Born somewhere between endless sunny days that slowly turned to balmy July nights, Toronto indie rock band MIDDAY SWIM (David Krygier-Baum – Vocals/Guitar, Sebastian Shinwell – Lead Guitar/Vocals, Craig Saltz – Bass/Vocals, Stephan Ermel – Keyboards/Vocals, and Max Trefler – Drums) formed a little less than a year ago at a lakefront cabin in the backwoods of Ontario. “There is something about losing yourself in summertime’s eternal warmth that often breeds inspiration,” says bassist Craig Saltz. “That cabin, which has been in David’s family for 30 years, is a special place for us. At the time, we really didn’t know what we were working on; we were just sort of doing it. David had already written 10 or 12 songs on his own terms and so we were just up there working them out, enjoying each other’s company, going swimming in the middle of the day, and having camp fires at night; it was a really easygoing time for us. When we finally mixed the first song and everyone took a step back to hear it, it was immediately clear that we were going to drop everything else and do this thing together.”
Captured fully on the band’s wistful debut single, “Summer Eyes,” MIDDAY SWIM harness the sort of lush pop melodies, hard-hitting rhythm section, and dreamy atmospheric guitars that echo the likes of Wilco, Broken Social Scene, and Beach House. A video for the song, which features the band engaged in a colourful paint war, was directed by award-winning L.A. filmmaker Noam Kroll, and positions the everyday banality of the 9-5 life against the notion that we needn’t search too far for a little fun and that summer is much more than a season; it is a state of mind.
The band’s second single, “We Got The Feeling,” which was released in early February, expresses a deep longing for the fleeting comforts of young love and the kind of total freedom that only exists out on the open road. Though aware that these tiny wonders often dissipate with time, the song seeks to celebrate them while we still can.
With two solid releases under their belts in less than 6 months, it wasn’t long before some of Canada’s most widely respected music outlets (Exclaim! / Alan Cross) gave nods to MIDDAY SWIM asserting that 2015 would surely be a monumental year for the band.
Although they appear to be the new kids on the chopping block, the members of MIDDAY SWIM –– many of whom have known each other since as far back as high school –– are no rookies to the music game. Drummer Max Trefler’s former band whosarmy, won CBC’s COVER ME CANADA in 2011, secured a top 10 single on the iTunes Rock Charts, and shared the stage with the likes of Blue Rodeo, Hawksley Workman, and Yukon Blonde, while bassist Craig Saltz has scored music for well over 30 films. Frontman David Krygier-Baum is a music educator, keyboardist Stephan Ermel is a classically trained pianist whose extensive theatre background has seen him perform a number of sold out one man shows, while lead guitarist and songwriter Sebastian Shinwell, who formerly fronted Toronto band CRHYMES and also currently plays in The Holy Gasp, is the cornerstone of this band’s dreamy and much yearned for sound.
Now gearing up to release their self-titled debut album on May 1st, MIDDAY SWIM are poised to share their radiant, feel good brand of indie rock with the masses. After taking one last brave trip back up north to the Krygier-Baum family cabin in the depths of winter last month, the band worked intensely for days to close out the tail end of the record. Despite having to endure minus 40-degree weather with no running water, narrowly escaping an electrical fire, and surviving on frozen lasagna and Moose Tracks ice cream alone, the result is a beautifully crafted debut full of poignant pop melodies, pensive soulful lyrics, and the sort of melancholic indie rock whimsy that dreams are made of.
“Traveling the Great White North in search of calmer surroundings and that idyllic, untouched landscape to inspire your sound, seems like something of a rite of passage for a Canadian indie band,” says keyboardist Stephan Ermel. “But really, I think it’s about camaraderie,” he adds. “I have always been compelled by stories of bands that have been together for years, are aware of each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and habits, and are able to bring out the best in each other, but I think that those moments of true creative ingenuity are made possible only after you’ve become a family of sorts. We hope that we’ve struck upon those kinds of moments with this new record because creating it has confirmed for all of us that the kind of collaborative effort that being in a band demands, goes far beyond what any one individual can do on their own.”