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New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Rock




"The Signal - September 23, 2014"

"A trio of sad sound-makers, perfect for The Signal." - Laurie Brown, host of The Signal on CBC Radio 2

"Alea Rae at Fox Cabaret"

VANCOUVER — There is a lot of music out there, but Vancouver seems particularly plagued with hundreds if not thousands of local bands trying to make it big, or trying to make it at all (or hell, even trying to make it to a gig—with these gas prices, who can afford a proper tour van?). So what’s the problem? To be blunt… well, most of them suck. And that’s no discredit to Vancouver’s local scene. In fact, Vancouver’s local scene is one of the best in the world. It’s just that making music is hard, and making good music is even harder (which is why I listen to shows instead of playing them). Still, for all the bands that should remain in their garages, Vancouver holds a number of unknown and incredible musical acts waiting to be discovered, making the nightly hunt through hidden venues more alluring than a particularly staged episode of Storage Wars.

This is what led me to the Fox. The former adult movie theatre still holds all its original charm, bathed in red light and sporting a slightly sticky floor, but these were of no importance as the evening’s act climbed the stage. The four members quietly took to their instruments and quietly introduced themselves, as if apologetic for disrupting the chatter that filled the hall, but, as the music started, the group stopped caring about the audience — they instead lost themselves entirely in their self-proclaimed sad sounds.

Frontwoman Alea Rae’s electric folk picking delicately intertwined with the effects-heavy ambience of guitarist Patrick Farrugia, the beautiful sounds immediately catching my attention. But what set the group apart came was their depth, a depth created by the contrast of this chamberesque curtain of sound with Nick Russell’s undercoating bass and Jeremiah Ackermann’s tight and torrential percussion. These four elements — along with Alea’s sad and slightly sardonic voice — combined to create an aggressive form of melancholia, the sound of a bitter breakup, a drunken depression, and all the emotions in between.

The band, seeming so subdued as they took the stage, broke their own boundaries with their set. The band not only bared their soul to the audience, but bared it well, passing their complex arrangements off as completely accessible through impeccable execution and an intense energy. And, best of all, they brought snacks.

Alea Rae, and bands like them, are the reason Vancouverites scour the city’s events pages, looking for the real thing — true music. And the group’s ability to take risks, to combine seemingly conflicting waves of sound and turn them into harmonies, reflects this search: sometimes we can only find the right thing by looking in the wrong places. - Beatroute

"The Good in Everyone"

As thousands flocked to English Bay to gorge on the remains of food carts and check out the fireworks, a modest—though nonetheless enthusiastic—crowd gathered behind the doors of the Biltmore Cabaret on July 26. Inside, The Good In Everyone were busy sound checking for the release of their self-titled EP party.

Kicking off the show were first openers Alea Rae, who, upon completion of their first song, earnestly proclaimed to the crowd “Oh God, that felt satisfying.” The trio, comprised of front-woman Alea Rae Clark and counterparts Patrick Farrugia on guitar and Jeremiah Ackermann on percussion, fuse cool, atmospheric tones with warm, folksy progressions, echoing the likes of Daughter or The Jezabels.

Though performing a lyrically strong collection of songs that were varied, textured, and engaging, it was their shadowy rendition of Arcade Fire’s “Afterlife” that took the night. Piecing their set together with a mixture of endearing, self-deprecating banter, Clark proved to be a dynamic force, vibing well with the crowd. As they continue to find their sound, I have no doubt Clark will only gain ground in the Vancouver scene. - The Discorder


[...] Next up was Alea Rae, a very ambient trio (led by the eponymous singer) whom always puts me in a calmed mood at live shows. They’re progressive, indie, and just a little bit hardcore all at once—the obvious comparison is to Daughter, but they are by far their own sound. Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Alea has a beautiful and mesmerizing voice, almost hypnotic to listen to, especially live. To the surprise of, I think, many audience members and the band itself, a mosh pit broke out towards the end—a first for the trio. This was the final show for the group before they hunker down to record another EP, and I’m looking forward to their concerts in the future thereafter – perhaps as a headliner. [...] - The Permanent Rain Press

"Alea Rae Offers Up Harmonious Melodies"

Alea Rae is a lovely girl. Alea Rae is also a lovely trio of people. You see, Alea Rae is a singer-songwriter and also the name of the band fronted by said singer-songwriter. (The other two members are Jeremiah Ackermann and Patrick Farrugia). While the boys joined her midway through the recording process for her EP ‘Offerings’, they added musical layers that made that much better.

