The East Toronto band grows up
By Jordan Whitehouse
I first heard Everlea through a ghetto blaster during a heat wave in my friend’s back yard. We had been listening to tunes all afternoon, trying to keep out of the summer’s blazing sun, when a song by the band came on and I instantly took notice. What I heard was a well-crafted pop-rock song that delivered a great melody, hard hitting drums, and genuine lyrics. I could tell this band would be one worth paying attention to.
The band was formed in Kingston, Ontario by four high school friends. Originally calling themselves Saucepan Heroes, they spent a few years testing their infectious sound on local stages and in basement rehearsals. The unfortunate title of the band was soon dropped and they became Everlea.
Although the name changed, the band’s melodic sensibilities and honest writing style were left intact. In 2004 they released an EP (extended play), “Friends Hurt Friends.” The album showcased the passionate voice of lead singer and rhythm guitarist Justin Dube, the energy of lead guitarist Casey Shea, the building rhythms of Pat Maclean’s bass guitar, and the fervent drum beat of Brendan Soares. Ontario’s independent music scene quickly embraced Everlea and the band tasted its first success. “Watching this band go from four dudes jamming in the basement to live shows where kids are wearing our t-shirts and singing along to every word is priceless,” says drummer Brendan Soares.
Everlea continued to increase their fan base touring Ontario, Quebec, and eastern Canada for a few years, even managing to make it New York City’s M.E.A.N.Y Festival in 2005 where they earned a National Pick award and generated even more buzz. When they returned to the festival in 2007 they caught the attention of a scout from Glassnote Entertainment Group, the independent label responsible for bringing the band Phoenix to adoring North American ears. Everlea soon signed with Glassnote and eventually headed to Baltimore to record another album.
The band has since moved to Toronto, two members living in the east end, to develop their sound, record new material, and play to a crowd that has matured as much as the music. This maturation process, though necessary, has not been easy for Everlea. It’s tough to find the “drive to continue on,” says Soares. “We are constantly making sacrifices and always having to put the band first.”
Thankfully, Everlea has continued on. I recently saw the band at Toronto’s Mod Club and I came away impressed. The pop sound, while still apparent and necessary to the band’s structure, is less the focus of the songs and more the balance to thrashing solos and chaotic yet tight build-ups. Somewhere between a parent’s basement and a headlining show at one of Toronto’s premiere music venues, Everlea had grown up.
You’ll be able to hear new material from the band very soon. They are working on an acoustic EP, which will be released in correlation with some eastern Ontario shows that they are doing throughout the spring and summer. Another full length album is also in the works, which will hopefully be released towards the end of 2010. To hear some music, find tour dates, or learn more about the band, visit their website here at Everlea.