The Backhomes
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The Backhomes

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF | AFM

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2009
Duo Rock Psychedelic




"The Backhomes' Tidalwave is a Psych-Pop Masterpiece"

If you managed to miss out on the Victoria duo the Backhomes’ Malkin Bowl performance at Levitation Vancouver, which many did, you can redeem yourself by getting caught in the undertow of its psych-pop masterpiece, Tidalwave.

Throughout, the group submerges us in a sea of distorted, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club–leaning arrangements and the undulating blend of organs and vintage drum machines you’d catch on an early Suicide LP. It’s an overwhelming mix, but damned if the Backhomes don’t play it off super cool.

“That’s All” steers itself straight into your third eye, with an exploratory soundscape of sun-fried six-string licks and shuffled rhythms that brings Kees Dekker’s distorted vocals from a calming “Om” to a straggled series of cries.

Cleaning things up a bit is the acoustic guitar on “Rays”, a song that juxtaposes its summer-sunset vibe with the downer lyric “No matter what I say, the clouds go on for days.” There’s likewise a sense of hopelessness on “One More Time”, which poetically examines accomplishment through the eternal struggle of climbing the highest mountain. On Tidalwave, it sounds like the Backhomes had no trouble getting to the top. - The Georgia Straight

"Video Premiere: Backhomes' "Chase""

The downpour of shoegazey bands in the last few years have taken the genre from fringe interest to a predominant genre. And it’s easy enough to get all washy and droney with five or more members on stage, with loads of guiitar-layered squall and synths, etc. But this Victoria, BC, act—which includes Kees Dekker from Besnard Lakes and animator Aimée van Drimmelen—unspool their droning ditties from just a duo set-up. And they further tug their tunes away from the noisey norm by keeping the songs snappy in hook and beat, relatively speaking. Like the sound and minimal looks of this video premiere for “Chase.”
The song rushes forward like its namesake, while the hand-drawn visuals go from scratchy black and white into blood red washes and back again in a subtly mesmerizing manner, not unlike thier synth and guitar fusions.

Chase comes from their second album, TIDALWAVE, self-released on May 5. Check the clip and tour dates, below.

Tour Dates for Backhomes:
05/05 – Victoria, BC – Copper Owl
05/07 – Vancouver, BC – The Lido
05/09 – Olympia, WA – Deadbeat Records
05/10 – San Francisco, CA – The Makeout Room
05/13 – Fullerton, CA – The Continental
05/14 – San Diego, CA – Till Two
05/17 – Portland, OR – Foggy Notion
05/18 – Seattle, WA – Sunset Tavern
05/29 – Edmonton, AB – Wunderbar
05/30 – Calgary, AB – Local 510
06/05 – 06/07 – Vancouver, BC – Levitation Festival
06/08 – Victoria, BC – Copper Owl
06/24 – 06/28 – Calgary, AB – Sled Island Festival - CMJ

"The Backhomes Tidalwave // Limited To 300 Black Vinyl LP"

Fond of droney psych-trips a-lá Moon Duo, Spacemen 3, Spiritualized and Indian Jewelry? If yes, read no further —-> move cursor directly towards the “Buy Now”-button.

Canadian psych/kraut-duo The Backhomes delivers repetative drum-machine grooves with swirling organs, electronic spice and possessed’n processed guitars through allsorts of tremolo, reverb, fuzz and flanger. The solid guitarworks in here range from walls of noise to poisonous hooks and nifty details. Flat out fantastic, this is a haunting hypnotic trip you do not wanna miss out on!

The awesome twosome consists of Kees Dekker (The Besnard Lakes) and Aimée van Drimmelen, and the magic is spawned and recorded in their own house in Victoria BC. “Tidalwave” is self-released in only 300 copies on Black Vinyl, and I advice you to jump on it before the word on these guys starts escalating. Through the quality of their work, and the popularity of the genre these days, The Backhomes are bound to be picked up by an influental psych-label anytime soon. - Sly Vinyl

"Psych duo The Backhomes finds comfort in ambient explorations"

CALGARY — The process of self-discovery in a band is often a long one, an irony considering how fully-formed bands are expected to be these days. In the case of Victoria’s The Backhomes, a psych duo consisting of Montréal transplants, Kees Dekker and Aimée van Drimmelen, their sophomore album, Tidalwave, out May 5, represents a shift from the starker, more dissonant work on their debut, Only Friend. Indeed, as the album art suggests, Tidalwave is a warmer, groovier affair, Dekker’s vocals placidly floating atop pulsating, droning washes of reverb and feedback, earworm melodies emerging from the static to anchor the album.

“The first record we made, we had just moved from Montréal, so a lot of it was dealing with the change, leaving your hometown, your friends, all this new shit. With Tidalwave, I don’t want to say it’s more comfortable, but it definitely has a little bit more of an idea of what’s working and what’s feeling good,” confirms Dekker from his home in Victoria. As they have in past releases, The Backhomes recorded Tidalwave themselves — Dekker is a sound engineer by trade — in their living room, Dekker providing the bed tracks while van Drimmelen figures out arrangements and visuals. “We recorded twice the amount of stuff we used, so we quickly figured out what worked and what didn’t.”

Bucking the trend in psych and ambient music to stretch tracks into oblivion, using physical length and scale as an aesthetic, The Backhomes excel at condensing their own psych explorations into what could almost pass for a three-minute pop song. Especially on Tidalwave, with tracks like “Save Me,” featuring a wailing, spaghetti western-inspired harmonica and soaring vocals, The Backhomes aim for the feel-good stratosphere, welcoming listeners to their kosmische-tinted hypnotism and animations that shimmer like mesmerizing mirages.

“When I first got into playing music, I was really into stuff on Kranky Records and some British shoegaze rock, and those bands are all into the seven- to 12-minute songs and I love it. When I tried doing it, though, getting a bit older, I feel like you either have to go for it,” he says, “and it has to be interesting and take you to some place, or it has to be shorter, more concise.”

With Tidalwave, The Backhomes seem to fall into their groove much more readily, a sense of comfort no doubt amplified by the countless months spent on the road on tour since they began in 2009. They may not know it all, yet, but Tidalwave seems to indicate that they’re more than ready for whatever comes up next.

The Backhomes will release Tidalwave as an independent release on May 5. - BEATROUTE


In their short two years of existence The Backhomes have made huge strides forward. Not that they ever sucked. Their debut album ‘Only Friend’ was a rock solid offering of reverb-rich psych pop. But the duo of Kees Dekker and Aimee Van Drimmelen have made a stylistic and figurative leap into the future with their new album ‘Tidalwave’.

“That’s All” opens the album on an ominous tone. A dystopian beat and inhuman, disconnected vocals give you the sense that we are hurtling inevitably towards a dark future. The tension eases just a little on the next two tracks. The introduction of electric guitars on “Solid Gold” lends a more grounded touch. There may still be danger ahead, but at least its one you can relate to. The swirling synths and psychedelic air of “The Chase” is more familiar territory still, but things remain unsettling.

After a keyboard/guitar instrumental break, “Rays” leads us into the most comfortable surroundings yet. It’s a bluegrass pastiche, but with a real twist as the electronic keyboard overtones give it a weird vibe. Those weird vibes continue with the title track, which sounds like Joshua Tree-era US played in a krautrock nightclub.

The Backhomes close out the album somewhat ambiguously. “One More Time” and “Pre-Utopian” are dreamy, washed in waves of synths. This may suggest that there could be a bright future after all. And yet there is a slight edge of unease, potentially turning this pleasant dream into a nightmare. It serves to reminds us how close our good dreams are to our bad ones – it’s a nuanced difference.

The Backhomes, with their futuristic sounds, are alerting us to the fact that the future is unknown, something that we innately fear. Whether it will turn out to be as ghastly as our worst nightmares or as heavenly as our sweetest dreams may come down to the subtle difference in how we perceive it. - Ride The Tempo

"The Backhomes interview with Kees Dekker"

The Backhomes are a two piece Canadian psych rock band. They have already amassed a full length record and a 7" single, now on the coat tails of their latest release, "Tidalwave" I talk to Kees Dekker about the album, life and upcoming tours! Dig Into It:

What were you guys doing prior to forming the band?

Playing in other Montreal bands (Key of K, Magnetic Hill, Field Register, Besnard Lakes), running a recording studio (The Treatment Room), making art, drinking in parks.

How did the move across the country affect the music you play?

It basically forced us to become more self sufficient and break things down to the minimum. We learned to play to 20 dollar drum machines, hey if its good enough for JJ Cale....

Tell us about the recording process for your first record.

The first record was written and recorded in a cabin on Katepwa Lake in SK, and completed in Victoria in our living room. Throw shit at the wall and see what sticks.

You are quite big on self releasing records, do you prefer that over working with a record label?

We believe in letting things happen fairly naturally, and like most people we hate asking for things. If someone cool wants to release our music on a label that would be lovely, but when it comes down to how long it takes to realize a record, sometimes it easier to just forge ahead and hopefully the work will attract attention, rather than waiting around for someone else's schedule to match your own.

Were your parents musicians or did their musical tastes influence you growing up?

Both of our father's were/are musicians, and music was always an important part of life growing up.

You have a pretty strong musical relationship with Edmonton bands The Lad Mags (review here) and Betrayers (reviews and interview), how did that come about?

Those bands played Victoria with us in small record store a few years ago and it was love at first sight. If we could move them all to Vancouver Island we would in second! Good people making better music!

You just finished up a cross Canada tour with Hush Pup, any tour highlights? How about past tours?

Touring with those dudes was the best! That was only maybe the second time that we have toured with another band/ friends and it was really fun, especially on the long drives and the waiting game that is touring. Many thrift store hangs and Pho for breakfast. Touring is a trip, very altered reality, a lot of work to play a small amount of music, but you get to see so many friends and play music for them!

What bands inspired you growing up? What bands are you digging right now?

I can only speak for myself, but growing up my local heroes were Eric's Trip, Elevator to Hell, and other creative music types in Moncton. The combination of sonic minimalism, delicate melodies, feedback and repetition really opened some doors. Feeling like I could make music like that was huge. Then learning about Spacemen 3 and Flying Saucer Attack really resonated heavily. These days I'm really diggin' the new Panda Bear, Sur Une Plage, The Shivas, Wasted Cathedral, man too much to list!

How is the music scene in Victoria, who is worth checking out?

The music scene in Victoria is really cool, very supportive vibes for sure. Freak Heat Waves, Scars and Scarves, Fountain, Downtown, Hansmole, Iceberg Ferg, Girlfriend, Psychic Pollution, Little Jungles, Jons, Shake Records and many more!

What about nationally and internationally?

It's a big world out there.

What have been some of your favorite bands you played live with? Any dream bands you would wish to play/tour with?

Any time we play with kind creative people is awesome and inspiring, Spectrum, Disappears, any band with great fans that might dig our stuff.

You have a new album coming out next month, how was the recording process for that one?

It was good, we basically recorded a couple records worth of stuff, and the tunes on Tidalwave, were the most natural ones of the bunch that were resonating with us. We recorded at home mainly, and a little stint on Gabriola Island while house sitting The Noise Floor Studio that our friends Jordan and Terry run.

I also noticed you have a North American tour coming up, tell me about the band your touring with?

We have several small tours this spring, some festivals and we are working on a bigger jaunt in the fall. We are doing some shows with Sur Une Plage, and Dada Plan, two great Vancouver groups.

Anything else you would like to tell me about your band?

The new LP comes out on May 5t!

Thank you for your time! - It's Psychedelic Baby

"The Backhomes come in on a Tidalwave"

The Backhomes have called many places, well, home. Kees Dekker and Aimée van Drimmelen started as a couple in Montréal, where Dekker played and collaborated with the Besnard Lakes, Plants and Animals and Timber Timbre—and Drimmelen worked as a professional visual artist and performed in the band Key of K.

But, after a decade in Montréal, and evolving their relationship into a musical partnership, Dekker and Drimmelen headed west in 2010. First, they holed up in Drimmelen’s family cabin for a Saskatchewan winter, writing the music that would become the band’s 2013 debut, Only Friend. The record sounds almost nothing like the frozen prairies: the music channels trippy psychedelia, with ’60s-reverb guitars floating over ambient sound and sunny organ.

Now the Backhomes call Victoria home. The vibes on the island are a far cry from the experimental art world of Montréal—more high tea than high times—but Dekker says BC’s capital has a vibrant musical scene despite being sleepy.

“We live in a neighbourhood that’s pretty rife with the high-tea set—I’m looking outside right now and I can see those kind of people walking by,” Dekker says. “Meanwhile, I’m in my little hovel with music gear and I’m making music that sounds nothing like what’s going on around me.”

Indeed, if the Backhomes were to sound like a place, Alberta, and especially Edmonton, might be more its style. The band befriended and has toured with Edmonton hometown psych-rock heros Betrayers and the Lad Mags. And Calgary experimental psychers Extra Happy Ghost!!!, led by Astral Swans’ Matthew Swann, are reuniting just to play with the Backhomes at the band’s Calgary gig.

But Dekker says he and Drimmelen are settled and enjoying island life. The duo is set to release their follow-up LP Tidalwave this May. Dekker says that while Only Friend was written and recorded in a time of flux, the new music is more the product of working away at their art in a comfortable way.

“It’s more forward looking,” he adds. “[The new record] is just letting those currents come through. There’s maybe a bit less of the ambient, more drawn-out stuff. If anything, the new music is more upbeat.”

Dekker handles the bulk of the production and writing, mostly in their living room, while Drimmelen works on arranging the music. And as an accomplished artist, she has created projected visuals that go with the Backhomes’ live set.

“The music we make is minimal and hypnotic—those animations, they really go hand in hand with that,” Dekker explains. “It’s become really important.”

Thu, Mar 26 (9 pm)
With Hush Pup, the Lad Mags
Wunderbar, $10 - Vue Weekly

"First Transmission: The Backhomes, Backward Sunshine"

Going easy on the ol’ lavish pedalboard seems like an increasingly difficult thing for rising shoegazers to do. However, when any which track is drenched in FX as dramatically as is The Backhomes’ Backward Sunshine, then who the heck are we to complain? The Backhomes are, to those of you who call elsewhere other than the west coast of Canada home, a montréalais pairing comprising Kees Dekker and Aimée van Drimmelen, and to the similarly uninitiated, Backward Sunshine is the radiant, dew-dappled, tape deck chef d’œuvre that forms the flip side to their most recent single, Talk. Without wanting to yak on for too long ourselves, it transpires to prove considerably preferable to said A-side; the sort of gauzy, glorious few moments that, ephemeral as they are fantastic, make our inhabiting the world wide web, rather than the world itself, wholly rewarding – if only momentarily. And, as per always, you can now bathe in the Bandcamp stream below… - Dots & Dashes

"The Backhomes "TALK" (Video)"

By Gregory Adams
If you're ready to take your daily spirit journey, a trippy set of glowing visuals has been laced around a similarly hypnotic, previously unreleased tune from Victoria-based duo the Backhomes called "Talk."

Channelling the effortless psych-jam vibes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the song snakes slippery organ drones, reverberating voice-of-god whispers and a little guitar damage into its four-minute runtime. As you're letting those sounds sink in your ears, relax your mind and let those morphing Lite-Brite tapestries elevate you to another plain of consciousness. You can experience it all via the player down below.

"Talk" is being made available as a free download for a limited time over on Bandcamp, while a recent tape edition of the band's Only Friend album Shake! added the track and another bonus cut called "Backward Sunshine" to the tracklisting. - EXCLAIM

"The Backhomes - Talk b/w Backward Sunshine (2014) review"

Some might say leaving a semi successful band like The Besnard Lakes and moving across the country might be a bad idea but you obviously haven't listened to the Backhomes. Following up their debut record from last year "Only Friend" we are treated to two amazing flushed out dreamy tracks that recall some of the best Brian Eno tracks with a apparent krautrock influence. "Backward Sunshine" can easily be compared to NEU! but also elements of some of the more mind shattering My Bloody Valentine tracks. I don't know if this is getting a proper release as a 7" or just a taste of their next album either way you can digitally "grip" these tracks through their bandcamp. The weather is finally getting fantastic in Canada so throw these on first thing in the morning, sit outside and sip some boozy breakfast drinks!

Review made by Matt Yablonski/2014 - It's Psychedelic Baby

"Backhomes, the Lad Mags and Betrayers Roll Out "See 2 Sky Western Psych Revue" Tour"

By Alex Hudson
Psych fans, take note: next month, three Western Canadian bands will be linking up for a jaunt around Alberta and British Columbia dubbed the "See 2 Sky Western Psych Revue."

The bill features Edmonton acts the Lad Mags and Betrayers, plus Victoria's the Backhomes. In addition to playing shows in their home cities, they will stop by Calgary (for Sled Island), Vancouver and Nanaimo.

An announcement promises that the tour will be a "mind-altering antidote for the summertime blues" featuring "elements of 1960s caveman-rock, drugged-out drone, and girl-group harmonies."

In addition to the three core bands, the Vancouver and Nanaimo stops will feature Calgary-bred/Victoria-based drone-pop act Scars & Scarves. See the schedule below.

Tour dates:

06/18 Edmonton, AB - The Buckingham
06/19-22 Calgary, AB - Sled Island Festival
06/23 Vancouver, BC - The Electric Owl
06/25 Nanaimo, BC - The Queens
06/26-28 Victoria, BC - SHAKE/ARAMA Festival - Exclaim!

"The Backhomes - You Gotta Move - Video"

Natives of Victoria, BC, The Backhomes—a musical project comprised of Kees Dekker and Aimee van Drimmelen—releases their music video for "You Gotta Move" off of their debut album, Only Friend. The duo's current lineup involves two guitars, a drum machine and projections, creating a "loud, melodic and driving performance that delivers the intimacy and charm inherent in their music." Their video for "You Gotta Move" is like a psychedelic view of looking up into the sky at the birds and the sun and makes us want to zone out with their song on repeat. Check out the video below. - ION Magazine

"The Music Nerd Q&A With The Backhomes"

Psychedelic pop duo The Backhomes is the musical project of Kees Dekker and Aimee van Drimmelen. Originally, the duo called Montreal home but are currently enjoying life on the beautiful Canadian west coast.

The Backhomes are currently winding their way throughout Canada and the United States promoting their newest release Only Friend. The record is garnering strong reviews right across the board. says that the album is a “well-blended mixture of some of music’s greatest eras…[The Backhomes] have truly constructed a gem worth befriending.”

The Backhomes only New Brunswick stop is at Moncton’s Plan B on Wednesday July 31. Kees Dekker from the band spoke with Here Magazine earlier this month:

When did The Backhomes get together?

We started playing about three years ago. We both played in other bands in Montreal but hadn’t played much together. We had a few song ideas that we were psyched to try together and ended up booking a show opening for Aimee’s other band Key of K. That got us working on things, rehearsing, writing and experimenting. We then left Montreal and had a layover of eight or nine months in Aimee’s family cabin in rural Saskatchewan which allowed us to figure out our sound a bit before moving to our current digs in BC.

Which groups do you consider to have been the most influential upon you as a musician?

Certain bands and artists really opened my eyes to the possibilities of making music and art without fear of needing to be a master of any one instrument, and that having an idea or emotion to express was as important as being able to play guitar with my teeth or whatever. Growing up in Moncton with a healthy scene of punk rock and noisy pop influenced me a ton, so Eric’s Trip and Elevator were huge! My friends and I also stumbled upon some weird bands in the bins of Room 201 that turned me an on to noisy psychedelic rock like Flying Saucer Attack, Spacemen 3 and so many others that blew the doors open.

Are you looking forward to getting back to New Brunswick on The Backhomes tour?

I love it in New Brunswick. Getting to visit for a bit with friends and family while on tour is going to be the best. It was a shock to me how cold the Pacific Ocean is compared to the Northumberland Strait. I am definitely looking forward to some time spent at the beach. - The Music Nerd


Is there anything as romantic as the idea of leaving the city to move across the country to a frozen prairie lake cabin and write a bunch of weirdo insular songs? That’s what what Aime´e van Drimmelen and Kees Dekker did in 2010 when they left Montreal for the west coast. The result is The Backhomes. The Canadian duo released an album, Only Friend, and you can listen to their song “Going Home” below. Then get inspired to move into a cabin yourself until so many people do it that it drives up the cabin rents and then they open a cabin Starbucks nearby and that’s when you know it’s time to move. - NOISEY - VICE

"Here's the video for "STAY" by The Backhomes"

This Victoria, BC duo—comprised of Kees Dekker and Aimee van Drimmelen—appear like pale-faced apparitions in this video for their latest single "Stay." In fact it looks like the kind of Super-8 reels you'd find in the attic of your new house. Just like in that Ethan Hawke flick, Sinister, except thankfully, instead of revealing totally terrifying images the boogie man in the bushes and a family dangling from a tree like low-hanging fruit, this footage is more like the documentation of a road trip across North America's open plains in the early 1940s. A perfect complement to the pair's sun-blasted, reverb-heavy psych-pop. - VICE/NOISEY

"Victoria, B.C. super tramps take the long way home (video premier & interview)"

Kees Dekker and Aimée van Drimmelen are The Backhomes from Victoria, BC who present their rock and roll silhouette show video for "You Gotta Move". Taken from their album Only Friend, the duo deal in that time tested troubadour trail that unites derelicts and drifters with songs of reconciled refuge and the search for new homes, in new 1 horse towns.

Pushing on down the Canadian trail and looking for a new abode sends out images of flying static like a sky of seagulls, drapes of color, and radar design ripples. Rhythm guitar strums it steady against a keyboard's sustained glow where minimalist tambourine percussion keeps pace like the walking steps of silver spurs jangling with every congress of boots meeting the dusty road. While making that miracle mile, the big move and transition becomes iminent amid the mood swinging bi-polarities from the chorus song of, "you gotta love and you gotta hate..."

The Backhomes take you down to the forks in the roads, where choices of direction must be made in order to make that change. With the duo displayed in front of the sun, the beaming rays of light shine all around as Dekker and Drimmelen stand stoic and steady, relying on riffs as their central compass. Testing the waters, walking the talk and looking for some truth; the rite of passage tells the demons to get behind them for a new kind of freedom, a new porch to hang your hat, and a new council to call home.

We caught up for a bit with The Backhomes, discussing their work with Thee Silver Mount Zion Orchestra's Dave Payant, Zac Decamp from There is still time brother..., Black Mountain's Josh Wells, to the latest acts from the Victoria scene, and more.

How did your creative partnership form in Victoria, BC?

Our musical partnership more so "solidified" in Victoria. We began creating music together in Montreal, refined the process in the prairies, and figured it out on Vancouver Island.

What's the indie scene like in Victoria, as of late?

We were surprised by the number of exciting bands in Victoria. Freak Heat Waves, Babysitter, and Cleopatra and the Nile are some of our faves. There are a few good venues, above and underground, in town and it seems like an ideal place for bands to figure shit out before hitting the road.

How do you feel your sound has become enriched from working with Dave, Zac and Josh? What ways has their contributions transformed or just informed, The Backhomes?

We were lucky to get to play and record with some amazing and talented musicians while The Backhomes was taking shape. The energy and intuition of these artists definitely inspired how we tackled the recording process for Only Friend. We hope to share some of this material in future releases.

Is there any kind of Jason Spacemen/homage in that rugged, drony sound you got going on "You Gotta Move"? What kinda of life events and tunes inspired this song and the visualization?

Not so much an homage, but J Pierce and Pete Kember have been a great source of inspiration over the years. We've always preferred simple songs that aren't so much about the musical mastery, but are more about sounds, emotions, and spaces. This song is us doing what comes naturally, letting it flow and giving ourselves a pep talk! Basically, if you don't do anything nothing happens.

Having recorded Only Friend in the living room, what tricks borrowed from experience at Montreal’s Treatment Room Studios has contributed to the album's sound? What should we be expecting, and looking out for?

Owning a studio and recording bands for a decade taught me so much. Having somewhere to experiment and learn how make records was invaluable. The big difference these days, is that we can focus on getting the sounds we have in our heads out there. Having figured out so much completing Only Friend and finishing our first North American tour we are super inspired to start in on our next recordings. I think there will definitely be more slide guitar and synth on the new stuff!

The Backhomes' album Only Friend is available now from Bandcamp. - IMPOSE

"The Backhomes - Only Friend (Review)"

The first aspect of this album by Montreal/Victoria duo The Backhomes that features former Key of K member Aimée Van Drimmelen and Kees Dekker is it’s intense (and awesome) drugginess. Narcotic (without being narcoleptic) and dreamy, the openers “Waves of Love” through “Stay” really mine a Spacemen 3 vibe, hypnotic and fuzzily psych-ed out bliss with heaps of delayed vocals. Second gear hits on “Going Home” which evokes sweeping dark landscapes, the endless road, the part of driving forever, across the country or on tour as the night and fatigue close in.

There is a consistency in the desert-y vibe that evokes shades of Paisley Underground beauty like Early Recordings Opal or Dream Syndicate. Just the perfect song for nocturnal drives. one of my favorites on this incredibly strong and consistent, trippily catchy album. “Coughing” has a country ramble, still propelled by a hypnotic drone, breathy 90’s mumble voiced lyrics snaking around picked notes, lacerated by awesomely restrained fuzz soloing later on. “Tear It Up” delves back into J Spaceman esque territory, maybe with a bit of Love & Rockets in there, straightforwardly rocking in a bluesy drone that never goes to the 5. “Changing Me” emerges from a gorgeous chrysalis of looping noise and throat-sing-y tones into simple major melodies and lazy acoustic strumming. Truly a sunrise moment on an otherwise night-shaded album, very transcendent and uplifting. Closing coda “Big Dreams” a succinct little wordless farewell of a forest of sound, simple guitars and effects creating a living, breathing landscape, tastefully short.

The effect overall of Only Friend is a very deep aural experience, you can either intently lose yourself within it’s folds or allow it to shimmer in the background of a midnight drive or a hazily intimate evening. It’s earnest and, I feel, very honest and at play within the narrow form of acoustic & electric guitars, spare voices and cheap keyboards. Effects aren’t the affectation they can so easily be, but necessary adornments to hooks that beg a re-listen. A beauty, a gem and rare treasure of an album. The Backhomes are currently touring in the US and Canada, check their tour dates here - The Big Takeover

"New Canadiana :: The Backhomes – Only Friend (Review)"

Only Friend, the debut album from The Backhomes, engulfs you in a cathartic soundscape akin to stepping out of a dark winter cave into the first sunny days of pure blue sky. When the needle catches the groove, the heat waves begin. With just a couple of guitars and some pedals, this duo – featuring a former member of The Besnard Lakes and a talented visual artist – is able to create a wall of sound that could smother a cathedral. Each song is crafted with the delicacy and dedication of master musicians; they know exactly what they want to sound like, and always hit that level, live or recorded. The Backhomes pulled the opposite move of most Vancouver Island bands, throwing away the bohemia of Montreal to ride the slow waves. Until they came to town, this seemed like another Victoria one-way street. Their perfection and precision is a sharp contrast to the usual lo-fi pop-rock the Capital City is known for and this has allowed The Backhomes a quick rise to the top of the scene — a position well earned and deserved. - Weird Canada

