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The Sylvia Platters build new album on cohesion and a focused sound

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Sitting in his living room, The Sylvia Platters frontman Nick Ubels spreads his arms and holds them open at an obtuse angle.

“The first record was like this — this is the range of styles and influences,” he says, emphasizing the angle of his arms before bringing them closer together to describe the band’s more focused approach on their upcoming sophomore release, MELT.

“We’ve zeroed in a little bit more on what we think works for us and what we all like to play together. I feel like we’ve been able to put together something that fits in a way that’s really nice and complements everything else,” says Ubels.

The Platters’ cohesion on their newest record comes as the band embraces the addition of two members after the departure of former bassist Simon Tressel. Joining the Platters are Alex Kerc-Murchison on guitar and Scott Wagner on bass, rounded out by Tim Ubels on drums.

Ahead of a string of shows which will culminate in the June 24 release of MELT, Tim Ubels says that if recording 2015’s Make Glad The Day taught the Platters anything, it’s that less is more.  

“On the new record, we have different things on different levels and we can hear them all coming through clearly instead of trying to fit them all into the same space.”

Nick Ubels adds that embracing space on MELT has allowed The Platters to focus on and highlight track elements more clearly, a strategy which has in turn produced a more cohesive end product.

“Even though the record is more of a shoegaze / dream pop album, there’s more atmosphere and texture to it. But we’re doing that with less tracks. There’s a sense of restraint in terms of recording. Allowing ourselves to write a song that’s slower has been crazy, but it seems to work. [“Tangerine”] might be my favourite song on the record.”

Cohesion, it would seem, is a quality that bleeds over from the Platters’ music to the Platters themselves. Despite being a new member, Alex Kerc-Murchison says that his integration into the band has been as smooth as it has been fruitful.

“I think we understand our different approaches [to songs],” says Kerc-Murchison. “I may come up with a different riff than [Nick] would, but it would still fit within the song.”

Apparently oblivious to their endearingly cohesive stance on band cohesion, both Ubels (first Nick, then Tim) echo Kerc-Murchison’s comments.

“With a particular song, I think we can all work towards a common goal.”

“I don’t really think there’s anyone that has an ego in the band.”

Despite their lack of ego, the Platters’ latest record sees them embrace a more downcast kind of college rock that will have you swinging your hips at any one of their shows this summer.

“We’re really excited about two back-to-back shows in Victoria,” says Nick Ubels. “One night is at the Copper Owl, and the following day is at Logan’s. That’s the final show of Blessed’s massive North American tour, so we’re going to meet back up with those guys and play a show in Victoria together.”

Perhaps echoing the familiarity and camaraderie of the local music scene, Tim Ubels casually plugs the show by throwing out a phrase which is as casual as it is effective: “A couple of Abbotsford bands just meeting on the island.”

Catch The Sylvia Platters (joined by MALK and Kristin Witko) as they launch MELT on June 24 at O’Neill’s, and on July 12 with Grotto Mall, Casinos, and Jenny Banai at Carport Manor.

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