Profile — The Beaches Talk Fusing Joy and Pain into Music Ahead of Summit Show (Exclusive Interview)

In the universe created by The Beaches, music is not just a passion but a journey through all that life throws navigated with a tight-knit bond more akin to sisterhood than bandmates. That bond can be heard woven into every song on The Beaches’ latest album, Blame My Ex, released in September 2023. Turning what may be one of the worst experiences of your life into something beautiful is no small task. However, The Beaches have not only navigated through such hardships but have emerged on the other side with a stunning album they’re currently touring in support of with an upcoming stop at Summit Music Hall on February 25th. 

Ahead of the show, 303 Magazine sat down with lead singer and bassist Jordan Miller, shedding light on the highs and lows that shaped The Beaches’ evolution as a band, the challenges of independence, and new music.

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The Beaches’ story began in childhood, as all the best stories do. Jordan said, “When I was six, my sister Kylie was given a guitar and that sparked our musical journey together.” As she turned seven, the two sisters joined forces with friends Eliza Enman and Megan Fitchett, forming the band Done with Dolls. Their musical path, like a melody finding its harmony, took unexpected turns. From performing on the “the Canadian Disney Channel” to navigating the challenges of high school, The Beaches searched for their place in music in tandem with their search for their place in the world. “We started playing shows in Kensington Market, like at midnight on a Wednesday. I don’t know how our parents allowed this,” she recalled, reflecting on their unconventional beginnings.

In high school, The Beaches embarked on a path of self-discovery, transitioning from performing songs written for them to creating their own music. The band changed: Megan left, Leandra Earl joined and the quartet solidified into the powerhouse they are today. “We’ve grown up as a band,” reflected Jordan. “You can hear it in our musical influences and, specifically, in our music.” As with any long-standing relationship, The Beaches underwent transformations, but the bond between them, built over a decade, kept them going. “We have a real deep, earned mutual respect.”

Tired of being beholden to the pressures of the music industry, The Beaches chose to release their latest record independently, a bold move that both excited and terrified them. Jordan noted, “It’s a gamble. You’re investing in yourself.” This leap into independence allowed them creative freedom, a defining trait of their sound. Navigating through the shifts in the music industry, especially during the COVID era, The Beaches learned to leverage platforms like TikTok for closer audience relationships and better engagement. “We really learned how to use those apps and devices. You have to change with the times,” she said.

The roots of The Beaches’ sound trace back to their parents’ eclectic musical preferences. From the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to new wave music, the band absorbed a diverse range of influences. However, their connection with female pop stars — especially Avril Lavigne who stood larger than life wielding a guitar with a distinct defiance emanating from her — became a defining factor. Jordan said, “Seeing a young woman holding a guitar like a weapon, that resonated with us.”

Jordan’s vocals on the album loom beautifully over the sweetly defiant and occasionally melancholy instrumentation. She manages to have a timeless tone while drawing on modern pop sensibilities. The tracks have a raspy quality that hearkens back to a Nat King Cole record but sounds decidedly of the times. Jordan said, “I had to record ‘Blame Brett’ for six days just looking for the perfect vocal take.” She said she had to learn how to sing in different ways and new styles just to convey what the songs needed.

The influence of The Cure — who The Beaches recently paid homage with a cover of “Boys Don’t Cry” — is evident on their latest record, “Blame My Ex.” “I kept going back to those songs. That sort of sound is what I was feeling,” Jordan said. The fusion of joy and pain into music was inspiring. The album, born out of a breakup, delves into the complexities of emotions, melding anguish and levity in a way akin to The Cure’s distinctive style.

Reflecting on personal experiences, Jordan shared insights from a recent breakup that deeply affected the songwriting on the latest record. “I was surprised at how strong I was,” she says, emphasizing the importance of embracing pain and using it as a catalyst for growth. The band’s resilience and mutual respect have been pillars of their journey. Another pillar of the Beaches’ music is the humor in Jordan’s writing. Reflecting on the humorous undertones of their song “Blame Brett,” she said, “A well-crafted joke and a well-crafted chorus, it’s all about the same thing.” The comedic elements serve as a bridge, allowing them to address pain and personal experiences. Using humor to deliver the message in a unique way that has deeply resonated with people.

One standout track, “Me and Me,” traces its origins to an unlikely source: a meme from Sex and the City in which the character Carrie Bradshaw is drinking wine and happy to be ending her day alone. “I really enjoyed being single again,” said Jordan about learning to prioritize her happiness and capturing that essence in a song. It’s a celebration of self-love and proof that inspiration can strike from anywhere.

The tour for their latest record has been a testament to The Beaches’ growing popularity, particularly in the United States. Following the viral hit “Blame Brett,” the band is playing to sold-out audiences across the nation.  Jordan expressed excitement about upcoming shows, including one at Red Rocks with girl in red and their late-night debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The songs, especially the more painful ones, take on new life during live performances, resonating with audiences in unexpected ways. They are set to headline Summit on February 25th for the Blame My Ex tour, and Jordan is hoping they can squeeze in a visit to the Strawberry Park hot springs.

In the ever-changing tides of the music industry, The Beaches stand resilient, riding the waves of independence, personal growth, and a commitment to authenticity. Blame My Ex emerges not just as an album but as a musical diary, capturing the essence of a band that went through heartbreak both in career and personal life and came out the other side with a better friendship and the catchiest songs they’ve ever written.

Listen to Blame My Ex on Spotify here and get tickets to their show at the Summit here!
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