Sleuth youth

The Sleuth Bears hope to branch out from the Limestone City

Garage-punk band Hut cancelled their performance with Sleuth Bears due to a music emergency in Toronto. Experimental-pop project Moon King will take their spot in tonight’s line-up.
Garage-punk band Hut cancelled their performance with Sleuth Bears due to a music emergency in Toronto. Experimental-pop project Moon King will take their spot in tonight’s line-up.
Photo: 
Sleuth Bears commissioned Queen’s student Christine Dewancker to create the cover art for Parochial Youth.
Sleuth Bears commissioned Queen’s student Christine Dewancker to create the cover art for Parochial Youth.
Credit: 
Supplied

The Queen’s-based Sleuth Bears will release their debut album today with a launch party at the Mansion. Guitarist Neven Lockhead said the five-track grunge-rock album, Parochial Youth, is about struggling with a 20-something perspective.

“[Parochial] means sort of having a narrow mind, or a narrow scope, like not seeing completely everything in the world,” Lockhead, ArtSci ’13. “These five songs, there’s really a sense of absence. I see it as a reaching and a failing to connect with something.”

“Never Been Past the Tracks,” the last song on the album, is about a lack of travel. It channels the feeling of disconnect. Lockhead said the song follows Sleuth Bears’ style of superimposing energetic tracks over harsh and empty sentiments.

“We have this idea of us being like the 401,” he said. “The CD is like a highway that is trying to be like the Champs Elysées, but will always just be a highway.”

Parochial Youth was recorded in a four-hour session after April exams. Matt Rogalsky, a sound artist and assistant professor in the music department at Queen’s, provided the studio equipment and helped with editing throughout the summer months. Rogalsky has worked with Kingston band PS I Love You.

“We wanted to keep things really sort of bare bones and try to capture the kind of energy we have live,” Lockhead said.

As a Queen’s-based band, they see the “Queen’s bubble” as an obstacle for musicians getting their start on campus, Lockhead said.

“It’s hard. You can always play Clark Hall Pub and there’s always going to be your friends coming out,” he said. “But I think that what a lot of musicians realize after a while is that there is a whole other world outside of Queen’s in Kingston and it’s super supportive.”

Lockhead, lead singer Annie Dunsford and bass player Kenneth Hall work as programmers at CFRC. The local radio station acted as a base for networking with other musicians which helped the band get its start. Drummer Liam Cole is taking a year off after graduating Regiopolis Notre Dame High School in the spring. Guitarist Gareth Savage just started his third year in Arts and Science.

Aside from mixing and picking cover art, the band played the Island Grill at this year’s Wolfe Island Music Festival.

“It was the happiest we’ve ever been as a band,” Lockhead said. “We were separated for the entire summer and came back and played this huge show and it felt really good.

“Some people in the band were calling it the make-up sex.”

With a young roster, their short album focuses on a small-fish, big-pond complex.

“Young people especially have that, maybe not a fear, but a feeling where we’re living and, you know, people are doing so many great things.

“But we’re always thinking, at least for me, that we’re not living quite enough. There’s always more.”

Sleuth Bears release Parochial Youth tonight at the Mansion at 9 p.m.

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