The Backstays formed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 2018 and have quickly become local favourites in the New Brunswick music scene having received Stingray Music’s Rising Star award at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival. Since they released their debut EP in August 2018, the band hit the road touring Canada’s Maritime provinces, also supporting acts such as Joel Plaskett Emergency, Hannah Georgas and Alvvays. Their debut single “Dreams” reached #1 on the East Coast Countdown and their meandering ode to the Saint John labour movement,”Groundhog Gale ’76”, was featured in The East Magazine’s Top 100 of 2018 at #12.
Life along the Bay of Fundy, in the industrial heartland of Atlantic Canada, in a post-industrial era is embedded in The Backstays lyrics. The band, in building upon the ‘wall of sound’, has crafted their reverb-ladened tracks into a fusion of the classic rock and new wave of the 70s and 80s with more modern tones steeped in the fog. Along with Pete Johnston on guitar and synth, the band includes Serenna Chapman on violin and keys, Keith Whipple on bass, Derek Hichie on guitar and synth, and Lorne Kirkpatrick on drums. In 2019, The Backstays began working on their first full-length album which is set for a 2020 release and a tour to follow.