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A Letter to Heartbreak with The Beaches

Interview by Ella Cigognini

No one knows the Canadian music scene like The Beaches. 

Coming off their outstanding performance on the first day of Lollapalooza, a new single and album are in the sights for the band, who are now headlining their own Canada/US tour. I spoke with drummer Eliza Enman-McDaniel to discuss what’s next for them.

Thank you for joining me today Eliza! Could you tell me a little bit about how The Beaches got started? 

Yeah so I met the two sisters (Jordan and Kylie, lead singer/bassist and lead guitarist) when we were super young in primary school and we started playing together from a very young age. We had an opening spot in the band at the beginning of high school, which is when we met Leandra. She was just kind of a really big fan of the band of the time that we were in, and she was also so talented, so we asked her to join. And that was just over ten years ago.

When you first all started playing together, was your goal to be famous? Put your music out in the world? To just play casually? 

I think back then when we first got started we were just having fun, like this was a fun, new thing to do with my friends. And then I think we quickly realised that we have something. Something that was special that we wanted to share with the world. So, we decided from a pretty early age that we wanted to take it seriously and we all opted out of post-secondary [study], that was sort of a big decision. And once we had that discussion we all realised we wanted to do this full time.

And you know not even necessarily to get ‘famous’ but to just keep having fun and sharing our music with the world and playing live. That’s the one thing we like to do the most, touring.

Can you tell me about how you came to produce your first album, The Late Show?

We had written those songs a few years prior to recording it so we had them under our belt. We ended up working with Emily and Jimmy from this Canadian band Metric, and over here they’re quite renowned songwriters. So we ended up working with them and they produced our album for us, and when we recorded that one it was pretty live off the floor. We were all in a room together playing, and it was a very live experience which sounds maybe a little bit more ‘rockier’ than our other stuff that’s out there.

Has your music changed from when you first started until now? 

This happens with a lot of artists, where you go for a little while and you have a certain style and you’re like okay, let’s try something new and push the boundaries or try something that’s uncomfortable. That’s what we ended up doing with this latest album. And you can hear that each song is very different from the last. There’s some ‘pop-ier’ influences and some eighties influences that’s all new for us, and I think it’s just about exploring as songwriters.

Tell us about ‘Blame Brett’, is Brett real or a culmination of many breakup experiences?

There is a real person named Brett that it’s based off of, however the song actually isn’t really about him, it’s more a letter to Jordan’s future partners about how her last relationship ended. We’ve been getting a lot of questions like “Oh is Brett upset”, it’s not even about Brett!

Please, please, please give us a teaser into the new single ‘What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Paranoid’ and the new album coming out!

It’s a breakup album, so there’s gonna be a lot of emotional songs. That one [What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Paranoid] almost epitomises the album. Jordan wrote that song when she was going through the tough part of her breakup and I think it encapsulates a lot of the emotions that she was going through at the time. Jordan also speaks and explores a little bit about her queer identity, and so there’s a lot of new things that we haven’t really written about before.

Tell us about performing at Lollapalooza!

Oh my gosh, so crazy, so fun. It was wild. We didn’t think anyone was going to be there. And we’ve done a crowd that big before but mainly in Canada, so to do that was pretty amazing. People knew the words to our songs, and it just felt really good, like all the hard work is starting to pay off.

What does it feel like to come from being young women just wanting to play their instruments to having worldwide success and playing on some of the biggest stages in the world?

At this point in my career I feel very satisfied with the success that we have and the impact we’ve made. Speaking to women specifically, it can be scary getting into this industry because it is still pretty male dominated even though we are seeing change. But just do it, and if you love it enough it’ll be worth it for you. If [our music] makes one young girl learn an instrument or it inspires any women to get into this industry, we feel like we’ve succeeded.

We obviously want to continue to tour and play our music and to do all of this together, but I think we all feel really fulfilled by the success we’ve had so far. But you know, we’ll take more!

‘What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Paranoid’ is available to stream on all platforms. The Beaches’ upcoming album will be available on September 15th.


Ella Cigognini

Ella is a Melbourne-based writer who is looking to pursue a career in telling human interest stories. She is a Journalism graduate from RMIT University and is hoping to use her skills to travel the world writing and telling stories of people from all walks of life.

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