Fine Times' Matt Moldowan and Jeffrey Josiah Powell have been striving to achieve pop perfection since founding the band in 2010. The group's latest output - recorded in the spring with The Zolas' Tom Dobrzanski - blends ebullient melodies with an undercurrent of lyrical darkness, while seamlessly incorporating synth-spiked new wave, bass-blasted industrial pop and bubbly dance-rock.
EP Premiere: ‘Bad::Better’ by Fine Times – Culture Collide
Fine Times was founded in 2010 by longtime friends Matthew Moldowan Jeffrey Josiah Powell, who share a mutual affection for pop.
As Moldowan proclaims, “I unabashedly love pop music. I couldn’t consider doing anything else.”
Their hooky, polished sound is cast in partial shadow, with sinister rock inflections making occasional appearances across the tracks. Overall though, their brand-new four-track EP, Bad::Better, mixed by Dave Bascombe (Charli XCX, Depeche Mode), is a compact collection of glittery new wave meets bubble gum pop with a driving beat that calls for instant replay.
Fine Times Release "Not Dead" [Premiere] – EARMILK
In growing their band around their love for pop music, Vancouver’s Fine Times have been adding their own touch to the scene since 2010. Honing their craft around condensing their songs as much as possible with their “get in, get out” mentality, Matthew Moldowan and Jeffrey Josiah Powell make music that reflects what they like to listen to. As a perfect example of their to-the-point approach, we bring you “Not Dead” the first song off of their forthcoming Bad::Better EP, due out Oct 9th via Light Organ Records.
Smoothly rolling through its light yet seemingly wholesome groove, “Not Dead” presents Fine Times in a cleverly well-rounded shell. If there is one takeaway from “Not Dead” and Fine Times’ upcoming EP in general it is that their music does not try to be anything it is not, alluding to simple pleasures with its minimalist approach.
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO PREMIERE: 'BAD::BETTER,' FINE TIMES – Interview Magazine
Split between two screens and infused with juxtaposing pastels, the latest video for from Vancouver-based duo Fine Times is a surreal creation by director Nathan Boey. "Bad::Better," the titular song from the pair's recently released EP, focuses on the duality of human nature and its accompanying video is premiering below.
"It's about people—specifically shitty human beings—who are made slightly less shitty by their not-so-shitty significant others," one half of Fine Times Matt Moldowan says. "It's about embellishing my own insecurities and being amazed that someone else thinks they've found some sort of virtue in me. It's only a matter of time before the jig is up."
Moldowan and Jeff Powell first emerged in 2010 and released a self-titled debut LP in 2012. The Bad::Better EP (Light Organ Records) furthers their quest to produce quick and catchy pop songs through dark lyricism lightened by upbeat synths and bass. With short pop songs, "there's no time to get bored," Moldowan continues, "but there's just enough time to establish an earworm." When watching and listening to "Bad::Better," we couldn't agree more.
KALTBLUT has an exclusive track from Vancouver-based duo, Fine Times! Longtime friends Moldowan and bassist Jeffrey Josiah Powell have been striving to achieve pop perfection throughout a decade of collaborations, working together in past projects before eventually founding Fine Times in 2010. Today they present their newest single, ‘Not Dead’, as a follow up to their self titled debut album back in 2012. Now, close to three years later, Fine Times has upped its game with a hook-filled batch of songs recorded with The Zolas’ Tom Dobrzanski and mixed by Dave Bascombe (Charli XCX, Depeche Mode). The cuts brim with danceable indie rock grooves and unforgettable power-pop choruses. ‘Not Dead’ is taken from the EP ‘Bad :: Better’ to be released 09/10/2015 on Light Organ records.
PREMIERE: Fine Times — "Bad::Better" – Pure Volume
When they first formed Fine Times back in 2010, Matthew Moldowan and his pal bassist Jeffrey Josiah Powell have been striving to achieve pop perfection. If you listen to their song "Bad::Better," which also happens to be the title track off their upcoming EP, you see that they're well on their way. Featuring synths inspired by '80s pop, the song is a three minute joy ride that sounds current, but could have been on any soundtrack of your favorite '80s movie.
Fine Times' Bad::Better EP will be released on October 9 via Light Organ Records.
Song of the Day: "Not Dead" by Fine Times – Northern Transmissions
Fine Times has share “Not Dead”, a brand new single from the forthcoming Bad::Better EP.
“I unabashedly love pop music,” explains Fine Times singer Matthew Moldowan. “I couldn’t consider doing anything else.”
This, in a nutshell, explains the Vancouver duo’s reason for being. Longtime friends Moldowan and bassist Jeffrey Josiah Powell have been striving to achieve pop perfection since founding Fine Times in 2010. Their self-titled album came out on Light Organ Records in 2012, charting nationally on !earshot’s campus radio charts and earning nominations at the 2013 Indie Awards and the 2013 Western Canadian Music Awards.
Fine Times recorded their new EP with The Zolas’ Tom Dobrzanski at his Monarch Studios. With mixing by Dave Bascombe (Charli XCX, Depeche Mode).
“We really wanted to get the songs as short as possible,” Moldowan says. “Those are the kind of pop songs that I like. Get in, get out.”
The Bad::Better EP is out October 9th on Light Organ Records. The digital single “Not Dead” will also be available for purchase beginning September 4th.
‘Bad::Better’ EP Tracklisting
02. Not Dead
03. Rule No.7 (The Half-life)
Reeperbahn Festival 2015: Fine Times – Poule D'Or
Here is another one not to miss at this week's Reeperbahn Festival in good old Hamburg: Fine Times. Your new favorite happy go lucky duo out of the maple leaf country that is Canada. They are less than new though. The two of them have been going at it for the past five years and logically released their debut album three years ago. Singer Matthew is quoted saying he loves pop music and couldn't imagine making any other type of music. Always a plus in Team Poule's books.
Attached below is Not Dead off their upcoming new EP Bad::Better out October 9. Their new songs are tilted somewhat towards the new wave end of the musical spectrum and sport the type of easy-on-the-ears pop feeling that only the true talents manage to lay down.
CONCERT REVIEW: THE ZOLAS W/ HANNAH EPPERSON AND FINE TIMES AT THE IMPERIAL - NOVEMBER 5TH, 2015 – The Permanent Rain Press
Vancouver favourites The Zolas chose to end their month-long tour in their hometown. Of course it was only fitting that they invited fellow west coast natives, Hannah Epperson and Fine Times, to the Imperial to play a sold-out show. What followed was a night of dance-y tunes with a slightly mellower intermission.
Things started out with a performance by Fine Times. Lead singer Matthew Moldowan was definitely the star of their production. As soon as he abandoned his guitar he took to putting on quite the show. He pranced around the stage, moving from leaning on guitarists, to singing in front of the drums and even taking a turn at hitting the cymbals. For their final song, “Hey Judas,” he strapped back on his guitar to bring the whole performance full circle.
glänzend punktierter electro-pop mit feinen synth-spitzen und minimalistischen ansatz gibt es derzeit im neuen stück »not dead« vom duo fine times aus vancouver. musik wie man sie gerne öfters hören würde. mit »bad::better« folgt am 09. oktober 2015 eine ep, welche gespickt mit indie-rock-grooves und unvergesslichen power-pop-refrains zu einem sound führt, der mit einflüssen von produzent tom dobrzanski (the zolas) und mischer dave bascombe (charli xcx, depeche mode) unverkennbar durchzogen wurde.
