Toronto based musician, Bahamas, is scheduled to perform with Calexico at Mercy Lounge. (TMP Photo/D. Gillespie)
It’s one word, straightforward and unadorned, but it is much more than that.
In this case, the name actually refers to the solo outfit of Toronto-based musician, Afie Jurvanen.
The name is a great visual. To most, it conjures up images of a tropical sunset, a relaxing beach atmosphere and somewhat of a getaway.
And the music of Bahamas is definitely a getaway in its own right.
“I just thought the word Bahamas was nice to say,” Jurvanen said about the simplicity of the name.
“It does influence the way people hear the music. For me, it’s a reflection of all the other things in my life. It would be hard for me to make something else,” he added.
The music of Bahamas has been catching on of late with the 2012 release, "Barchords."
With a melodic tone, the album features 12 cuts that include the well-received “Lost in the Light,” and it has been making waves among many music circles during the past year.
"Barchords" has been featured by iTunes as one of the best albums of 2012 while also gaining play on a few television commercials.
At the same time, it has received praise from "Spin" and the "New York Times" while "Consequence of Sound" acclaims, “Bahamas whips soul-infused vocals, bittersweet lyrics, and uplifting melodies into an airy, acoustic dream.”
“Music to me is like a conversation. I want to get to the essence of it as quickly as possible,” Jurvanen added.
With limited radio play, there is a distinct sound that drives fans to know of Bahamas without delay during first listen.
“I don’t have songs on the radio. I really believe in playing live and that seems to be something people will put their energy into and spend money on. Instead of cramming every hole with a riff, sometimes leaving that open is the most intense thing. It definitely appeals to me and I feel comfortable playing it,” Jurvanen said.
Growing up in Toronto, Jurvanen has been playing for more than 20 years and cites influences like classic rockers AC/DC and Tom Petty, although these influences don’t necessarily reflect Bahamas’ style.
“It's kind of happening. There are a lot of band that are there making music. There’s a lot of country, folk and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s more of a rock n roll town than Montreal,” Jurvanen said about the Toronto music setting.
In Toronto, he hooked up with several musicians and started hitting the scene immediately. One of the musicians whom he had a regular gig with was Feist, who he toured with for three years.
With time on the road, he has landed in Nashville with others, but this will be the first time he will perform with his own songs as Bahamas as he is scheduled to return Jan. 30 with Calexico at Mercy Lounge.
“There are so many bands putting out records so there’s someone new all the time. It’s really flattering for people to come see us play,” Jurvanen noted about the upcoming show.
Regarding the show, tickets are $20 and the night begins with Bahamas at 8 p.m.
For more information on Bahamas, visit bahamasmusic.net.