"The Backhomes (Review)"

If you’re only going to have one companion this summer you might as well make it good. Only Friend, the new full-length from Victoria’s The Backhomes, is a well-blended mixture of some of music’s greatest eras. It boasts a full psychedelic sound, killer guitar hooks and vocals that remind you of a more relaxed and experimental time in music. Given that this album has a very reminiscent throwback feeling behind it, there is no loss in the sense of it mimicking its own predecessors. Some highlight tracks for this record are “You Gotta Move,” “Tear It Up,” and “Coughing.” You can put this album on and drift away into your own subconscious and before you know it, as soon as it starts, it’s over. Its ambient sounds and psychedelic roots won’t be for everybody, but music fans can rejoice knowing that a revolution is coming and that we are getting back to our roots and further away from the garish, overproduced recordings we’ve come to accept. Kees Dekker and Aimee van Drimmelen have truly constructed a gem worth befriending. - Beatroute

"The Backhomes - Victoria Psych Rock Duo on their new album and life on the road"

When Aimee van Drimmelen and Kees Dekker left Montreal for an isolated cabin in southern Saskatchewan, they knew they wanted to make a record together. They just didn’t know what it was going to sound like. After moving to Victoria, the couple recorded and released Only Friend, a swollen river of fuzzy guitars and luscious textures that is as warm and raw as it is powerful. Pushing the boundaries of psychedelic rock with flashes of pop brilliance, hints of alt-country twang, and a dash of shoegaze droning, the record transforms a handful of simple songs into a vast ocean of consciousness-expanding sound. Dekker and van Drimmelen, who perform as the Backhomes, have not been making music together for very long – but Only Friend is a solid foundation on which the pair can build and proof that psychedelia is as relevant today as it was in the lysergic sixties.

Alex J. MacPherson: When you left Montreal to make a record, did you know more or less what you wanted it to be, or did it surprise you?

Kees Dekker: I think what happened was when we moved to Saskatchewan for the winter, we just tried a lot of different things. It slowly unveiled itself. It just became apparent what we both enjoyed playing and what was working the best for our voices. When we got to Victoria, when we started trying a little harder to record the songs, a sound kind of developed, mainly just from our situation of not having access to so many people.

AJM: Obviously being a couple in a rock and roll band is something that could create difficulties. What has that experience been like for you?

Aimee van Drimmelen: I think that question was answered when we left Montreal together, and moved into the cabin in Saskatchewan to work on music. We didn’t know if it would work, or if it would be the end, but we had a feeling about it – and it worked out really well. I feel like that experience, being isolated together and working on something creative, showed us that we can – and need, in fact – to have this creative project together.

AJM: Only Friend is basically a psych rock record, which sort of surprised me. What led you in this direction?

KD: I think we both trusted in the fact that we’re making music that we would want to hear, and that’s what guides it. You just kind of assume that if you like this kind of music, and we’ve had a decent response so far.

AVD: I feel like there is definitely a poppy side to our record that we didn’t actually plan overtly, except that we wanted to make songs that people don’t have to work too hard to enjoy. They can be a bit heavy at times, but they’re still fun. I just wanted to do songs we are enjoying and that we feel like an audience who hasn’t heard us at all before might respond to.

AJM: But there’s also a lot of depth here. I like the album at a party or wherever, but I think it shines through headphones.

KD: A lot of the record was made on headphones out of necessity. We live in a pretty quiet neighbourhood, so a lot of times we’d have to do stuff a little bit quieter. Even though it doesn’t sound quiet – there’s a lot of fuzz and things like that – we mixed it in a big living room and a lot of it was made in headphones. It makes sense that you’d hear more of the depth: that’s how I was recording it.

AJM: And thematically, it feels like a record about the ocean, which sort of jives with your trip from Quebec to Saskatchewan, and then to Victoria.

KD: We definitely weren’t intending to write songs about leaving or the changes you go through, but that’s just what was resonating emotionally or whatever. It’s always been important to me, but I’ve never thought about it too much in relation to our music.

AVD: Being from a landlocked province, I don’t necessarily crave the ocean. But I crave space and being able to see really far, onto the horizon. That would be my equivalent of an ocean, metaphorically. - The Verb

"The Backhomes ONLY FRIEND (REVIEW)"

It is hard to believe that The Backhomes consists of just two members. Kees Dekker and Aimée van Drimmelen’s Only Friend is the Victoria-based duo’s promising debut album that puts an energetic twist on dreamy psych-pop. Listening to Only Friend feels as organic and exciting as a live show, yet it is clear that Dekker and van Drimmelen have put careful thought into every single one of the album’s fuzzy reverberating tracks.