„ich liebe einfach popmusik und könnte mir nicht vorstellen etwas anderes zu tun.” so fine times sänger matthew moldowan
INTERVIEW MIT FINE TIMES – Passion Party
Das kanadische Synth Pop Duo Fine Times tritt heute Abend zusammen mit The Zolas im Urban Spree (Berlin) auf, bevor es nach Hamburg zum Reeperbahnfestival geht. Ihre neue Single ‚Not Dead‘ stammt aus ihrer bevorstehenden EP Bad:::Better, die am 9. Oktober veröffentlicht wird. Wir haben vorab mit den beiden Kanadiern ein kleines Interview geführt!
1. For those that haven’t met you yet, could you please introduce yourself – who are you, where are you from and how would you describe what you do?
We’re Fine Times, from Vancouver, Canada. We make music and occasionally play it.
2. When you’re not playing or working on music, what do you do with your spare time?
I’m a student, and Jeff works for a big corporation that everyone hates (and so will remain nameless).
3. What has been your best and also your most frustrating moment in your life as an artist so far?
Best moments are those where we get to travel, meet new people, and see new things- like this trip. Most frustrating things are trying to balance this with our day jobs.
4. What inspires you?
Taylor Swift is my muse. I like to think I’m Jeff’s muse. It’s a healthy circle of creativity.
5. What can we expect from your gig in Berlin?
It’s our first time in Berlin- so we’re pretty excited. Expect good times, dancing, and smiles all around.
6. Name us 6 of your favorite songs that should be on everyone’s playlist?
1) Rodney O – Everlasting Bass
2) Roxy Music – More Than This
3) Girl Band – Law Man
4) George Michael – Freedom! ’90
5) Big Black Delta – Money Rain Down
6) Taylor Swift – Out of the Woods
Reeperbahn Festvial Special 5 Questions for Fine Times – Sound Kartell
Fine Times ist ein Pop-Duo aus Vancouver und auch die beiden werden beim Reeperbahn Festival spielen. Wir haben den beiden fünf Fragen gestellt und sie haben sie brav kurz und knapp beantwortet.
Am 09.10 erscheint mit „Bad::Better“ die neue EP nachdem im Jahr 2012 das Debüt-Album der Band erschien. In ihrer Heimat wurde das Album super gut aufgenommen. Hierzulande in Deutschland brauchen sie noch ein bisschen. Das könnte sich jetzt zum diesjährigen Reeperbahn Festival ändern. Gleich zwei Mal spielen sie dort auf: Das erste Mal am Donnerstag den 24.09.2015 um 12:00 Uhr im kukuun am Spielbudenplatz 21-22. Und wem das zu früh ist, der hat am selben Tag nochmal die Chance um 21 Uhr in der Pooca Bar.
Das Soundkartell hat den beiden Kanadiern fünf kurze Fragen gestellt und die haben sie brav und kurz beantwortet:
1. Complete the sentence: Your new EP “Bad::Better” will trigger a hype in Germany, if…
Fine Times: „We get a Kanye West endorsement.“
2. In your music you only focus on Pop-Music. In which way this seems to limit your work on songs?
Fine Times: „I always find constraints, of any kind, actually encourage creativity. It forces us to get inventive. Plus, I like pop music.“
3. For me your Pop-Songs are very esthetic. Is there a special and dangerous element from the outside from what you should protect this ‘esthetic’ in your songs?
Fine Times: „I don’t know if there’s anything in particular we need to protect ourselves from. We just try to write songs that we like to listen to.“
4. Could you please describe three elements in your new song “Not Dead” that would stand for the whole sound that we can expect from your new EP?
3) An unwavering anxiety about life
5. At Reeperbahn Festival there are playing sooo many bands. Please shout out to everyone why we have to go to your two concerts on Thursday!
Fine Times: „I want to tell you we’ll have a fun crazy couple shows- but last time I was here I got in trouble for breaking a microphone and spilling some water. It ended up with me doing Mexicaners with the sound guy. I’d never even heard of a Mexicaner before that night. I can’t promise I’ll break a bunch of shit again but everyone who comes out and says hi can do Mexicaners with us. I’ll buy the first round.“
Fine Times – Tracker Magazine
A demanda sagrada pelos famigerados 3 minutos dourados da pop perfection, ou o que quer Fine Timesque isso seja indo a pop hoje em dia a tantos dialectos sonoros distintos que é altamente complicado conseguir perceber onde começa e termina o conceito, é uma lenda antiga mas o duo de Vancouver Fine Times (que é um excelente nome pop) anda desde 2010 a tentar lá chegar. Isso pode explicar a escassa produtividade de Matthew Moldowan e Jeffrey Josiah Powell. Um autointitulado EP em 2012 e agora Bad::Better EP a 9 de Outubro pela Light Organ Records resumem os 5 anos de trabalho. Esta é “Bad::Better”, o novo avanço para o EP do mesmo nome e relembramos também o primeiro tema a ser revelado no mês passado, “Not Dead”.
Fine Times – Neue EP mit Schnuppertrack – Musik Blog
Was ist die News?
a) Am 09.10.2015 erscheint die EP „Bad::Better“ von Fine Times. Weiter unten klebt ein exklusiver Schnuppertrack. b) Das Rüsselsheimer Ratten-Enemble tritt im Stadttheater Lüdinghausen auf. c) Surf Zombies must die.
Was gibt´s auf der EP zu hören?
a) Einen feschen Mix aus Indie-Rock-Grooves und unvergesslichen Power-Pop-Refrains. b) Das Quietschen eines Messers auf Porzellan trifft Fingernägel, die auf einer Schultafel kratzen. c) Die Abenteuer des Leido Jammerpunsch.
Wer ist in der Band?
a) Jeffrey Powell (Backup Vocals, Bass, Gitarre, Keyboards) Matt Moldowan (Gitarre, Keyboards, Vocals), Jahmeel Russell (Backup Vocals, Gitarre), Max Sample (Keyboards) und Juice Kadis (Backup Vocals, Schlagzeug). b) Han Solo, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon und Poo der Bär. c) Zola Jesus und ihr Pumuckl.
Wo kommen die Typen her?
a) Vancouver, Kanada. b) Münster und/oder Wuppertal. c) Bella Italia.
Was sagt Fine Times-Sänger Matthew Moldowan über seine Kapelle?
a) „Ich liebe einfach Popmusik und könnte mir nicht vorstellen etwas anderes zu tun.“ b) „Wir Endlichen mit dem unendlichen Geist sind nur zu Leiden und Freuden geboren, und beinahe könnte man sagen, die Ausgezeichnetsten erhalten durch Leiden Freude.“ c) „Vollrausch voraus!“
Wer hat an der EP mitgemixt?
a) Produzent Tom Dobrzanski (The Zolas) und Mischer Dave Bascombe (Charli XCX, Depeche Mode). b) Seine Exzellenz, Präsident auf Lebenszeit, Feldmarschall Al Hadschi Doktor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Herr aller Tiere der Erde und aller Fische der Meere und Bezwinger des Britischen Empires in Afrika im Allgemeinen und Uganda im Speziellen. c) Sam Smith, Vader Abraham, Bud Spencer und Rudi Carrell.
