Candysound: Whole lotta sweet stuff going on

By Jake Werrion

The Bellingham based rock band Candysound is preparing to release Now and Then in early May, their first official full length release. The record signals a new phase of energy and songwriting, while at the same time beautifully capturing the immense hard work and effort that they’ve put into the last year.
Candysound is comprised of Teo Crider on guitar and vocals, Nikko Van Wyke on guitar, Jesse Cohen on bass and Tom Fitzgibbon on drums. As a band they’ve spent the better part of four years building a strong musical relationship and fan base in and around the Bellingham area, while creating an amazing body of intricate, interesting, emotional, and fun music.
Now and Then came together initially as the band cut a demo of the tracks at the Unknown in Anacortes last April. Sitting on these recordings for about six months gave Candysound enough time, space, and perspective to dial everything in just right, to make it exactly how they want it, before officially recording and releasing their debut full length album. The difference that time can grant seems clear in the contrast between the versions of “Turned In” from 2011’s the Amadeus EP and the new one on Now and Then; it’s tightened up, it’s a little faster, the band seems more comfortable.
Last fall, they decided it was time to finally put this record together, so they asked Jackson Mathey (who engineered Creech’s 2013 album, Pasture) to come in and help record the album. They worked, for the most part, in Candysound’s home, turning living rooms and garages into recording studios. The end result sounds warm, clean, and of professional quality. They tracked about 13 songs, and mastered nine for the album. The songs move smoothly into each other, giving Now and Then that wonderful sense of continuity that makes an album an album, not just a collection of songs. The attention to detail that Candysound and Jackson captured is incredible.
The release is in many ways signaling the beginning of a new phase for Candysound. In the last year of working on the album, navigating school and work, and all of the different side projects (Porch Party, Bright Weapons, the Mission Orange, Vacationeer) that Jesse, Teo, Nikko, and Tom are involved with, there has been little time for new Candysound material. This is changing.
“With this album, it’s nice to release it… it kinda seems like this what we need to do in order to move forward.” said Teo.
“This release is all old music” added Jesse, “we’re going to write a bunch of songs in the next six months and by the time we go on tour…we’re hopefully going to release a new EP.”
In fact, they’ve already began dedicating practice sessions towards new material, in the hopes of debuting new songs at the record release.
Recording is one thing, but getting copies of the album pressed and finding a visual artist to make it beautiful can be expensive endeavors. In late February, Candysound launched a very successful Kickstarter campaign to help with these financial challenges. By offering interesting and fun incentives for the different pledge levels (as basic as sticker and button packs to having Nikko perform the record release stark naked) they quickly attracted the community’s support and doubled their original goal less than halfway through the fundraising period. With that success, they’re able to commission local artist Brad Lockhart to create the album cover and print the first run of Now and Then, expected to be out on May 2 (tentatively) and celebrated at an all-ages show at the Mini.
Candysound is currently in the process of editing a music video for Now and Then’s “Anything,” using Teo’s experimentations with rapid photography to create a stop motion effect for the film’s core concept. In addition, they’ve been creating new merchandise, such as stickers, buttons, and a series of limited edition tee shirts (each featuring the stoic profile of one of the band’s cats).
The band will hit the road this summer, and said their tour philosophy centers on patience, focusing on shorter, more local shows (down through Portland and Seattle) that can be done in a weekend. By taking these smaller tours, they’re getting to know these areas and people more effectively, building the resources to keep making and extending the trips. “Think of it like weight training, we’re not bench pressing 200 pounds, we’re doing lots of 5’s” said Teo. The goal is to make each loop a little bigger each time, to keep growing as a band.
That’s exactly what they’ve been doing. It’s been roughly five years since Candysound released their EP the Millions and performed at the Emp’s Sound Off. Since then, Jesse and Nikko filled out the lineup and they’ve put together a couple more EPs and released singles with 20 Sided Records. Their ability to take things a little slower shows how incredible this band is. They never rushed their efforts or betrayed the quality of their work, and Now and Then will show you why.

For more information about Candysound, check out candysound.bandcamp.com. Stay tuned to their Facebook page about their release show on May 2 at the Mini.