The Elwins take Ale for fall break

A look behind the scenes of The Elwins and their musical inspiration

The Elwins will play at Ale with Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker on Oct. 24, 2018. 
Photo supplied by Listen Harder publicity

The Elwins have the same feel-good vibes as the best of  `90s one-hit wonders. 

Next Wednesday night, the emerging indie band from Newmarket, Ontario will open for Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker (USS) at Ale on Oct. 24. 

The band is made up of singer and guitarist Matthew Sweeney, drummer Travis Stokl,  guitarist Feurd Ian, and bassist Frankie Figliomeni. Their distinct musical sound—including beat, rhythm, and lyrics—is part of a proud tradition of infectious indie. 

For Figliomeni, part of that legacy was making music where the inspiration was everyday life.

“[Our inspiration] is always different,” he said. “we want to talk about out lives and what we got through.” 

Growing up to meet that standard, Figliomeni’s major influences were his own cousins. They were committed music fans and musicians and their enthusiasm led him to go to local shows. Discovering his passion, he went to shows until he saw The Elwins live for the first time. After seeing them perform, he took an unusual step. He joined the band. 

Considering how he found The Elwins, Figliomeni wants the band’s music to recreate the meaningful experiences he had growing up. 

Their goal is to create songs that can help them in some way, providing a sense of happiness and comfort for fans. The Elwins’ sound—inspired by The Beatles, Paul Simon, and Joni Mitchell—is supposed to make people feel at home, all the time. 

These classic tastes guide the homegrown feel of their music, as they strive to create equally timeless sounds in their unique music. 

This is no small feat. A lot of time and work goes into an intensive creative process. Figliomeni is excited even just speaking about it.  

“Can I just go to town?” he asked, preparing to dive into the exhaustive creative process that he compares to a rollercoaster. 

When creating their music, there’s often confusion and frustration, and the band can sometimes feel beaten. 

They can wonder if the music will be good enough at the end. But the highs always outnumber the lows, and The Elwins are left with nothing but quality tunes. 

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” he said. Their newest album, Beauty Community consists of 13 songs, each one shares the same vibe—listeners won’t be able to resist bobbing their heads as they listen along. 

Their song “Hey! Ya! You”—one of the more popular songs on the album—is painfully relatable for some. The lyrics are a reminder of the sometimes overwhelming desire for romantic company. 

As singer Sweeney—in his low, croony voice—sings, “and sometimes I just need someone to touch/so you can take my hand and just get attached.” 

It evokes memories of desire in times of loneliness. While loneliness is intensely personal, it’s universal for anyone that happens upon the song. 

The Elwins are a product of collaboration. The personal fulfillment evident in their music is guaranteed to make listeners think of home—and comfortably ease into the fall break. 


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