Offerings gives us a window into the variety of influences that are present in each member’s repetoire. Alea herself says that her biggest inspirations are mostly folk-based and her voice is described as a cross between Karen O and Veronica Falls. Patrick meanwhile states that this is his first experience with predominantly folk music; his biggest influence would probably bigger Sigur Ros – who happen to be one of my personal favourites. He is definitely heavy on the ambient side of things. Alea stated that it’s hard describe what they are right because much of it doesn’t show up on the EP, but their new album – currently in progress – is a lot more ambient-based and experimental. Although I do feel that ‘Offerings’ has the beginning of a dream-wave/chill-wave type sound

The album itself is quite delightful. It’s simple and dreamy, yet has woven layers which make it different from a lot of other, more traditional folk-based music. The last two songs (out of a total four) feature both Ackerman and Farrugia and really lend it an extra kick. While all three members have are partial to the title track, I personally have a soft spot for “An Honest Man”. Alea’s voice tinkles and shines, and given it’s style and lyrical content, it’s refreshing that it’s not overwrought with multiple layers and synthetic sounds. It’s straight forward.

The band has currently taken a step back to focus on the writing, which has become a lot more collaborative, for the upcoming full-length album. Alea states that it will be much darker than ‘Offerings’ is. When I pressed her about why so many artists write from places of darkness – grief, sadness, etc. – she says simply that it’s easier. It’s subconsciously buried in continues, and states that if one writes from that place it is easier to connect with others. “It’s way harder to write a happy song than a sad song”… Ah yes, given that most artists I know (including myself) are rather emotional people (or at the very least in touch with their emotions) it is easy to see why this is the case.

Offerings was released on June 26th, 2013. - Dan McPeake

"Underground Mondays: Alea Rae"

The folk revival is stronger than ever, and it’s fitting that musicians can release music with ease considering social media is only growing. It’s quite ironic to hear something so condensed and close knit be released on this massive universe of the web. Folk music always has a sense of community whenever I listen to it. The personal experiences related to the themes of the songs grasp my attention in such a way, it’s hard to imagine that millions of others can feel the same way with a click of a button. Gladly I can say that Alea Rae isn’t at the million listener mark, but her music should be.

From my hometown of Vancouver, BC, I came into contact with Rae with her debut EP, Offerings. The 4 song, 13 minute long EP covers a lot of ground, but also holds true to the emotional side of folk music. From the beginning of “An Honest Man”, Rae harmonizes with the melody of the guitar, leading into a smooth roll of the drums that vaguely reminisces a band I’ve been really enjoying lately named Typhoon. The instrumentation on this track contrasts the close-hearted opening with a string section that builds until the ultimate climax. Very calming, accessible, and a solid opener for this record. “Teal” takes a different direction, as it’s not as uplifting, but more accepting. The song is raw, real, and fitting to the experiences we have compared to a happy-go-lucky track.

Rae, who’s radical voice is an abstract mix of folk Karen O and Veronica Falls, shines through these cherished songs. Her ability to start in a deep, almost spoken-word croon that grows into a swooning melody is comparable to Marcus Mumford, who I’m not a huge fan of but it’s one of the few things that I enjoy from his music. “Offerings” is a perfect example of Rae’s ability to dynamically shift a song with her voice alone. It’s what makes the song stand out on these tracks. Not to mention the full band provides excitement to the music.

