What do you think of when you hear the word Snowbeast? A dangerous Yeti hiding in the caves of a snowy mountain preying on unsuspecting skiers? Yeah, me too. But Snowbeast, a collaborative project between Riun Garner, Brayden Pichor and Jonathan Nickel, has changed this meaning for me and replaced it with something different, yet just as mystical.
Vancouver’s Snowbeast released their debut EP on November 23 and in the short time since their release, they have received attention from blogs and music lovers alike. Securing a spot on BIRP!’s December 2012 and Best of 2012 playlist with their song “A Howl Like a Wolf”, Snowbeast is featured among established bands such as Fanfarlo, Bahamas, Sleigh Bells and Twin Shadow.
So what’s so interesting about this band and why? For me, it’s a combination of the honesty conveyed in their scratchy vocals to the catchiness of their playful lyrics and song. Snowbeast’s sound is like a goody bag stuffed with Beach Fossils rhythmic beats, Vampire Weekend well-strung pop and a generous scoop of roughed up Julian Casablacas-esque vocals.
The first two tracks, “Snowbeast” and “Somewhere, Ontario”, include similar climbing tempos leading into beautiful eruptions of percussion and vocals. “Back Yards and Alleyways” elicits the nostalgia of childhood and reminds me of the dynamics between people and places. The most danceable of the tracks is definitely “No One Wansta Live in the Ghetto”, which includes faster-paced lyrics and wild instrumentals, making for a strangely addictive song. The decision to end the EP with “A Howl Like a Wolf”, a tune which successfully blends elements from the rest of the EP into one song, solidifies the variation that Snowbeast has with its music and begs for its continuation.
After all this, is that image of a hungry Yeti still occupying your mind? Of course it is.
You can check out Snowbeast’s eponymous EP right here.