A new chapter

Winnipeg band Electric Soul starts fresh with Second Paradise

After some blood, sweat and tears, Winnipeg band Electric Soul is releasing Second Paradise, its debut full-length album which incorporates elements of rock, funk and jazz.

The band formed in June 2011 from the ashes of Fusion Daze, the group that Electric Soul vocalist/keyboardist Dave Guenette and guitarist/vocalist Ed Durocher used to jam together in. The project was relatively short-lived, however, and its demise is linked mostly to its name.

“As my then-girlfriend told me, it sounds like something some 14-year-old kids would come up with,” Durocher says.

The guys ended up settling on Electric Soul, which is also the name of the King’s Head Pub house band that Durocher used to play in with bassist Chris Tuscherer on Thursday nights.

The band continued to move forward with drummer Joey DeCosse and in May 2012 it released an EP called The Light That Burns Beneath, which is mostly comprised of songs from the Fusion Daze-era.

“It just shows where we were at that point. It was a good experience for us to see what it was like recording something,” Guenette says. “It wasn’t all bad. It had its moments, but the overall sound quality wasn’t that great either.”

In January and February of 2013, Electric Soul took the next step and headed to Bedside Studio with local producer Len Milne (D-Rangers) to record the 11 songs that are known collectively as Second Paradise.

“Not that it’s a concept album, but there are some themes and I think the title says it all right there,” Durocher says. “It’s our second release and the songs kind of tell the story of a starting over period.” 

“Like we said before, our EP didn’t turn out as well as we hoped,” Guenette adds. “But the biggest reason it’s called Second Paradise is because everyone actually agreed on <em>Second Paradise</em>.”

Overall, the band isn’t afraid to admit that the recording process was difficult for everyone involved.

“The hardest part was honestly everything, the whole shebang,” Durocher says.

“Just learning how shitty we actually are,” DeCosse adds.

“Everything we’ve learned over the past two years we had to throw out the window and start fresh for the sake of the album,” Guenette says. “It was like a musical boot camp. You go in there to get in shape and by the end of it you’re ripped.”

In the end the band left the studio with a friend in Milne and a record it’s happy with, though Durocher admits some songs like “Vagabond Sighs” probably represent the band better in a live setting.

“I think that’s my fault because I didn’t speak up. We were a little timid with Lenny,” Durocher says.

Overall, the band seems happy with the results.

“This is our first statement as Electric Soul to everyone,” Durocher says. “I just wanted us to make a good cohesive album and take it from there.”

Published in Volume 68, Number 1 of The Uniter (September 4, 2013)

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