London, Ontario might not be a hotbed for Canada’s music scene, but according the Basic White’s founder, frontman and guitarist, Riley White, not only is it vibrant, but it’s also very supportive. “I don’t find a bunch of ego here. Everyone’s really supportive of what’s going on. That’s really cool to see.”
The trio, which consists of Riley, Sandro Di Stefano (guitar) and Jordan Wallace (drums), joined forces in late fall of 2016, and in November of that year, they released a 5-track EP titled Long Time Comin’, consisting of songs Riley had already written when Basic White was still a solo project.
In just over two years, they have amassed quite the resume; opening for Mother, Classified, Our Lady Peace, Treble Charger, Ill Scarlett, and next month, they release their first full-length, 10-track album, The Second Half.
Riley attributes their quick success, in part, to the city they call home. As he explains, “It’s made it really nice to do well in London and not have to worry about Toronto till we’re ready. I found that when we went to Toronto, we can do our thing, and be confident in it, as opposed to starting out there and being a real nobody in a sea of great musicians.”
Basic White deliver an indie-rock sound in the classic Canadian way. They count artists like The Band, Arkells, Matt Mays and The Trews, among others, as influences. Their music is catchy and hook-ridden that will get you moving and singing along.
As the primary songwriter, Riley says after he’s written the lyrics and melody, he will take it drummer, Jordan, “and we’ll jam it out on the drums, and we’ll figure out if it’s a faster song or a slower song, and just build the structure that way. Then just take it into a jam with the other boys and they can write their own parts. Usually we have our iPhones and record the jam and they can go home and write parts they think will work and bring it back and we just kind of work through it that way till you have a final product.”
The Second Half’s first single, “Time To Leave” is the perfect introduction to the new material. Opening with a simple guitar riff, it quickly grabs your attention with a foot-tapping, upbeat tempo that defies the end of a relationship subject matter. The hooks are there, as are vocal harmonies adding layers to a mature yet understated sound.
According to Riley, it was the last song written for the album, “We basically had the rest of the album recorded, and I was sitting around one night and I had the intro riff to the song I wrote. Honestly probably wrote it in about 30-min, and it just wouldn’t go away. It juist kept coming up in jams, they wanted to play it. It just kept building and building. It was the one I liked the most.”
Riley explains the new album shows a growth in the band since the release of the EP. “We’re different, stylistically, between what we were doing in the first one, and showing some growth in other areas, trying some things we didn’t try in the first one.”
Basic White has also released a video for “Time To Leave” with Riley, Sandro and Jordan strutting their stuff through food courts, libraries, malls and city parks of London, Ontario. The video is charming and fun, and I’m sure a delight to on-lookers who happen to witness the filming.
Following in the path of their Canadian music heroes, Basic White hopes that by continuing to grow and change with the times, they will have a long and successful career. As Riley puts it, “I would like to find our own little spot where we can sit, and people will enjoy us.”
The Second Half will be available for purchase on February 22nd but you can check out the video for “Time To Leave” by visiting Basic White’s Youtube Channel and be sure to watch for Basic White as they plan to take their music on the road this year.
Visit basicwhite.ca for more information.
Images courtesy of Ron Boudreau Images