Still with enthusiasm

autumn still is poised to capitalize in a supportive local scene

Mike Sudoma

The members of up-and-comers autumn still are a humble group - too humble to even use capital letters in their band name. “We’re not looking to be in-your-face,” vocalist and bassist Bethany Swanson says with a smile. 

Trevor Graumann (vocals/guitar) and drummer Roger Arseneault politely join Swanson in thanking me for noticing the lack of capitalization. These modest three comprise the core of the band, rounded off by Jessica Cuddy on keyboards and Grant Partridge on synths. 

Despite their humility, the group members have a number of reasons to boast. The band’s self-titled EP was released on Dec. 4 with a show at the Good Will Social Club. They’ve joined the bill of a Locals Only show at the Park Theatre Café, reached the top of the CKUW chart, and will play the Uniter Fiver showcase at the West End Cultural Centre on Jan. 15.

If that isn’t enough, autumn still promises there’s more to come. The EP, Swanson says, was meant as an introduction. 

“We will put all our energy into a full-length. That’s our plan for this year,” Graumann adds, “A tour is being planned this very second.” 

In the meantime, they are busy playing shows and garnering momentum. “Our shows are kind of like the capital letter thing. We’re not exactly in-your-face,” says Graumann. 

“Our songs have a kind of intensity that require more of an involved listening than a casual rock show vibe,” Swanson agrees. “Hopefully our presence is insidious; as people hear it more, they latch on. That’s the desire.” 

Arsenault, who has played all over Canada and originally hails from New Brunswick, can attest to the supportive local community. The heartwarming friendliness of the Winnipeg music community has made them feel comfortable and welcome here.

“The biggest thing about Winnipeg for me is that other bands are willing to help other bands. You don’t talk to other bands and ask, ‘Hey, we don’t have a bass amp. Can we use yours?’ That would never happen anywhere else,” he explains.

Swanson recalls the Winnipeg music scene as being “a little more cliquey” in the time before she moved to Lethbridge for several years. But now it’s an exciting time to be playing music in Winnipeg, she says, because “it feels like things are co-mingling.” 

“There was a brief period of time where there was almost a shortage of venues. It’s been amazing for the past year or so with all the new things opening up,” Graumann adds.

Arsenault says the music he’s making with autumn still, regardless of success, just “feels right.” 

“We are still at a point where we want people to know our name and hear our music. It’s huge. There’s a whole other crowd of people who are hearing about us now,” he says.

“I guess we have to capitalize the letters to our name now,” jokes Swanson.

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Part of the series: The Uniter Fiver Showcase

Published in Volume 69, Number 16 of The Uniter (January 14, 2015)

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