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.
This year Bahamas released Barchords, a fantastic follow-up record–so much so that it made one of our “Best Of 2012″ lists. The group is starting to pick up some critical steam, and the group was kind enough to take time out of their hectic touring schedule to stop by KUT’s Studio 1A. Bahamas performed “Be My Witness,” a soulful ballad that closes Barchords. In the live setting, the vocal harmonies and simple piano progression are pulled to the forefront, and it’s a perfect introduction to the interesting sound of Bahamas.