Berühmte letzte Worte?
a) „Ist dies schon Tollheit, hat es doch Methode.“ b) Vier Maurer saßen einst auf einem Dach. Da sprach der erste: „Ach!“ Der zweite: „Wie ist’s möglich dann?“ Der dritte: „Daß das Dach halten kann!!!“ Der vierte: „Ist doch kein Träger dran!!!!!!“ Und mit einem Krach brach das Dach. c) Alles dreht sich.
LIVE REVIEW: NXNE (2015) at the Bovine Sex Club :: Day 2 – RazMatazMagazine
Fine Times hit the stage, led by an energetic young frontman named Matthew Moldowan. When I was researching their 2012 album, I noticed that they have this cool echo effect on their vocals that make every track sound like a live performance. This is a trend that a lot of indie bands are taking on, but these guys make it sound unique. These guys hail from Vancouver and they’re well-received here in Toronto. They had everyone’s eyes on them – no conversations were going on in the house as long as they were playing.
Their live performance is pretty impressive, and I was pleasantly surprised to see Max Sample back on the keyboard. Hell, all of The Ballantynes came back to support their friends. As well as good music, there was great member interaction, especially how slyly wrapped the microphone wire around the guitarist’s neck and hung off his shoulder in mock exhaustion. The interactions with one another is only matched by their involvement with the audience, prompting them to come closer. They even played our craving ears a sexy new track. They ended off on a really good one too – probably the most bombastic on their album, “Hey Judas”.
LIVE REVIEW: NXNE (2014) Thursday: Learning something new from the grasslands to the mainlands – Quip Magazine
"Catching the second wind, we made our way over to the Handlebar just in time for BC’s Fine Times. Handlebar’s tiny corner stage could barely hold the band’s equipment let alone accommodate vocalist’s Matthew Moldowan’s energy. It cannot be contained! Fine Times’ upbeat tunes quickly filled the room, people began to move forward from the patio to the back, and a couple of energetic dancers brought all of their moves out with no shame. And so it should be. Though some of the Fine Times’ songs have fairly sad undertones, their occasionally heart-melting lyrics are packaged with beats made to be true indie dance tracks. "
LIVE REVIEW: Squamish Valley Music Festival - Aug 9-10 2013 – Scene In The Dark
"... As things got rolling on, Vancouver newcomers Fine Times seemed to be pleasing their crowd, hopefully getting used to the type of festival audience they will see a few more times before summers end. As an act that emerged out of nowhere this year, this had to be a form of validation..."
LIVE REVIEW: The cream of Vancouver's musical crop sets its sights on the Squamish Valley Music Festival – The Georgia Straight
Matthew Moldowan is the crisply dressed vocalist for Fine Times, a band that makes your average dance-pop act look and sound like a bunch of tin-eared trogs.
Golden outdoor memory: “South by Southwest this past March. Five days of playing and watching shows ended up taking a side stage to six hours of hang time with the people of bus stop #705. Our last two nights in town were capped with three-plus-hour waits for the city bus back to our place. And, by what means I’m not sure, we ended up waiting with the exact same dozen or so, completely random assortment of people on both nights. The conversations we had were amazing, though mostly unprintable. However, the standout moment came on the first night, when our bus finally came into eyesight, only to get locked in by an errant car that had suddenly thrown on its flashers and parked in front of it. The collective rage of the group at that moment was palpable, such that when the guy next to us yelled, ‘Yo, man, move that shit,’ everyone immediately took the cue and began chanting in unison, ‘Move that shit,’ until the guy moved his shit. That line’s remained a staple in the band since.”
Stoked about seeing: “Jurassic 5. Because their quality control captivates my party patrol.”
Squamish Valley Music Festival Band of the Day: FINE TIMES – The Georgia Straight
If all goes according to plan, Squamish will become a throbbing, orgiastic, single cell organism when Fine Times pulls out the woozy fuckpop of “Hey Judas” on Friday. Here’s vocalist Matt Moldowan (with a little help from bassist Jeffrey Josiah Powell) to provide a little pre-concert foreplay.
Sea To Sky Playlist
I like my Sea-to-Sky playlist to chronologically summarize my entire day as I have it planned.
Lionel Richie “All Night Long”
The pre-game warm-up. We're going to party, Karamu, fiesta, forever.
Sparks “Prayin' for a Party”
‘Cause we are, right?
Kriss Kross “I Missed the Bus”
Somehow managed to miss that 11AM shuttle. Thankfully there's another one at 3.
Adam Green and Binki Shapiro “Here I Am”
We made it. Jeff slept in, but we caught the second shuttle.
Jay-Z and Kanye West “Welcome to the Jungle”
Technically it's a valley, but whatevs.
Bryan Ferry “Let's Stick Together”
Wise words. There's going to be a lot of people there. We should partner up with a buddy, and plan a specific meeting place in case we get separated!
Prefab Sprout “Appetite”
Feeling pretty famished after all that dancing. Remember, Squamish Valley Music Festival allowed us and our friends to bring a small lunch-sized container. Also: let's stay hydrated, we don't want to pass out and miss Fine Times' set.
Style Council “Shout to the Top!”
Because, unlike Prince at the Vogue Theatre, if we shout loud enough, they might come back for a second encore.
R.Kelly “Ignition (Remix)”
After Vampire Weekend encores with "Walcott", we should probably head back to the tent, yes?
The Weeknd “Coming Down”
I know, Lionel said we were going all night long, but let's be real here.
Your claustrophobia, tackled
A healthy amount of tolerance for the heavily intoxicated bro next to you
The patience to bear with your favourite band’s new songs
Knowing that the band on stage is saving that hit you love for the end of their set
A mental note of the whereabouts of the festival’s porta-potties
Enough cash for yourself and at least one bro, who will forget to bring cash
We'd Love to Hang With:
The sound tech at the Meadow Stage (where we’ll be playing). For 20 or so minutes, they’ll be our master, so I’d wanna make sure we’re tight with them. Plus, everyone knows that techs have the best stories.
First Festival Experience:
Jeff: The first festival I ever attended was Edgefest at Winnipeg Stadium in 1997, but that story begins and ends with teenage me, flanked in a Headstones t-shirt, picking boogers and popping zits in a men’s washroom. The first one worth remembering was the Chicago stop of Lollapalooza in 2003. I’d made the 16 hour trek from Winnipeg with a friend, with the sole purpose of catching Queens of the Stone Age, whose album Songs for the Deaf had been tattooed into my Panasonic Shockwave.
I still remember standing in the amphitheatre, and out they strolled: all four of them blowing darts and guzzling beer. Joey Castillo takes to the kit and just starts mashing the opening skins to "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire" and boom! The guitar kicks in and my eyes split apart; one’s on Josh, gyrating like metal Elvis, and the other is on Nick, who’s screaming so loud that the vibrations literally shave the hair off my head.
One after the other, they’re just rolling out the hits, bang, bang, bang. Then, out comes Mark Lanegan, who looks like he just got pulled out of a coffin, and he just RIPS it for three songs. By the time “Into the Fade” rolls in, I’m crying golden tears made of $12 Miller Lite. The set ends on “No One Knows,” and I just collapsed into a heaving pile of Winnipeg.
