Coming back for more 

Hey Ocean! and The Hermit return with lush vocals and smooth beats

WHO: The Hermit and Hey Ocean!

WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 12, 9 p.m.

WHERE: GLC

TICKETS: $12

The sweet melodic stylings of two Vancouver-based acts will fill the GLC later this month, as The Hermit and Hey Ocean! return to Whistler.

Both bands have light, fresh and energetic sounds, which meld together to make for a feel-good show that will leave audience members smiling.

But each has its own unique background and distinct sound.

The Hermit is an indie/pop/electronica band started by drummer and musician, Hamish Thomson.

In 2001, The Hermit released their first album , Flying Out Of Solitude , a largely independent endeavor with Thomson composing and playing all the instruments on the album. He drew unique sounds from a collection of unusual objects, including a toaster oven and vintage air organ, which, when combined with the distorted hum of effects pedals and live drums, adds dimension and depth.

Their debut album received multiple West Coast Music Award nominations and led to a record deal with Nettwerk Productions.

The 2005 follow-up album, Wonderment , featured a number of new vocal contributions to expand The Hermit’s range and sound, and kicked-off an intense period of touring, with live shows featuring Thomson on drums, Robb Mitchell on keyboards, Jon Frederiksen on bass, Mike Rogerson on guitar and keyboard, and a cast of guest vocalists.

The Hermit’s live shows use a minimal amount of electronic loops, with each layer of sound played by members of the band, while projected visuals complement the audio experience.

This certainly isn’t The Hermit’s first time in town — they played the Main Stage of the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival last year. When they return Jan. 12 to the GLC they’ll share the stage with Hey Ocean!

Hey Ocean! released their first full-length album, Stop Looking Like Music , in 2006, and then set out on a six-month tour of Canada to bring their bright lyrics and style from coast to coast.

With Ashleigh Ball on flute and vocals, David Beckingham on guitar and vocals, Dave Vertesi on bass and Benny Schutze on drums, the indie/pop/funk foursome have an undeniable chemistry and outstanding melodic sound that appeals to young and old.

Hey Ocean’s! styles range from the romantic, Spanish-inspired ballad, Madera, to the fast-paced drum-filled Beatboxer Who Broke My Heart.

Their music is inspired by folk, reggae, funk and jazz, with elements from each genre infused into their own, creating a unique hybrid form of pop music.

The talented group last visited Whistler at the end of August, when they played with Current Swell at Garfinkel’s. This time, they’re stopping in town as they travel from Vancouver to Lethbridge, Alberta, making their way across the country on another six-month tour.

And the band has undergone some major changes recently.

Between launching a new website and MySpace page to keep fans up to date with news and tour dates, and releasing new merchandise, they’ve also joined forces with a Toronto-based musician and producer to help with their new album, which they plan to start recording in February for release in early May.

Perhaps more significantly, drummer Schuetze has left the band to pursue a career in film. They’ve started looking for a replacement, and hope to find one soon, but it will be interesting to see who ends up hitting the stage with them when they roll into town next week.

The talents of these two B.C.-based bands shouldn’t be missed — their music promises to inspire and satisfy with a combination of eclectic rhythms, beats and clever lyrics.

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