Just one year ago, musicians Samson Danniels and Adam Giles Levy were on separate paths in their musical careers, but a chance meeting on a jam night in Whistler brought their worlds together.
Levy, who had recently moved to Whistler from London, England, was part of the cover band circuit that dominates the Whistler scene. After he met Danniels, the strictly instrumental guitarist, that all changed — albeit with a little persuasion.
“He wanted to do covers at the beginning,” said Danniels. “He sent me a list of 10 cover songs after we had exchanged contact info, and they had some good tunes in there, but I basically just said ‘No’ and when we started getting together we found it to be more natural to play our own music.”
From there the two never looked back, staying away from covers altogether and focusing on their original material. “We were creating our own music right out of the gate and it just felt right, and what was coming out of the other end sounded great. I think that was the moment I knew it was the right decision to not play other people’s music,” said Levy. “Sometimes when things work, they just work, man. It’s just how it is.”
The band’s name, Coloured Sky, which Danniels came up with, is a tribute to the mountains and it originates from an Xavier Rudd song that carries a deeper meaning for Danniels and influences not only his songs, but also how he views his life.
“There’s a line in a song from a few albums ago ‘I will see you in the colours between the mountains as the sun descends’ and he’s referring to people he has lost,” said Danniels. “A lot of the songs on (our) album were heavily influenced by this. I had lost my brother the year before and that was a poignant part and while recording I lost a friend as well. I’m not a religious person, but I like to believe people live on in us and one of the most beautiful things that someone can really be blessed to see is a beautiful sunset in the mountains.”
Danniels and Levy perform as a duo with music that’s one part folk inspired, one part punk rock and several parts everything else.
According to the band, the merging of the different influences in their respective lives produces a unique sound that cannot be put into its own genre. “People love asking us what our sound is and we never have an answer for it,” said Danniels. “There used to be a time when you didn’t have to decide beyond the rock genre, like what is Neil Young? If he was playing his music that he wrote back in ’60s and ’70s today, people would have a bunch of different genres and hashtags for it, but back in the day it was just rock and I think that’s the best way to say what we are, that we are a rock band.”
On April 14, the band released their debut self-titled EP. The album, which was produced in Vancouver by Dave Genn of Matthew Good Band fame, consists of five hand-picked songs from the duo. Both members said that the album has received positive reviews from listeners and that they are quite happy with the album as a whole.
“Dave was a great guy to work with and he’s very good at what he does,” said Levy on working with Genn on the album. “It was great because we went in with our ideas on what direction we wanted to go (with the album) and he was good enough to let it go that way, but he was also good in telling us if we should try something else. He didn’t hinder our creativity and I think he was a great fit
Coloured Sky will be supporting their EP next month (May 19) at the inaugural GO Fest here in Whistler, but are hoping to book shows before the festival as well. The duo are looking forward to bringing their music to the outdoor stage and remain confident that their sound will work in any venue.
“I think that is a great part about our music because we can tailor it really well to a dark basement bar with 50 people or to a big stage outdoors,” said Danniels.
Though the band does play with other musicians at bigger shows, the duo has strived to produce a big sound for shows when it is just the two of them. “If you come and watch the two of us, it feels like there are more people on stage than there are,” said Levy. “There’s a good energy from us playing our hearts out.”
You can check out and purchase Coloured Sky’s music on their website at www.colouredsky.com and on iTunes.