The rest of the festival was kind of a blur. I remember you couldn’t bring in a camera (but, you could buy a disposable camera for $25), bottled water was nine bucks, and somewhere on a side stage, Steve-O from Jackass was jamming beer bottles into every available orifice. But ya’, Queens was the shiiiit. One of the only times I can ever recall where an event I’d highly anticipated got blown out of the water.
As stellar As This Year’s Squamish Bill is, What’s Your Fantasy Fest Line-up?
Start to finish*:
Michael MacDonald 1978, performing Minute by Minute front to back without the Doobie Brothers
Lionel Ritchie 1986
Hall and Oates 1983
The Rolling Stones 1971
* Go West (1991) would come out to perform a karaoke rendition of “King of Wishful Thinking” between each and every set to keep the crowd’s spirits high
What's Your Official Rider Request?
Pretty chill list:
Access to a private, sterilized toilet (for Matt to hang his head on and puke)
5 bottles of hand sanitizer (for Matt)
5 bottles of moisturizer (for Matt)
A marble fountain that rains Smarties
1 small model house made entirely of Cool Ranch Do
Canadian crew Fine Times have released the video for "Bright Lights." Like all good things, it ends in a death. Here's a quote from the band on the vid:
"We'd reached out to Eli (Berg) after having seen his video for "Betamax" by Big Black Delta. In discussing ideas for the "Bright Lights" video with him, we all kinda connected on a mutual affinity for the surreal nature of Jodorowsky films. With that as a bit of a guiding point, he hit us back a few days later with a vision and treatment that had us swooning.
The final treatment had Matt and I cast in cameo roles as two of the four firing line soldiers. In all, the video was shot over a 14-hour day in 120+ F heat on a ranch in Agua Dulce, CA (about an hour outside of Los Angeles)."
Director - Eli Berg
Producer - Daniel Brothers, Clay Pruitt
Production company - primer pictures
DoP- Pablo Berron
You probably don&#39;t have to be a psychologist to diagnose that lead singer and Fine Times songwriter Matthew Moldowan may have a bad case of ADHD. Springing across Toronto&#39;s downtown hipster hotspot Handlebar, the venue&#39;s microscopic stage could barely contain the sprightly frontman, who moments after his set began could be seen climbing the PA system, grabbing his bandmates&#39; microphones, jamming on cymbals and throwing his guitar on the ground. Playing a far too short set, the captivating five-piece brought listeners on a trip through rock music&#39;s golden age, merging the pomp of Roxy Music and the Clash&#39;s precise guitar work with the modern-day bombast of the Strokes and the Libertines. The crowd ate it up — although it should be mentioned that the majority of people attending seemed to be friends of the rising Vancouverites. Nevertheless, the handsome lads in Fine Times easily made sure that good times were had by all.
CMW (2013) Day/Night 5: LIVE REVIEW – BuyingShotsForBands.com
Having had such a great time at their set the night before, I knew I had to see Vancouver’s Fine Times again. While they played the same setlist, it was no less entertaining the second time around. A large contingent of emo scenesters in the crowd at this hour, the band put on a sweaty pop performance that all but forced the audience to laugh and smile and dance along to their pounding synth-grooves. Frontman Matthew Moldowan’s comment that they were called Nickelback might have helped win the crowd over to their side, but it was more likely their unrestrained energy that was downright contagious.
What could be an anthem for CMW with its lyric “they don’t sleep, don’t sleep, don’t sleep…don’t sleep at all” they closed their set with the punchy “Into the Mechanarium.” Coming to a crashing finish as Moldowan smashed a cymbal with his guitar, so ended their set – and my night. I’m already looking forward to when I can see them again! |
CMW (2013) Day/Night 4: LIVE REVIEW – BuyingShotsForBands.com
Technically just a pop rock duo, vocalist Matthew Moldowan and bassist Jeffrey Josiah Powell of Vancouver’s Fine Times were joined by a full band, including Devon Lougheed (Hey Ocean!, beekeeper, Sidney York, etc) on keys/synths.
One of my favourite records of 2012, their self-titled debut album carries a feline theme. When not pounding away on the tom drum, Moldowan adopted many exaggerated cat-like attributes throughout their set, beginning with clawing hand gestures during the sunny synth-filled “Lions.” If that weren’t enough, he climbed up onto the tables set up in front of the stage, and hung from the ceiling before leaping down, carrying the mic with him as he ran off trying to encourage everyone from the front room to come back and watch. Perhaps the only person capable of matching Moldowan’s energy level was Lougheed, enthusiastically cranking out beats on an extensive synth setup and then just dancing away during last song, single “Hey Judas.”
Showing the audience more than merely just a “fine” time, their set was honestly one of the most entertaining forty minutes of the entire festival for me. The band dashed off for The Indies at the Kool Haus immediately after where they were up for Emerging Artist of the Year.
Fine Times – Hey Judas – ET MUSIQUE POUR TOUS
Youth is a precious commodity. I’m sorry, not a commodity. It’s not something you can really barter or buy, contrary to reams upon reams of glossy magazines and make up companies whose existence is predicated on a belief to the contrary.
Age is beyond appearance. It’s even beyond your feelings; you might be young at heart but that carries the implication that a whole lotta you ain’t. No, it’s the mind that makes us young. During our formative years, we simply don’t have a particularly deep well of experience to draw from. More importantly, our brains simply aren’t that developed. At that precarious age, caught teetering on the precipice between our impending adulthood and having just shaken off the bonds of our salad days, most people simply don’t have the capacity for maturity. This lasts for a lot longer than one would figure, with people not realizing full mental maturity (in the physical sense) until their mid twenties. After that point, those that act childish are just that; acting.
I’ll get to the point. Fine Times aren’t role-playing with their rollicking, sweet single Hey Judas. This isn’t a lark back through their wilder years but a celebration of what they are – a epoch of good times and bad instincts. Jammed out major key harmonies coupled with some glistening synths keep this thing bubbling along while vocalist Matthew Moldwan sings paeans to being young and dumb.
You and me, deviants?
Talk me up, talk me up.
Cop a feel.
You and me,
We double-cross instinctively, but we don’t stop here.
Don’t stop it here.”
The chug-chug guitars harkens back to pop-punk, a genre that has engendered more anthems for the “I’ll need to see an ID” set. But Fine Times deftly mix their animated compositions with some adult sensibilities. The rhythms have more in common with the pop of the 60s and 70s than anything from today and the “Woah Woah”s have crossover generational appeal.
This is carrying me a couple of places. Forward, to somewhere sunny; backward, to my younger years; and to the all too present, to some less than admirable decisions. Ah well, good art is supposed to be complicated, right?
Fine Times - Hey Judas – Indie Shuffle
What's so good?
By Christiana Bartolini | August 24th, 2012
Allow me to introduce you to Vancouver duo, Fine Times. They’ve got a lovely grasp on synth-soaked indie rock that’ll engage you from the beginning to end.
Fine Times’ “Hey Judas” relishes in layers of atmospheric synths and guitars, with a catchy anthemic chorus. This is the type of song that will get stuck in your head whether you like it or not. It’s cemented in its own loop of chords that never seem to get old, giving way to just enough pop sensibility to grab the listener and not let go until the track is over.
