The best laid plans always come with the chance for change.
When it comes to central Newfoundland band Mile Twenty Five, their plans for the summer of 2020 included playing live shows in front of actual people as they bounced from one festival appearance to the next.
Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and those plans got turned on their ear.
Still, there was a silver lining. The band, whose members come from Lewisporte, Bishop’s Falls and, most recently, Bay d’Espoir, turned their attention to completing the group’s first full-length record.
Made up of Peter Welsh (vocals, rhythm guitar), Marcel Reid (lead guitar), Carter Fancey (drums) and Nathan Manuel (bass guitar), Mile Twenty Five released their first full-length album in late November.
Matthew Pittman is the bassist of record on the album, but is no longer with the band.
“To do something to that scale and to our liking is definitely a big deal,” said Fancey.
Comprised of seven tracks and just under 30 minutes in length, the record is called “Just in Case.” It is a journey through small-town Newfoundland. The track features two previously released singles.
The album carries the listener through small-town Newfoundland, and the themes of each track will be spark something inside.
Each song brings a certain level of nostalgia with it as they use familiar scenarios as their backbone. There are passages about former loves, shed parties and other staples of a rural town.
“We just wanted to embrace that,” said Fancey.
The band had been writing the record for the last year, and the songs had often come in pieces.
One member might have a chorus scrawled in a notebook somewhere that they’ll put out as another member starts messing around with a guitar riff.
Fancey might add a hint of percussion to the mixture and suddenly the entire group is filling out the rest of the tune.
It can very much be a Frankenstein’s monster approach to songwriting that draws in their numerous musical inspirations.
That process brings in hints of country, ’80s pop music and classic rock, and outputs them as something unique to the band.
“We would have bits and pieces from songs, different hooks and choruses that I would come up with sometimes, and we would just patch things together as things went on,” said Welsh.
Now, that’s not to say the group has written material together from scratch. The song "Somewhere Out There," which appears on the record, was composed by all the members of the band.
The pandemic meant the recording of the album was done in groups of two. Both guitars and vocals would be recorded during one session, while drums and bass guitar were recorded at another.
Then, the sessions were mixed together. For a handful of tracks, the bass and the drums were tracked live together.
“That was pretty exciting just to be able to sit down and listen to brand new songs that we’ve never even heard before,” said Reid.
The name of the album is “Just In Case.”
It is a motto the group has used to push them forward. It serves as a reminder that no matter what happens, whether it’s with the band or in their world at large, they’ll always have this time with the band to look back on.
“For whatever else, this is something we’ll have. A collection of songs and stories that we will have for the rest of our lives,” said Welsh.
Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice