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 music of Beirut, Joanna Newsom, Owen Pallett, Punch Brothers, Philip Glass, The Milk Carton Kids, The Avvett Brothers, and The Decemberists adds to this diverse musical palette.
West My Friend released their first full-length album Place in 2012, and it soon garnered multiple award nominations (including “Roots Album of the Year” and “Song of the Year” at the Vancouver Island Music Awards). Their second album, When The Ink Dries, was released in March 2014 and was recently nominated in the Canadian Folk Music Awards for the Oliver Schroer “Pushing The Boundaries” Award, in the Vancouver Island Music Awards for "Roots/Folk Album of the Year", as well as receiving the Readers’ Choice award for “Best New Sound of 2014” at Sleeping Bag Studios. The album ranges in scope from intimate moments, featuring the four core musicians of the group, to rich orchestral arrangements that showcase the maturity, musicianship, and multi-instrumental abilities of each member. This is combined with guest musicians drawn from everywhere from the Victoria Symphony to Buena Vista Social Club. The record is a significant step forward for West My Friend; the group’s collaboration with Grammy award-winning producer Joby Baker (Alex Cuba, Cowboy Junkies) 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.