their acoustic blend of instruments and four-part harmonies challenges the conventions of popular music to create a performance that is both engaging and innovative. Songs are created through a collaborative process: well-crafted and clever lyrics, acrobatic mandolin riffs, flawless bass lines, and richly textured accordion combine as every member brings forward their own ideas and experiences. The wealth of musical experience and classical training in the group creates an interesting backdrop for their songwriting, allowing for levels of detail, intricacy, and counterpoint balanced with moments of simplicity. This sonically adventurous approach to music defines West My Friend as a key part of a growing movement of the new generation of grass-roots folk music taking place in Victoria, Vancouver and across British Columbia.
The life of a musician is one of continual evolution, and West My Friend embodies this in their approach to music. Their diversity in taste and influences, and a keen interest in both traditional sounds and innovation, creates a need to constantly explore new sounds while placing them as a distinctive voice in the landscape between Canadian folk and indie-pop. West My Friend’s commitment to creating original indie-roots music, and their dedication to giving their audiences a meaningful and memorable experience, is sure to catch hold of listeners as far afield as they can reach. A love for the songs of The Decemberists, The Black Keys, Mother Mother, Beirut, Bob Dylan, Owen Pallet, Joanna Newsom, Mumford & Sons, The Punch Brothers, and Iron & Wine adds to this diverse musical palette.
West My Friend is dedicated to their community. They have strong ties to community organizations such as Music for Youth Works Society, Fernwood Neighborhood Resource Group, and Amnesty International. In 2011, the director and producers of the Victoria International Fringe Festival show BFA: The Musical asked West My Friend to provide recorded backing tracks for their production.
Having created a four-song hand-made EP in 2011, West My Friend recently released their first full-length album “Place”. Having garnered multiple award nominations (including Roots Album of the Year and Song of the Year at the Vancouver Island Music Awards), this record is a significant step forward for West My Friend; the group’s collaboration with producer Adrian Dolan (The Bills, Mark Atkinson) and Juno-Award winner David Travers-Smith (The Wailin’ Jennys, Oh Susannah) provides a strong underpinning of experience in folk-roots music for this promising young band.