Too many folk musicians can bore listeners with their music. Especially when they begin the long-winded journey of becoming a musician, sometimes a guitar and sad lyrics aren’t enough to capture their future fans. Rae made the right choice in having a backing band grow these ideas into songs. Her lyricism is strong as well, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Isolation, distance, longing of home, love, it’s all here in these songs, but “Stunning Silence” proves yet again that instrumentation done right in folk can be a game changer that’s hard to compete with. I’m somebody who pushes musicians to try new things, but Alea Rae does indie-folk a favour with Offerings. - MITNG


Saturday, October 11th turned out to be a day of “firsts” for me. It was my first 19+ concert and subsequently, my first time at the Electric Owl. Though skeptical as I stepped inside, the venue’s small, dim lit interior turned out to be an appropriate setting for the rather intimate fundraiser put on by Derrival that evening.

Proceeds from the ticket sales, silent auction, raffle, and merchandise were going to the BC Children’s Hospital – an occurrence which, in itself, could have/should have warmed the hearts of all in attendance. That being said, it was the infectious melodies that stole them: alongside BESTiE and Alea Rae, the Langley indie rock band breathed meaning into the expression “simplicity is key” with each putting forth a display of wonderful musicianship for a great cause.

Alea Rae took the stage first, nearly half an hour after the supposed start time (are all local shows like this? Perhaps I am too uneducated on the matter to comment). Nevertheless, I had long forgotten the lengthy wait by the end of their first song, “Flies.” Taken from their new split single, the track opens with some simple stick hits and guitar lines, slowly building in complexity both sound and lyric wise. Lead guitarist and bassist Patrick Farrugia carried the visible energy of the group, often jumping and swaying in time with the music. Departing from their more recent offerings (yes?), “An Honest Man” and “Offerings” embodied a stripped down, light-hearted folk vibe in comparison – no less enjoyable, though evident of a time prior to Alea Rae functioning as a three-piece.

Collaborative efforts resurfaced with the ethereal “Lancaster,” counterpart of “Flies” and one of my favourites from the band. Solo artist-turned-front woman, Rae’s distinctively haunting vocals appeared adjacent to their professional recording (in a good way), while the swelling percussive elements provided by Jeremiah Ackermann added emotional depth. The trio kept listeners captivated through the track’s final notes – the rather poignant line “Your love is a darkness” encompassing feelings of conflict, reflection, and realization into one. Closing with a reverbed cover of Arcade Fire’s “Afterlife” and a yet-to-be-released original titled “Ship’s Point,” these self-proclaimed sad-sound creators set the bar high for the remaining acts that night. The ambient folk undertones of their newer material resonate with an undeniable tension, translating well into their inspired live set. - The Permanent Rain Press

"Soundbite: Alea Rae"

Inspired by the dreary haze of a Vancouver winter, Alea Rae produces a style of folk music that is dripping with elements of allure. Alea Rae’s newest release, a split-single called Flies / Lancaster, is a step forward from their 2013 EP, Offerings. The song-writing is more complex and interesting than in Offerings, and the overall sound feels more put together. The standout track of the two is “Lancaster,” which starts with a simple guitar and slowly builds, adding guitars, bass, drums, and keys. This steady build eventually explodes into the last chorus, where Rae sings “Our love is a darkness” while eerie and whispering vocals reverberate in the background. These two tracks could be defining what’s to come from Alea Rae and quite frankly, I’m excited to hear what that will be. - The Cascade

"Mundo Musique: Alea Rae"

One of the most pleasant music discoveries I’ve had recently is Westminster, British Columbia’s Alea Rae (Westminster is located just outside of Vancouver). Over the past year, the trio have publicly shared a handful of songs. Last year, they released their debut EP, Offerings, four songs of mostly brooding, indie-folk. From the album, the aptly named “Stunning Silence” shone above the other three songs with its dreamy, atmospheric qualities. It also represented the future direction the band would take.