Even though Fine Times is relatively new to the scene, it sounds like they’ve got a good thing going for them. They’ll be releasing their self-titled debut album on September 18.
The Interview: Fine Times – HUNGER TV
December 18, 2012
Already big news in their native Canada next year Fine Times unleash their breed of indie synth pop on on the rest of the world. We catch up with the pair to chat about their surreal new video ‘Hey Judas’ and find out why there’s more to Canada than Justin Bieber.
WHAT’S YOUR STORY, HOW DID FINE TIMES COME ABOUT?
JEFF: Matt and I originally crossed paths several years ago while working at the same record store in Vancouver. We’d bonded over shared musical interests and ended up getting together for some writing sessions. It kind of snowballed from there – we recorded a 6-song EP that ended up in the hands of Jonathan Simkin, with whom we ended up signing a management agreement. With youthful stars in our eyes, things kept pace and we entered into a deal with a Canadian major label. We’d assembled a live group and seemingly had the wind at our backs; going out on the road, while also putting the final touches on a new record. But, it all came to a stop when a major downsizing at the label put a freeze on everything. The momentum had vanished, and with it, the group that we’d had.?? Those things sort of put us at a fork in the road. We’d spent a lot of time reflecting on the mistakes we’d made up to then, and we vowed to make good on our decisions going forward. Jonathan was still with us, and at that time, he had just begun laying the groundwork for Light Organ Records. Through it all, he’d been incredibly supportive in allowing us to stick with our vision, and he actively encouraged us to continue on his new label.?? At that point, we decided we had to let up on the past and begin recording under a new name, which ended up being “Fine Times”. It might sound small, but I can’t really underscore how liberating the feeling was that came from that change.
EXPLAIN THE BAND NAME TO US.
JEFF: The journey to a band name is one of the more painful endeavors we’ve ever had to repeat. It really tests the limits of your own bad taste to review a list of awful names that you, yourself, have come up with. With that said, Matt, for a time, had wanted to name the band “Times”, which was the closest we’d gotten to a name for months. I still wasn’t too thrilled with it, so I kept him at bay on the idea while I continued to scour books and films. Eventually, I came across Woody Allen’s “Without Feathers”. In it was a short fictional piece called “Fine Times: An Oral Memoir”. It just sort of hit me like a slap in the face. Matt and I went out that night, and settled on it over a fistful of jäger.
WHAT IS BOTH OF YOUR EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY?
MATT: The earliest one I can still remember involves Michael Jackson. I was probably four or five years old, and I’d become completely obsessed with him. I had ‘Moonwalker’ on VHS, and I used to watch that on repeat. That and the ‘Bad’ album. I even had a life-size poster in my room. I tried to do all the dance moves- but I was both four and Jewish, so I was inherently a terrible dancer.
JEFF: When I was very young, I’d recorded myself on a relative’s camcorder, lip-syncing to “Beat It”. I still remember the infectious feeling I got from the laughter of my family as they watched my silly video. Looking back on it now, I suppose my desire to entertain has always been innate. Ironically, the practice was all for naught; my role in our videos has been relinquished to simply standing and vaguely pouting.
EXPLAIN THE CONCEPT BEHIND YOUR VIDEO FOR ‘HEY JUDAS’ – HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH IT?
MATT: It really started with a strong aesthetic. I had been listening to these old 1930s Arch Oboler radio dramas- and there was one called “The Ball.” These two college kids in Paris end up at some weird party and everyone is wearing masks except them. The story is a little kitschy, but it’s fun- and I really liked the visual it drummed up. It made me think of Eyes Wide Shut.?? The theme of the video is about the conflict between the primal and the intellectual side of human beings. It’s meant to be secular. I wanted to use the aesthetic to relay that idea as much as possible – for example, we played with a lot of chiaroscuro lighting to depict those contrasting aspects of human nature.
WHAT KIND OF REACTION HAVE YOU HAD TO IT?
JEFF: We’ve had the reaction that we expected – both the love and the hate. There were deliberate things that went into the treatment of the video to keep interest high and other elements that were intentionally made to provoke. Good or bad, I haven’t yet sat in a room with someone and been given no reaction. Personally, that’s always been my biggest fear of making something like this. We didn’t just want to make another music video.
WHAT MAKES YOU STAND OUT?
MATT: I’ve always said I just want to write good songs. That’s obviously completely subjective in nature, but it’d be nice if some people remembered these songs years from now.
JEFF: We’re both highly self-critical, so that’s a difficult question to answer. All we can do really, is continue to mak
Fine Times Forge Ahead – Pop This
Already a fan of Vancouver indie rock? Well, you may have met Matthew Moldowan and Jeffrey Josiah Powell before. The pair previously founded the now-defunct 16mm, an act that started big and petered out before the first record was ever released. But, out of that wreckage comes Fine Times, Moldowan and Powell’s synth-pop/rock collaboration, and a great self-titled debut available today through Light Organ Records (listen to the sweepingly great “Hey Judas” below). Moldowan spoke with Pop This over the phone in advance of Fine Time’s Olio Festival debut, Sept. 21 at the Cobalt, and gave us the background on their major label debacle, genetic anxiety, and a breakdown of his bullshit.
It’s kind of exciting to talk to a new band when there’s not a lot of information and interviews out there yet.
Yeah, we’ve only been doing this whole interview circuit for a couple weeks to be be honest.
Is it weird?
(Laughs) Yeah. Like, here’s a one-line question, now talk about yourself. I’m not that self-centred.
This record is so confident, particularly for a debut. Is that how you felt going into it, or did that come together in the studio?
Well, Jeff and I have known each other for quite a while and we’ve written music together for quite a while, so this isn’t the first thing that we’ve done together. So, we both had a general idea of the direction we wanted to take. A lot of the finer details came together in the studio, but I think for the most part, we knew. There was a bit of a rush to finish up some of the material and get it written going in, but we generally just go with our gut instincts when it comes to writing music. I don’t like to spend a lot of time over-thinking things, so we just sort of did it. Thank god it sounded confident!
Don’t you love how if you don’t want to spend a lot of time over-thinking it, then afterwards you’ll just be forced or asked to analyze it constantly?
It’s so frustrating! But my personality type, I over-analyze everything. That’s my Jewish heritage: totally over-analyzing everything and freaking out about the littlest details. (Laughs) But I’m really trying not to do that and sometimes I’m successful and sometimes I’m not. But yeah, it’s totally true.
You just mentioned how you guys have played together previously, and I know about 16mm, I was reading some interviews from then. It was kind of a big deal in that you had an album and were signed to Universal. Do you consider that part of the trial and error figuring out Fine Times?
Yeah, we’ve been a lot more hands-on this time around. The thing with the Universal deal is that the record never actually got put out. We put a lot of time and effort into it, and it was a lot of stuff that happened at the label. It’s a fairly stereotypical major label scenario that you’ve heard countless times before. The short of it is, we did this record, nothing ended up really happening, we were kind of stuck in this deal, and we finally got out of it and that’s what Fine Times sort of became. Afterwards, it was just our expression of doing things our own way, and trying to do music that we were proud of and happy to be writing because we felt we were pushed into a specific direction when we were doing that record as 16mm for Universal.
That really sucks.
