Most of the musicians in Mabel’s Flight are still in their final year of high school, but that isn’t stopping the band from starting to establish itself in Winnipeg’s indie music scene.
The group first got acquainted at Lincoln Middle School, but it wasn’t until they transferred to Westwood Collegiate that they really became friends and started bonding over music.
“There’s not a lot of bands out there, it’s kind of a quiet suburban area,” bassist Benjamin Dueck, 18, says. “But I think it helped us because there weren’t really many bands that sounded like us around. Our peers weren’t doing anything like this and I think that drove us to want to create something.”
The current line-up is comprised of Dueck, lead vocalist/guitarist Cameron Cannon, drummer Brett Kartinen, pianist Julian Polimeni and multi-instrumentalist Marielle McLeod, who primarily sticks to violin and accordion.
Originally, the members all played in a grunge band that McLeod fronted called Sly, though the band quickly dissolved after releasing one EP.
“I guess grunge was just a phase for us and then we started to get a little bit bored,” McLeod, 18, says.
“When you’re first starting to learn your instruments it’s really easy to play loud music because it’s simple and the purest release of energy, but then we wanted to take ourselves more seriously and write more dynamic songs that aren’t too depressing,” Dueck adds.
Now the band is focused on playing a blend of folk and indie rock, citing Death Cab For Cutie, Arcade Fire, Neutral Milk Hotel and Winnipeg’s own Yes We Mystic as its biggest influences.
The band name is inspired by an animated television series called Gravity Falls, which follows the adventures of two twins named Dipper and Mabel through their summer vacation in Oregon.
“There’s one episode where Mabel finds these gumballs and she eats them and she goes on some crazy acid trip where she flies away on a bird and that just sort of hit me as a cool name for a band,” Cannon says.
The only show Mabel’s Flight has played so far was in St. Malo, Manitoba. The band was booked to play what it believed to be a summer music festival, but it didn’t turn out to be quite what its members expected.
“We drove all the way out there and then it turned out we were just going to be playing on some guy’s porch to his weird family,” Dueck says.
“The Uniter Fiver showcase is going to be our first real show and we’re definitely ready,” Cannon adds.
The band is also working away at an EP and has been recording in Polimeni’s basement over the winter break. The group plans to put three songs on that release and hopes everyone can hear it in the coming months.
“We just want to keep recording and playing shows and see where it takes us,” Dueck says.
Visit mabelsflight.tumblr.com for more information.
Part of the series: The Uniter Fiver Showcase
Published in Volume 69, Number 16 of The Uniter (January 14, 2015)