At the end of July, the band released a split single comprising of “Lancaster” and “Flies”. Immediately, you can hear the dark tempos coupled with dreamy melodies a la UK’s Daughter and New York’s Johanna Samuels. The music soars yet at the same time holds you back. The sound is tantalizing and hypnotic. The future for this young trio – which comprises of Alea Rae Clark (lead vocals/guitar/synth bass), Patrick Farrugia (lead guitar/vocals/bass), and Jeremiah Ackermann (percussion/vocals) – is immensely bright. This is a band that we’ll be following for years to come. - The Revue

"Review - "The Light in You Has Left" - Douse"

Last week’s Royal Canoe show at the Imperial in Vancouver, BC was highly anticipated, not only for fans of the Winnipeg art-rockers, but for the three-person crew behind Douse. The New Westminster natives were celebrating the imminent release of The Light In You Has Left, a project that sees them moving from less mature alt-folk projects to a fully fledged and individual sound that combines driving New Wave, dark experimental pop and poetic indie maximalism.

Working with Colin Stewart (Dan Mangan, Yukon Blonde) has allowed the band to fully unfurl their sails on this record, and the band does their best work when they perform feats of songwriting courage that take them beyond comfortable indie territory, into dissonance, exhilaration and even anger.

Guitarist Patrick Farrugia works in sequence-stuttering, vaguely Local-Natives-esque clean arpeggios on tracks like “Speak to Carry Us,” “Worsening” and “Unrest,” but always seems to choose the right moment to whip into whirling effects-drenched passages or wide-open chords that really make the listener sit up and reach to crank the volume, backed by the steadily avalanching patterns of toms and ride beat out from Jeremiah Ackermann’s kit.

Similarly, vocalist Alea Rae Clark works well with her rhythmic, darkly toned delivery of the album’s many introspective and complex lyrical themes, but jumps to another gear when going outside the box. After remarking on some songs that her lyrics might sound obscured or hard to make out, I was thrilled when she went for the throat in the last lashing, emotional stroke of “I Am More Directed,” or shot clear from a reflective forest of guitar chime at the close of “The Importance of Each Other.”

With song titles like those, you might be inclined to think that Douse is all art and no rock: the reality is very much to the contrary. This record shows every bit of the hard work that went into its creation, and represents a big stylistic step forward for the people behind it. What it sometimes lacks in catchiness it makes up for in focus. To be doused is akin to being hit with a water balloon straight to the chest: you’ll feel it, alright.

Top Tracks: “Worsening”; “I Am More Directed”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) - Grayowl Point


A ton of Canadian talent packed a large crowd into the Imperial this past Friday night, providing good vibes and good beats all around. Arguably one of the nicest venues in town, the pit in front of the stage, as well as the raised level in the back, was full throughout the evening as people brought their week to a close with a bunch of good tunes.

First up were Permanent Rain Press favourites, Douse, an art-rock outfit from New Westminster. It wasn’t just an ordinary set for them, as they were performing on the eve of the release of their debut album, The Light in You Has Left. They were certain feeling the local love from the crowd assembled, the set full of relaxed banter from band members. They were also utterly relaxed performers as they crafted eerie and stretched-out soundscapes, the four members lined up onstage and in-sync. Full of persistent beats that blended and melded with echoing riffs, Douse set the right tone for the night and kept expectations high.

Next were Saskatoon’s Close Talker, the lights growing dim to highlight their neon-box set-up and an appropriate atmosphere for their dark and heavy sound. The three piece laid into it with synths to create their stopping-and-starting rhythms that kept the audience guessing. They created their own atmosphere of deep and lovely harmonies, drawing out long instrumental sections that were balanced out by smooth and deep vocals. Suitably, they were less chatty and more performance driven, keeping the crowd under a haze for the duration of their set.

The stage was crowded as the six members of Winnipeg’s Royal Canoe took the stage, along with the absolute plethora of instruments they brought along with them. They were danceable, quirky, and experimental all at once, their skills as musicians unmistakable as they delivered syncopated beats throughout the night. This combination of musicianship and uniqueness was highlighted by the custom instruments onstage, glass orbs that lit up and could be programmed for different beats that made for some very memorable moments as the sound ranged from plucky rhythms to bass that thundered through your chest. Royal Canoe was humbled by the reception, thanking the crowd often and detailing their climb up the Vancouver venue ladder—the Imperial is a far cry from the Media Club.