But, like you said, it’s part of the learning process. We did a lot of really great things and met and formed relationships with a lot of really great people of the course of 16mm. We wouldn’t have been able to do a lot of things that we’re doing with Fine Times had 16mm not happened and existed. It’s a good thing that that happened and I don’t look back on any of that with regret.
That’s a good attitude to have. I end up talking to so many musicians who—
There are a lot of jaded musicians out there. Do you remember a band called Candlebox from Seattle in the 90s? They had an epic, terrible thing that went on for years. They seemed very much screwed over in that scenario.
It’s pretty typical of the major label machine. There’s so many of those stories. We’re certainly not the only ones that have been affected by that. We’re now with Light Organ and they’re really great. They’re hands-off in a good way and hands-on in a good way. They’ve given us a lot of freedom to basically do whatever we want. We’re really fortunate that we’ve got the label we do now.
Does it make you want to swear of majors in the future?
I think that we’re sort of done. (Laughs) I mean, one of the things we learned is how easy—okay, not how easy it is to do everything yourself, but you’re totally capable of doing everything yourself. Although it can be time-consuming, you don’t need the major label to do all that stuff that a lot of people think needs to be done. They’re great for distribution, but again, you don’t even need distribution anymore. I mean, there isn’t even an HMV in Vancouver anymore to go buy records at! Our record comes out on Tuesday, and we were talking with the label and they’re talk
Fine Times – Discorder Magazine
“We were suddenly going to be in the studio in less than four weeks and hadn’t finished or even played most of these songs,” says Matt Moldowan (vocals) about Fine Times’ first foray into recording a full-length album. A year ago, Moldowan and bandmate Jeffrey Powell (bass) made a list of people that they wanted to work with, and at the top was legendary Vancouver producer Howard Redekopp (New Pornographers, Tegan & Sara, Mother Mother). When they tossed around the idea of working together, Redekopp said he just happened to be finishing another project and had a window of a few months to work with them. Their alternative? Wait another year for him. The timing was right, but also a wake up call for Moldowan and Powell.
The duo hired musicians to track drums, horns, some guitar, and backing vocals. The gang went into the studio in the winter, mixed in the spring, and played a couple local gigs in the summer. Now in the throes of autumn, the band includes Juice (drums), Jahmeel Russel (guitar), and Max Sample (keys). Discorder stopped by Powell’s West End apartment to interview him and Moldowan the night before the album’s release.
Their partnership began at Music World before closing in 2004. The two, who rarely worked together or even spoke, finally struck up a conversation in the back of the pop/rock section during Powell’s last shift. When he mentioned that he played music, he recalls that Moldowan replied, “I, too, write music. Pop radio hits.” They laugh, and Moldowan denies he said it that way.
“Or something to that extent, I remember him being very young and very cocky,” recalls Powell.
Thus, the seeds for Fine Times were planted. Those same seeds grew into their first band, 16MM. “Then there was a bunch of boring in-between stuff, where nothing really happened. And now we’re Fine Times,” says Moldowan.
When their 16MM manager Johnathan Simkin decided to formally create Light Organ Records in early 2010, it was a “no brainer,” according to Moldowan, that they would be included. They already had a great relationship with Simkin, who was very hands off about their joining the label. “He basically said just go make the record and send it to me when it’s done.”
Originally, Moldowan wanted to call the band Times, but Powell wasn’t feeling it. “There’s a lot of shitty band names out there,” says Moldowan. “Really you just have to have a band name that’s okay… Then the name becomes cool by doing something that’s worthy. Take away the bias that you have toward the band, because you know all of their material, and just look at the name. If you’ve never heard anything by U2, for example, it’s kind of a shitty name. So the band name just needs to be okay.”
While searching for something better, Powell stumbled uponFine Times: An Oral Memoir, a fictional piece by Woody Allen. The hippie in him saw the happy accident as a sign.
The two have played together long enough to be comfortable making fun of each other, and their dynamic works both as friends and bandmates. Powell seems more focused on the smaller details and the business side of the band, while Moldowan is more focused on the meaning behind the music.
When asked about metaphors in some songs, Powell defers to Moldowan. When asked about the track sequence, Moldowan defers to Powell. “That’s how things sort of teeter with us,” says Powell. “I’m concerned with the visual elements and the track listing, but if Matt leaves to go to the bathroom, I couldn’t fully explain the meaning of that song.”
“Sometimes [a song] just comes together really quick. Those are the best songs. That’s why ‘Hey Judas’ just always feels right because it came together really quick,” says Moldowan
“That’s the most important part about writing pop songs. You’ve got to make it feel like someone’s familiar with it already, and you’ve never heard it before. Ultimately that’s what makes the song catchy. It sticks in your head. It’s comfortable.”
And listening to Fine Times does indeed sound familiar. They’ve incorporated epic song intros reminiscent of the Killers, musical interludes of Phoenix, melodies of Two-Door Cinema Club, and the energy of the Strokes. Give the album a few listens, and chances are you’ll be singing along. Tracks like “High Brow, Low Times,” “Lions,” and “Into the Mechanarium” with their repetitive choruses, simple lyrics, and bop-your-head-along melodies, are songs you’ll be happy to have stuck in your head, long after the album is done.
From start to finish, it’s an impressive debut effort from this band that has the timing just right and the name just fine.
EXCLUSIVE SONG PREMIERE: HEY JUDAS BY FINE TIMES – Interview Magazine
With a touch of soul and a mesh of background synth for good measure, the latest single off Fine Times's upcoming album is more mature anthem than newcomer pop number. "Hey Judas" may stick to a familiar destined-to-fail-romance theme, with lyrics like "Take all my money...just beat me and drop me like a heathen...don't stop here," but the Vancouver-based duo sound like they've been in the business for years. Mixing organic vocals with a strong, self-possessed chorus, it's hard to believe that the group's entire album slated for mid-September release was only conceived of last year.
It seems "Hey Judas" came together as naturally as the number turned out. "It was the first song we wrote, and it came together incredibly quick. We'd started with a simple pop melody and layered it relentlessly with noise and textures." Matthew Moldowan told us. A particularly fitting introduction to Fine Times; according to Moldowan "Hey Judas" "ultimately influenced the entire sound of the record."
The self-titled record recorded with Howard Redekopp (Now Now, Tegan and Sara, An Horse) will be out September 18th on Light Organ Records.
Proud to be Pop – Beatroute
For some, pop music is a guilty pleasure — a secret love that gets hidden away from the judgment of friends and peers. But for electropop duo Fine Times, there is no guilt involved at all: pop is what they make and they’re proud of it.
In fact, it’s not a label that vocalist Matthew Moldowan and bassist Jeffrey Powell find reductive or simplistic, although they do seem aware of the bad rep that the genre sometimes gets. Despite this, Moldowan stands by its long run of catchy hooks and memorable melodies, forever faithful.
“I love pop music from all eras, I’m not ashamed to say,” he declares.
It’s clear that this is a defining aspect of Fine Times, along with the supreme focus that went into finishing the record in time to work with producer Howard Redekopp, previously known for his work with Mother Mother and the New Pornographers. While there are only two members in the band, they admit it can still become easy to get overwhelmed and thus they like to keep the reins of songwriting and album design within their control.
