Jean-Guy Roy and Rob Mitchell of Federal Lights (Nicholas Friesen)
Local alt-rock act Federal Lights is riding pretty high right now. Yet,
it took a few tries for the band to solidify its current lineup and
release its debut EP, Carbon.
After getting hitched and taking a few years off to start a family, Jean-Guy Roy (ex-Morning After member) could no longer ignore the inscrutable urge to sit down and pen some new music.
Cobbling together some musicians, though, proved frustrating and ineffective, so Roy decided to take a stab at a solo effort.
"I wrote a bunch of songs by myself," Roy admits, "but I'm kind of leery of the solo thing since I enjoy making music with people. So my friend Rob (Mitchell) got involved."
Shortly after, the twosome holed up in the only room of Roy's house considered impervious to the distractions of domesticity: the cold storage room. In this makeshift pantry-turned-soundroom, the pair furiously wrote and recorded a fresh batch of demos, then brought this new material to Cam Loeppky at Prairie Recording Studio for the final touches. Roy's wife, keyboardist/vocalist Jodi Roy, and David Pankratz (of Quinzy fame) jumped on board, and the Federal Lights lineup was complete.
The end result was their band's debut EP, Carbon, a pithy six-song outing that's generated some healthy buzz owed mostly to the warm and natural feel to the songwriting (album opener "I Woke Up" is a pretty pop gem elevated by a delightfully irresistible vocal hook and is a bonafide must-hear.)
Up next for the quartet is Canadian Music Week in Toronto, where the opportunities to connect with music biz folk are ripe with promise. "We're hoping to develop some relationships with the industry - managers, publicists, booking agents," Roy confesses. "In other words, someone to help us get to the next level."
But once the potential housed throughout Carbon is heard, that shouldn't be too difficult for this up-and-coming Winnipeg band.