It was a treat to see bands from three different provinces converge on one venue and provide a high level of performance and range of sounds that complimented each other so thoroughly. Each has a strong sound and depth of catalogue that provided an ideal soundtrack to wind down from a long week. - The Permanent Rain Press

"Douse - "The Light in You Has Left" Review"

As the spatial beats of Jeremiah Ackermann’s drums open “The Importance of Each Other” which are later accompanied by the delicate keys of Patrick Farrugia, an anticipation arises that Douse‘s debut album will be a wonderful experience. When frontwoman Alea Rae Clark’s gorgeous vocals enter the scene along with the delayed, crystalline guitar, the expectations are quickly changed. This isn’t just a moment in time to enjoy but an event to behold.

The Light In You Has Left is a gorgeous album, whereby the New Westminster, British Columbia trio make the devastating beautiful. The brooding, lifetime-oriented songwriting is akin to The National, and it is elevated by the emotive, cinematic soundscapes, which echo Daughter. And like the records of these two indie giants, Douse has created a deeply introspective and personal album that will resonate with most listeners.

“The Importance of Each Other” is just the tip of the iceberg and one of the LP’s highlights. The slow build that leads to the breathtaking climax is stunning, perfectly complementing Clark’s story of a broken relationship. As she sings, “We won’t love one another, we’re not capable of this”, one realizes how fragile love is. The dramatic “Unrest” is like the oncoming of a storm – peaceful at first before the sonic swells arrive and completely subsume our souls. And a storm is the protagonist in the song, as “Unrest” is not a verb but a person seeking liberation.

The dazzling, cinematic overtures are repeated on “Speak To Carry Us”. The oft-kilter arrangements add to the uncertain atmosphere that Clark has created in her story of a relationship on the rocks. But as she so eloquently describes, too often people ignore the signs and fail to communicate, choosing instead to live together in silence.

The enrapturing “Cave In” and “Hypertension” demonstrate the band’s maturation. The pacing is controlled to give the songs a more suspenseful and, in the case of the former, even sinister feel. The two tracks are instances where the music perfectly mirrors the stories. On “Cave In”, the feeling of being trapped in a relationship is the focus. Meanwhile, a deeper, more personal struggle is at play on the spectacular “Hypertension”. Whether it is depression, another mental illness, or feeling lost and afraid, Douse have delivered a powerful song and arguably their finest. It is also the one track that clearly resonates The National with its brooding yet anthemic framework.

Douse do let loose on “I Am More Directed”. Still methodical in its pacing, the song builds into a surprising rocker. Ackermann’s drumming and Farrugia’s guitar playing get more menacing and assertive. Clark’s voice even tinges with pain and anger at first before she unleashes a scream during the climax. The track is a hint of what is possible for this band should they choose to move outside their comfort zones.

The album ends quietly yet gracefully. Channeling her bedroom-pop beginnings, “Careless” is a stripped-down, fragile tune that features largely Clark and an electric guitar. The finale, “There Is Something I Will Return To”, is a peaceful, instrumental number. The slight instrumentation gives the track a levitating feeling, where one life has ended but a new one has begun.

In many ways, the song mirrors the experience of Alea Rae Clark, Jeremiah Ackermann, and Patrick Farrugia. On the one hand, they have closed the chapter as Alea Rae and just started their lives as Douse. On the other hand, they have challenged themselves to and in the process found their sound. Discovered what they want to be – who they want to be – and the outcome of that journey is something beautiful. The Light In You Has Left, in sort, is memorable. - The Revue

"Artist Spotlight: Douse"

The title of Douse’s first full album, The Light In You Has Left, encapsulates the band’s bittersweet sound. Pensive and plodding, the art rock trio write profound songs often centred around subjects like relationships and personal growth. Where some experimental bands push musical boundaries to the point of obscurity, Douse falls comfortably into folk-based refrains that resonate rather than rattle.

The album leaves an astringent aftertaste, but not one lacking delicacy. As a debut LP, The Light In You Has Left defines the group’s style as tender, giving listeners something to look forward to in the years to come.

“It wasn’t like we really sat down to write a record. It was an accumulation of everything we’ve written in the past four years,” says guitarist and vocalist Alea Clark about their new record. “Some of it is stuff that I’ve written and the guys have written on top of. Some of it is stuff [guitarist] Patrick brought or [drummer] Jeremiah had been working on and we all finished together.”