“It’s pretty nice to be able to keep tabs on what everyone is doing,” Moldowan says, to which Powell quickly laughs and points out that, “By ‘everyone,’ he means me.”
Amidst the sea of synthesizers and samplers currently dominating the musical world, Fine Times are certainly not alone in their appreciation for acts like Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark and Roxy Music, both of which can be heard as influences on their self-titled debut. But the pair knows there is a place for them and they intend to show it.
As Henry Winkler once told Moldowan,”The world is yours”. And really, who would know better than The Fonz?
Fine Times releases its self-titled album on September 18. Fine Times plays the Cobalt on September 21 as part of Olio Festival.
LIVE REVIEW: Fine Times @ Electric Owl – Jul 4 2012 – Scene in the Dark
Fine Times is one of those bands that has the voice just right. Some bands have the exact right sound for what is happening in music during their particular time. There is a jangly and winsome vein of pop rock happening right now in “indie” circles and some of it hits and some of it misses. For the most part, at least in my opinion, it is rather gutless and lacking in real conviction. A lot of the bands out there in the indie scene seem to be playing a roll to fit the bill and it shows not only in their composition but in their performance. Fine Times is an exception to this rule. While others in their scene pretend to not be into what they are doing, Fine Times is very into what they are doing and the result is an impressive live sound and a catchy catalogue of meaningful tunes.
The last time I saw them, Fine Times were days away from a lineup overhaul and suffering at the hands of a inept sound guy at the small stage of Library Square pub. But the fire was there, as was the fantastic refrain of Hey Judas, my favorite song of theirs. The spirit was there but their sound was lost to what was essentially a bad gig. But all bands have their mettle tested in the early stages and Fine Times did everything correctly in order to right those wrongs for the Electric Owl show.
Armed with new drummer Just Juice, bassist Jeffery Powell and vocalist Matthew Moldowan brought their band back to the stage and the result was really good. Now that the sound issue had been cleared up and the drums packed more of a punch, you were able to appreciate their voice much more. There was a much more indelible presence of rhythm guitar which brought a fantastic backbone to their songs. Now that the levels were all good for the keys, played live by Devon Lougheed, they were able to join the party which is essential for Fine Times’ music. Particularly the aforementioned Hey Judas, which was played again, this time with the power I loved from the studio track but with much more gravitas thanks to the lush sound at the Owl and the intimate staging.
Television Tel Aviv was another great track, promoting Fine Times’ ability to create catchy numbers that aren’t vapid. The vocals were stirring, the live performance was full of strong instrumentation, and it made the toes tap. It’s a great tune.
And It Happened At Midnight was a great track for showcasing what Fine Times does well live. The keys and lead guitar riff were nice, clean, and punctuating; really drew you in. Moldowan accompanied in the percussion category which was fun to watch. Moldowan really knows how to use the stage to keep the audience engaged and interested. During the final song, High Brow Low Times he played lead guitar while crashing the cymbal with his bare hand at all the right marks. This complete with Powell’s strong bass and great harmonies made it a big and exciting finish, one that filled the Owl effortlessly and left us all wishing for an encore.
It was a very short 20 minute set and I think most of us at the Owl that night agreed it could have gone on for twice that long. Which is a good taste to be left in your mouth by a band on the rise. In a scene flooded by bands trying to make it, many of them diluting the indie rock sound down to water, its nice every now and then to see a band that has what it takes to excite you. I expect good things from Fine Times. They’re talented and they seem to really love what they are doing. Sad when that kind of thing has to become so rare, but rare things are beautiful.
Fine Times – “Hey Judas” – Chipped Hip
I’ll leave you with “Hey Judas” by Vancouver’s Fine Times. This pop tune has a fantastically cinematic synth riff that sounds as it was nabbed from an ’80s teen movie. I swear I’ll never get bored of string synths.
Fine Times will release a self-titled album on September 18 through Light Organ Records. Go to Exclaim! to read more.
Fine Times – All is Plural
This album is loaded with the romantic forte of perfect pitch game boys and rhythmic man throbs. Yeah, I said it! Their ability to work the fast slow tempo proves they have what other pop-rock-afrobeat suitors lack. This whole album will have you hooked from beginning to end! Sure there is a prowling gust of authentic seductive synth – but more than that – Matthew Moldowan and Jeffrey Josiah Powell’s ability to treat the album as individual power punches will have you defending your title as ‘PLAY IT AGAIN’ champion ovah and ovaaah! FINE TIMES will release their self-titled debut album on September 18/2012!
Who are you and describe where you are from?
MATT: We’re Fine Times. From Vancouver, BC.
MATT: Why not?
How would you describe your music style?
MATT: OMD, The Jesus & Mary Chain, and Hall & Oates getting incestuous.
When did your band form? How long have you performed?
MATT: We formed the band in late 2010, and started performing live shows in early 2011.
What kind of equipment did you start on? What do you use now?
MATT: We’re fortunate enough to always have had a decent home studio setup. We were making pretty elaborate demos originally using Logic Pro. A lot of our songs are primarily synth driven, so we used a lot of plugins– used the Arturia collection stuff a lot. I had a Moog as well, which we used extensively. We’re still pretty much using the same stuff.
Tell me about you newest album? How/Where was it recorded?
MATT: We went into the Warehouse studio here in Vancouver with Howard Redekopp for a week to record bed tracks for everything. Most of the bass/drums are live from those sessions. After the Warehouse, we spent the better part of the next 2 months at Howard’s Menagerie Studio (at his house). I basically lived there. We spent a lot of time layering various sounds and textures over top of one another. A single synth line usually consisted of 2 or 3 vintage synths layered over plugin tracks from our demos. Howard had a lot of vintage keyboards- too many to name, but almost all of them made the record.
How do you measure success as an artist?
JEFF: Having the confidence and freedom to produce exactly what you want. We’ve been very fortunate to have a label that’s supported us in our vision, and as a result, we’ve been able to work with a great number of incredible people. Internally, there’s a great deal of success in that alone.
Inevitably, our long term spectrum of success involves turning our musical endeavours into financially self-sustaining ones.
Who is your favourite visual artist/designer right now?
JEFF: Leif Podhajsky. I adore everything he does.
Who created your cover art?
JEFF: Rob Carmichael at SEEN Studio, with photography by Jason Frank Rothenberg. Matt and I knew pretty clearly what we wanted and Rob was the perfect person to both lead and design the final artwork. I can’t say enough good things about him. Or Jason’s cat.
If artists want to submit their work, where do they send it? (to be considered for future use, promo. posters, jacket design etc…)
JEFF: If anyone’s interested, they can always email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the last thing you’ve read? Would you recommend it?
JEFF: “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. It theorizes all of the imperative social mechanics and players necessary for an idea to become a successful product / trend. I highly recommend it, though I’m almost certain I’m among the last to have read it. It’s a popular read.
Finally, what are your top three must have albums?
MATT: Midnight Marauders – A Tribe Called Quest , Remain in Light – Talking Heads, Thriller – Michael Jackson
JEFF: What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot – Wilco, Let There Be Rock – AC DC
Vancouver Ushers in Some Finer Times with Dreamy Duo Fine Times – Papercut Magazine
Everyone’s guilty pleasure is a little bit of synth in your early morning music. For the few of you who remember the ‘80s and the wonderful soft, early electronic sounds of those formative years, Fine Times will be a blast into the past. Hailing from Vancouver, Canada (where synth rarely exists), these two boys pull together their collective musical forces into a powerhouse of modern pop, mighted by just the duo alone. With each cymbal clap and whiff of a wafting ethereally angelic sound, Fine Times captures your heart like true prom kings.
