The film clip for Friday (On My Own) could well be the antics of a Melbourne indie band. For a moment, I thought a bunch of local artists were dismantling my vision and creating random bursts of laughter. Nup, it's those 'gloomy pop' Canadian pranksters Naysa Band. Haven't heard of them? Sheesh. Where have you been?
If you're looking for a reason to live vicariously through a hectic improv session, you must watch this video. It's hilarious and unveils four talented guys known as Naysa. Oh, and a bunch of their very accommodating friends. Grant Danyluk [bass] agrees it was, "an incredibly fun video to make. Basically we just got all of our friends to pretend to play our instruments in our jam space, while we watched and drank beers. It turned out great!"
Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba the band consists of Dave Todd, Grant Danyluk, Graham Duval and Sean Leslie. "We all met years ago and have been very close friends for a long time, playing in numerous bands together over the years," Danyluk advises. The band has been gigging pretty regularly over the last year, with a lot of support from their local music scene.
Their current EP 'Losing Weight', was released in October this year, an impressive six months after their EP 'Troubled Heart.' Where most emerging artists I've been speaking to are spending up to two years writing, recording and producing, I am astounded at this timeframe.
Danyluk explains, "We record our albums ourselves, so after we released Troubled Heart, we realized some of the new songs we were writing had a bit of a different feel." The band decided to record and release 'Losing Weight', "to give people a taste of the slightly different direction we were going with the band."
Dave Todd [guitarist\vocals] tells me that the title for the latest EP "refers to one losing weight on the mind or shoulders I guess. The chorus [for this song] is 'I think I hurt everyone, I think I'll go for a run and I'm losing all that I gained and I'm feeling better today'." He adds, "so lyrically i guess I'm kind of having fun with the meaning."
It's this entertaining and irreverent nature that saw the group recently perform as Weezer in a local 'Bands as Bands' gig. The other 'artists' on the bill were the B-52's and Nirvana. It's a great concept and Danyluk laughingly advised, "Bands as Bands was fantastic. One of the most insane shows we've ever played. Hopefully someday people will be that excited to see us play our own songs!"
The band does revert to the days of Weezer's pop-punk guitars and catchy riffs, although it took me a couple of days to pin which sound they are reminiscent of. Naysa have the classic jangle-pop [not The Tragically Hip or Barenaked Ladies kind], more the retro psychedelic pop of the 60's and the distinct vocals remind me of the early days of Frank Black in the Pixies.
Stylus Magazine also described them as, "a noisy throwback to college radio circa the Pixies/Replacements era" and you can absolutely hear this. It's interesting, as Weezer cite The Pixies as one of their early musical influences. There's that same whimsical, yet upbeat infectiousness that you see in old clips like 'Here Comes Your Man' – which I discovered is slightly more surreal, 25 years later. The distinct vocals of Todd also bring to mind the same emotional carriage of Andy Partridge, lead singer of iconic British new wave band XTC. Naysa definitely have a retro feel to their music, and similar work ethic.
Although currently Todd explains, the band are in a performing hiatus, "at this point we are actually not taking on any new gigs and focussing on writing and recording a high quality record. We have been in touch with a great local producer who has agreed to help us out with this upcoming record." It appears the track 'How I'm feeling lately' [the stand out for me] could well be a rouse. With the lyrics chanting, "sleeping all day, pillows glued to my face" it is not indicative of the 'downtrodden charm' of these four guys.
They're a hard-working, beer drinking bunch, determined to get their evocative and cheerful melodies out to a wider audience. He advises, " … as soon as the product is ready we will be hitting the road late May, depending on when everything is ready." By road, he means the Canadian punters. But who knows, as an honorary Melbourne band, we could just pretend they're one of ours.
More information on Naysa Band:www.facebook.com/thebandnaysa