By Steve Hubrecht

Local indie rock band Blitzen Coast is back on track after a COVID-19 pandemic hiatus and have just launched a new single.

The band is comprised of musicians already familiar to many music-loving Columbia Valley residents, with the rhythm section (Patrick Carrick on drums and Fraser Smith on bass) from popular local cover band Small Town DirtBags joining forces with synthesizer player Tim MacIntosh and guitarist and singer-songwriter J. Stovell.

Stovell, MacIntosh and Carrick had been playing together in late 2019 and early 2020, and even produced a few demo singles, just before the pandemic hit. They took a bit of a break (along with the rest of the world), but as restrictions relaxed, they added Smith in 2021 to make a four-piece band. 

With normal life having more or less returned, Blitzen Coast were back in the studio earlier this year, and the new single Radio Gap is one of the fruits of that labour.

The Pioneer was lucky enough to be able to listen to the song before it went live, and can attest that lively tune is undeniably catchy, landing in a sweet spot somewhere between pop and rock, with enough twists to keep listeners hooked (and quite possibly grooving out some dance moves) until the last note. 

Radio Gap was launched online on streaming platforms earlier this week, along with an official music video, on Wednesday, June 1.  

“We’re excited to put it (Radio Gap) out,” Carrick told the Pioneer, adding this single is a little more polished than the demos the band released previously. “We’re keen to get as many ears to it as possible.”

Blitzen Coast is holding a single launch party on Saturday, June 11 at Arrowhead Brewing Co, giving valley concert goers their first live taste of Radio Gap as well as a whole set of other original tunes. 

The song is a marked departure from the bluegrass-tinged folk style common among many other Columbia Valley bands, something the band says is purposeful.

“It’s a different tone than what you might expect in the Columbia Valley, but we’re proud of that,” said Carrick. “It’s important to make your music stand out, I think, and I like that just when you think you know where our songs are going, there’s a change. We’re happy with the quality of music, and we’re all having fun creating tunes together.”

The band plans to release a second single this coming fall and hopes to tour the Kootenay region, if grant applications to support the tour are successful.

Radio Gap can be listened to on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, YouTube and most other streaming platforms. The single launch party show starts at 7 p.m. at Arrowhead, and tickets are $10 at the door. Longtime valley musician Oso Simple will be opening the show with a set of original acoustic songs.

To find out more about the band check out Blitzen Coast on Facebook.