Their debut album, Fine Times, will be out this fall on Light Organ Records. The first two released tracks, “Lions” and “Hey Judas”, capture a kaleidoscope of sound. Even with finely trained ears, the individual sound tracks are tightly woven into a layered soundscape. Vocalist Matthew Moldowan and bassist Jeffrey Josiah Powell create a musical time machine when they linked together for Fine Times. Close your eyes, put a smile on your face and let your body sway to the sounds of synth, youth and memories of much finer times.
LIVE REVIEW: The Never Surprise, Fine Times and Sex with Strangers at The Media Club – Vancouver Music Review
Thursday night, a surprisingly diverse crowd filled up The Media Club for the Sex with Strangers headlining show. After not having seen SWS in over a year, I felt compelled to come out and see what the past year has done for them musically and stylistically. I was also drawn in by Fine Times, who are a major buzz band in the city right now, and I’d dare to say a watch-list band for 2013.
Next up was the band that stole the show for me: Fine Times. They launched right into uplifting, energetic, and purely fun synth-pop. There’s something special about this band, a musical chemistry that I think will take them far. After a very short time on the scene, they have music on rotation at The Peak, and even friends of mine who didn’t think they knew the band recognized some of the catchy tunes. Of course “Hey Judas” was a favourite, but I honestly loved the whole set from beginning to end. “It Happened at Midnight” was about the time in the set that people started dancing a bit, a huge feat for any band playing any stage in Vancouver.
Song of the Day: Hey Judas by Fine Times – The Province
Fine Times is a Vancouver band that Alex and I (of the Vancouver Music Review) had the priviledge of seeing a short set when they opened up for Samantha Savage Smith a few months ago, and now they have a brand new record coming out and this is the first single! It’s always exciting to watch a band come through some exciting years, like from a small gig at the Electric Owl to an album produced by the legendary Howard Redekop and a single exclusive premiere on Interview Magazine! We wish these guys the best and hope to see them again soon.
DOWNLOAD: Fine Times - Hey Judas – RCRD LBL
Vancouver duo Fine Times, the musical union of Matthew Moldowan and Jeffrey Josiah Powell, will release its debut album September 18 via Light Organ Records. The self-titled effort was produced by Howard Redekopp (Tegan and Sara, New Pornographers) and features “Hey Judas.” This orchestral rock number feels bigger than two band members, culling together a glittering melody with layers of indie theatrics, synthesizers and soaring vocals.
More Music from the Inbox: 06 August 2012 – Alan Cross - A Journal of Musical Things
“Hey Judas” is nothing but well crafted pop hooks, clever, dirty little one-liners, and soaring vintage synths.
Sounds like: The timeless perils of love.
Vancouver's Fine Times Reveal Debut Album for Light Organ Records – Exclaim! Magazine
Vancouver pop unit Fine Times have become the latest indie act to sign to the city's Light Organ Records for a new album. The pair, made up of Matthew Moldowan and Jeffrey Josiah Powell, will drop their self-titled debut on September 18.
The disc was recorded with acclaimed local studio whiz Howard Redekopp (Tegan and Sara, the New Pornographers, Mother Mother) at the Warehouse Studio. According to a press release, the producer "added his trademark vintage synths into the record as Moldowan and Powell confidently pounded out their pop sounds. It came to be a perfect fit."
In regards to the album's hook-heavy sound, Moldowan said in a statement, "I have a short attention span so if a record doesn't catch me in the first listen or two, I probably won't put it back on the record player." With this in mind, the band reportedly follow in a pop lineage that includes Phil Spector, Roxy Music, Phoenix and MGMT.
Hear what he's talking about by streaming the synth-spiked tracks "Lions" and "Hey Judas" below the tracklist.
2. Hey Judas
3. High Brow Low Times
4. Television Tel Aviv
5. And It Happened At Midnight
8. Hungry Siamese
9. Bright Lights
10. Into The Mechanarium
Bright Lights – Quick Before It Melts.
My nephew is about to turn 4, and we (i.e. my family and I) are all in the mood for a summer celebration: burgers, beers, inflatable boats, baked goods, and blasting tunes. If the weekend weather holds out, we’ll be indulging in all of the above. As is usually the case at such get-togethers, the responsibility for the music will probably fall to me (I don’t know why), and if it does, I’m going to be sure to add “Hey Judas” to the playlist. It comes courtesy of Vancouver-based duo Fine Times, and will appear on their soon-to-be-released self-titled debut. Matthew Moldowan and Jeffrey Josiah Powell had played together in other musical endeavours before coming together as a pair in 2010, and worked with esteemed producer Howard Redekopp (New Pornographers and Tegan and Sara) to craft this toothsome wall of sound treat, frosted with touches of 80s synths.
Fine Times have signed with Light Organ Records, and will release their debut on September 18. 2012.
Album releases are some of the strangest parties I’ve ever been to – Vancouver Weekly
Fun and poppy, Fine Times somehow manages to be a sort of bricolage of decades without sounding overdone or confused. Candy-sweet elements of early ‘60s pop falls in line with synthesizer riffs reminiscent of the 1980s; sometimes with a surprising but fun inclusion of Beegees-style falsetto from Moldowan.
Subterranean Christmas Blues – Soft Signal
Christmas is happening. No matter how much you fight it, deny it, or run away, it’s happening. Snow has only just barely begin to scrape the ground here in Winnipeg, and the rest of the country still remains largely untouched, but that hasn’t stopped shops from setting up seasonal displays or broadcasters from airing holiday jingles.
The good folks at Vancouver’s Light Organ Records understand this, and instead of running away, they’re full-on embracing it. They dropped their second holiday compilation yesterday, chalk full of choice numbers by artists on the Light Organ roster and friends of the label. Light Organ Records…With Bells On! highlights a host of Vancouver’s gems, from the sultry Adaline, to Mint Records alumni Vancougar, to lo-fi champs Dead Ghosts, easily making this one of the more interesting and dynamic groups of artists to come together to spread some holiday cheer.
Have listen to the record closer, “Subterranean Christmas Blues” by rising pop outfit Fine Times, which trades in the usual Christmas tropes of galloping rhythms and cyclical melodies for slinking bass and drums and sly call/response vocals. And if embracing the season becomes you, then you can grab Light Organ Records…With Bells On! via iTunes.
Fine Times: “Why You Wanna Ruin Christmas?” – Explore Music
From the “Our First Christmas” collection from Light Organ Records. This song is poignant.
[LISTEN/DOWNLOAD] FINE TIMES- SUBTERRANEAN CHRISTMAS BLUES – Ride the Tempo
It’s the time of season where..I CAN’T ESCAPE THE DAMN CHRISTMAS MUSIC. At least Vancouver’s Fine Times does it right. Here’s an original track. Thank you for not covering something that has been covered 1000 times. It’s subtle Christmas at it’s finest. When you get tired of the holiday jingles, add this one to the playlist.