As the sole lyricist for the band, Clark describes the album’s lyrical content as “a series of reflections on experiences” that she had, including themes of closure and resolution.

“If people take anything from it, I’m happy,” she says. “It’s not necessarily that we want people to get a specific message. I would rather someone interpret it as whatever they need it for if they’re going to listen to it at all. It’s just nice that people are listening. ”

It would be a slight to say that Douse belongs strictly in any one genre. Art rock is no more than an umbrella term to describe what they do, and in fact, the group has had trouble finding a scene where they feel at home in Vancouver. With a progressive rock-influenced guitarist, indie rock-loving drummer, and folk-inspired vocalist, it’s no surprise that they stand apart from the herd, but that uniqueness hasn’t prevented them from making their presence known both in and outside of the city limits.

Their first release, Offerings, made Independent Music News’ “Top 50 Unsigned Acts from Canada” list. The track “Lancaster” got airplay on CBC radio and won Douse the title of the Permanent Rain Press’ best band of 2014. In 2015 they toured across Canada without a hitch, and plan to dedicate 2017 to writing and touring as well—possibly out to Europe for two months and across Canada for a week.

Other than as a response to praise, the band’s confidence originates from the amount of work they have done together since forming, both as friends and professionals.

“You’re using so much of your personality writing that you need to learn how to cooperate in your darkest zones, because the music is pretty dense and heavily thematically and musically,” says Drummer Jeremiah Ackermann. “It’s vulnerable to write together, and so you learn how to work with your vulnerabilities with other people, and that was kind of a huge challenge.”

“We’ve gone through a lot that would break up other bands, so we feel pretty strong in the connection that we have together,” says Clark. “We all share a common goal, and that’s doing this and making it a success.” - The Runner Mag

"Top 5 Vancouver Bands To Watch in 2017"

Despite finding success composing in an alt-folk singer-songwriter style, Alea Rae Clark has spent the last two years moving into new territory. After recruiting a permanent drummer and bassist to help remodel her sound, the New West native is now capturing fresh fans under the name Douse. Crafting a rich, mournful indie, the trio recently launched their first album The Light in You Has Left to much acclaim. Perfectly marrying dark vocals with arpeggiated guitar riffs, powerful melodic basslines, and emotive soundscapes, Douse somehow makes heartbreak sound catchy. - The Georgia Straight


Offerings EP
Flies & Lancaster Split Single



Douse is an art rock project from New Westminster, BC. Since their formation 4 years ago, Douse has evolved into a progressive and dark collective, yet still feels lush and somehow natural. Its three members share diverse influences, ranging from progressive and post-punk, to world music, to its folk roots. The result is a balance between violence and softness; sharp guitars push against orchestral ambiance and unconventional percussion. This contrast creates a stunning atmosphere that has been described as “devastatingly beautiful” and “deeply introspective; brooding and elevated by emotive, cinematic soundscapes” (The Revue).

Releasing their Offerings* EP in 2013 and follow-up singles Flies/Lancaster * in 2014, the group has appeared on UK blog Independent Music News‘ list “Top 50 Unsigned Acts From Canada” as well as being named “Band of the Year 2014” by The Permanent Rain Press.

The following year was spent touring Canada and playing numerous festivals, and the winter saw their album material coming together. The band spent the spring of 2016 recording with Colin Stewart (Dan Mangan, Yukon Blonde) at The Hive and their dark, pensive, debut album The Light in You Has Left was released October 1st, 2016. The record appeared on multiple “Best of 2016” lists (Beatroute BC, Inside Vancouver) and immediately charted on CBC and college radio all across the country. Their album release show was celebrated by opening for Canadian experimental-indie giants Royal Canoe.

The band burst into 2017 with a glowing recommendation from The Georgia Straight, appearing on their “Top 5 Vancouver Bands To Watch in 2017” list, and will be spending the year touring nationally and internationally to promote the album.

* Released under the name Alea Rae

Band Members