The Backhomes head back to where they started
by Chris Morin
It’s taken several years and a move that took them nearly 5000 kilometres across Canada, but The Backhomes are finally settled, both geographically and creatively.
The two-piece psych-pop band (consisting of Aimée van Drimmelen and Kees Dekker, an ex-member of The Besnard Lakes and Plants and Animals) first formed in Montreal in 2009, but years later the duo moved across the country to Victoria, BC. In 2013 they released their debut full-length album Only Friend, a record marked by reverb-drenched guitar and synth.
The Backhomes are currently working on a follow-up album, a process that was kickstarted by a return to their old Quebec stomping grounds.
“We did a North American tour last summer and we were pretty excited that we got to record a song in Montreal in my old studio,” says Dekker, who also worked as a producer with Regina indie group Rah Rah for their Breaking Hearts album. “We made a point of recording and working on something every day, regardless of whether it was a grand idea or not. We discovered a lot of ideas that way, and we ended up going back to the stuff that was more natural to us, rather than what we did as pure creativity. To our surprise, those songs ended up being the bulk of what was going to be on the album.
“I’ve always really appreciated repetitive music,” he says. “So it’s always been a part of our sound. The new record is going in a direction with more keyboards, [and] I’d say that a lot of the new material is more upbeat.”
The Backhomes make lush, lo-fi pop rock that’s dreamy and cathartic, and the duo has also created a mesmerizing stage show to accompany the songs. Dekker says that audiences can expect to see brand-new animation projections on the group’s upcoming tour, courtesy of van Drimmelen.
“Aimée is a professional illustrator and animator, so we give her full creative licence to come up with something cool,” he says. “We’re a duo and we don’t run around and do anything theatrical on stage, but we both love interesting visuals, so it’s been great that she has been able to take her art and incorporate it into the band. It’s become just as important as the music.”