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The Boom Booms return with new music to show off

Vancouver alt-soul band's upcoming album 'made to be played live'

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Singer Aaron Ross of alt-soul band The Boom Booms is chopping garlic and talking about the band's upcoming album. In the background is the chatter of a small child, a friend's kid.

The impression is one of hanging out at home, which happens to be East Vancouver. This is something the tour-loving band doesn't do all that much.

"We have new songs and the new album going to mix now," Ross says of the as yet untitled 12-track release.

"There's not a hard date yet, but it will be out this summer."

The fact that The Boom Booms has been together and performing for nine years is stunning for Ross when he considers the album.

"It's our first one since 2014; time really does fly."

Ross says the new music has been written with their live show in mind. They spent a year jamming, working on ideas and making choices from dozens of songs.

"This album's quite different from Love is Overdue (the band's last album, recorded with Grammy-winning producer Chin Injeti). It is more lush and full, a mature sound, really cultivated," he explains.

"With this new album we wanted to limit ourselves a bit more, because we want to be able to play it live. We wanted to write songs that sound great live, and be able to change the sound night after night."

The band went to Comox on Vancouver Island last October to work for a month on music without interruption.

"We rented a house off Airbnb. It was on the water; we'd work on music all day, it was heaven, though there were no girls allowed," says Ross.

Along with Ross, there is his brother Sean Ross on keyboard and vocals, Tom Van Deursen on guitar, Geordie Hart on bass and Theo Vincent on drums.

"I wrote constantly and combed through hundreds of ideas, and came to the band with 80 songs. They had the starts of choruses, verses and lyrics. The ones we all liked they worked on," Ross says.

"Eighty turned into 20 or 25, then became final 12."

The Boom Booms are performing at the Maury Young Arts Centre on Saturday, April 29, at 8 p.m.

Tickets for Arts Whistler members are $22.50, and for non-members is $25. They can be purchased at the box office or online at www.artswhistler.com.

"For Whistler, we will have a good number of new songs ready, you will be one of the first places to hear it," Ross says.

"The songs evolved a lot through all of us playing them. It really worked for what we wanted to achieve. You need everyone when you play live; it helps us find the sweet spot where you use everyone's talents. As the writer you have to steer a certain way to make sure there is a direction that guides it. I feel like it really worked out.

"Can't wait to share that."

The Boom Booms gained fame locally in East Van for arranging a local block party that ran annually for seven years.

For five years, it took place in the alley behind Ross's mother's house at Venables and Nanaimo. It then moved on, legally, to Strathcona Park.

But this year, it is no more.

"It was a really great experience to do a festival but so hard," he recalls. "I'd like to bring it back someday. If anyone wants to help it — we will take some money to fund it.

But these days we are going pretty full tilt, with no break. We're gigging and finishing the album. When you make these albums you forget how much work they are, last little details take forever. So no festival this year, sadly."

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