Bahamas: “Be My Witness”
Afie Jurvanen claims that his Finnish mother made up his first name out of thin air. He’s toured around the globe (with Feist and Broken Social Scene) and says that he’s never run across another Afie. Jurvanan writes and records songs under the moniker Bahamas (because, he notes, he doesn’t want to repeat his strange sounding name over and over again at bars and concert venues). And though his name conjures up images of the tropics, Jurvanen actually lives and works pretty far from the tropics in Toronto, Canada.
The Bahamas debut LP, Pink Strat, might be considered old news in Canada. Nevado Records put the record out up north in 2009 and it was nominated for a Juno Award that year (the Juno being the maple leaf version of the Grammy) , but Jurvanen says it was difficult to find “distribution friends” in the States to release the record here. Then he got in touch with the folks at Brushfire Records (Jack Johnson‘s label), and an unlikely partnership was forged.
Bahamas was on tour in the States supporting of Noah & the Whale in early June. In a masochistic start to the tour, Jurvanen and his band left their home in Toronto and drove to San Diego for their first show. Though it was an intense drive to say the least, Jurvanen says the landscape on the way down is always helpful in creating songs. Before returning home to Canada, Jurvanen and a few friends dropped by KUT’s studios to perform some of his songs live. “Be My Witness” captures a sort of neo-soul vibe with the help of some beautiful vocal harmonies and simple piano progression.