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Boredom sparks electric return

Australia's Beautiful Girls come back to Whistler with new album



Who: The Beautiful Girls

When: April 1 & 3

Where: Boot Pub

Tickets: $15

The Beautiful Girls are not as their name suggests. Rather, they are a bunch of decent looking Aussie blokes, returning to the Boot Pub with their new roots and groove album, We’re Already Gone .

So popular in these parts among Australians, Canadians and others, the Boot is hosting two shows for this band, whose sound has drawn comparisons to Jack Johnson and Ben Harper.

Five years in, the boys of the Beautiful Girls have developed their own distinct sound, which really came into its own last year with the release in Australia of We’re Already Gone . The album was released in Canada and the U.S. earlier this year.

The band is currently stocking up frequent flyer miles promoting the album.

"Sonically it is a little bit different," Beautiful Girls’ Mat McHugh said on the phone from the deck of a B.C. Ferry.

"Our last album was pretty much acoustic," he said. "This one is predominately electric guitar, horns and keyboards – a bunch of different instruments."

And the reason for moving beyond the acoustic guitar – instrument inspiration? Broadening listening reach? Mainstream market play?

"Boredom," McHugh explained.

"Making songs that sound the same, you’ve got to find other ways to explore it…. We are always going to go in new directions. Stagnation is the enemy of creation."

Fans may initially scratch their heads at the new direction, but multiple Album of the Year nominations this year and last suggest Beautiful Girl devotees are happy with the results.

The boys left the horns and keyboards at home for an intimate three-piece band of vocalist McHugh, bassist Clay McDonald and drummer Bruce Braybrooke.

"It’s been about a year since we’ve gone out as a three piece and we are really enjoying it: it is where we started," McHugh said. "We like the challenge of making it sound as full as a full-piece band."

The trio was well received earlier this year, touring the new album in Japan, sharing a stage with Coldplay and the Foo Fighters at the Fuji Rock Fest. A U.S. tour followed, and now they’re on to Canada. Although the surfer boys were headed to one of Canada’s best surf hideouts in Tofino, McHugh said he wasn’t going to put money on any of the band members braving the winter waters. Maybe when they get home.

"We are going home to play a couple of big festivals and then we are due to come back to North America in the not too distant future," McHugh said. "We’ll probably take off a couple of months to finish writing some new songs. There is always a lot of work to be done."

Tune into the desperation of soul, the groove of hip hop and the bass lines of dub for an unforgettable show sure to sell out.

Advanced $15 tickets are available at the Boot or through Ticketmaster.

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