8pm / sliding scale of $15 to $20
Not every folk group can perform a 7-minute song about cats who fall in love and still leave audiences asking for encores. But West My Friend isn’t your average folk four-piece. With the release of their second album, When the Ink Dries, the group continues to push the boundaries of what folk-roots music is, mixing quirky pop sounds with Canadian coastal folk and full orchestral arrangements into a genre all their own.
Band members include Eden Oliver (guitar, flute, vocals) Alex Rempel (mandolin, vocals) Jeff Poynter (accordion, vocals) and Adam Bailey (bass, vocals). Principal songwriter and lead vocalist Eden Oliver stays true to her folk roots while delving into a myriad of social-justice issues on When The Ink Dries with her well-crafted lyrics. The album’s title track penned by Alex Rempel is a haunting warning of what could be if the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline is built across British Columbia; the aforementioned Cat Lady Song, with its rich orchestral setting, is an anthem for the LGBTQ community and tells the story of two same-sex cats who want their owners to accept their love. The accordion-pop infused song “Missing You” is complete with thunderous hand-claps and a full-horn section. For the folkies, there’s the guitar and mandolin- driven tunes “Thin Hope,” a tribute to fragile moments of hope, and the heartwarming upbeat “My Lover.” Top all of the songs off with Eden’s soaring vocals, comparable to the likes of Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries, and you have a band and album that delights and unites audiences as diverse as West Coast hipsters and old-timey folk crowds.