What is impressive about Only Friend is that Dekker and van Drimmelen have crafted a sound distinctive to The Backhomes. While their sound is unique, it is also flexible, as their album effortlessly ebbs and flows between raucous romps like “You Gotta Move” to more subdued psychedelic numbers like “Changing Me.” On the album’s highlight, “Tear It Up,” Dekker sings “I’m gonna tear it up / I’m gonna scream and shout” and what not only this song but also the album as a whole demonstrate is that The Backhomes are not to be ignored. - Discorder


Listening to Victoria psych-pop duo, The Backhomes, gives you the sense of floating on top of heavy reverb, synths and neo-psychedelia. Their sound is heavy and dense enough to fill a pool, but it's liquid and light enough to glide over the top of it.

The band consists of Kees Dekker, guitarist, vox, drums, bass, keyboard and master mixer, and Aimée van Drimmelen, lead guitarist and projection maker.

Van Drimmelen answered questions about writing in cabins, the state of the psych scene in Montreal and eating mushrooms at Golden West Music Fest

When/how did The Backhomes begin?

The Backhomes began in Montreal in 2009. We were both playing in other bands and one day Kees was playing this song in our apartment and I joined in, and we recorded it. It felt really good, we were both on the same page musically, and it made sense to try to start putting something together.

You have this psychedelic, dreamy sound that's still grounded...Who are your influences?

We are inspired by lots of different music. Kees got into stuff like Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized and Flying Saucer Attack when he was younger, and when we met I heard that stuff for the first time and it really resonated. I personally love bands like the 13th Floor Elevators, Velvet Underground, Warlocks, stuff like that. But we also really dig stuff like JJ Cale, with his stripped back tulsa sound and use of old drum machines. I'm pretty sure we were both conceived to JJ Cale, so we got a good dose of that in the womb.

Are you both originally from Montreal?

Kees is from Moncton NB and I'm from Regina SK. We both lived in Montreal for 10 years and this is where we met.

What is your songwriting style like? Do you have to have a specific location, does that location change with each project?

Everything we've done so far has been recorded in whatever space we happen to be living in, whether a cabin in the prairies, or in Victoria where we live now. Kees usually sketches stuff out with guitars, synths, loops, drum samples, and organ in our living room. We end up with all these skeletons of songs that we listen to and decide which ones are exciting. Then we'll add layers, textures, leads, lyrics. On our first album Only Friend it's a mix of this style of writing and some "song songs" that began more traditionally on an acoustic guitar. On our upcoming record Tidal Wave it's pretty much all songs stemming from experiments like this, which feels like the best way to write right now.

You have a limited edition blue vinyl for Only Friend, who did you print with and what was the collaboration like?

We printed them with Pirate Press in San Francisco. They do a good job and it's direct metal mastering which is apparently more enviro friendly. Our friends at Storyboard Label in Vancouver helped us release it.

Listen to Only Friend below

For live shows, you create the projections. What are your visions behind your projections?

I'm an artist and animator, and I make all our videos and projections for our live sets. We are just as interested in giving people something cool to look at as something cool to listen to. We want the audience to space out and have it be an all encompassing experience. For this tour we have two projectors, one which is big moving textures that cover the whole stage, and another smaller one projected into a bass drum head. If you see us live come up close to the stage so you can watch that one, it's cool

You're headed to the Montreal Psych Fest September 12, what are you most looking forward to?

We played La Vitrola for the first time this August and it's a great room. We are excited to see what's going on in the psych scene in Montreal since we left, because there wasn't much of one four years ago when we lived here. We're really happy to see people trying to get things going and bringing all these great bands together.

How has your tour been so far? Where was your favorite/least favorite place?

The tour has been great. We got to play with Crocodiles in Calgary which was fun, and the highlight was definitely Golden West Music Fest on this farm near Edmonton. There are so many rad bands coming out of that part of Canada right now (Betrayers, The Lad Mags, Powder Blue, Tee Tahs). The stage was built on this huge squished car, there was a giant grasshopper made of wood that was lit on fire, and many mushrooms were eaten...

You've performed with Moon Duo and Sleepy Sun - how was that experience?

Playing with Moon Duo was great, Ripley really inspired me to play louder, and Sinea's projections are kick ass. We geeked out about projectors and stuff after the show.

What do you hope for the future of The Backhomes?

We are really excited about our next album, and we hope we can get it out to larger audiences as well as release a second edition of Only Friend as we're almost out of our first run of vinyl.

How will your next album coming out in 2015 be different from your previous work?

More sonic, more driving... We're playing a lot of new songs already so come and hear for yourselves!

What's the hardest thing about making music as The Backhomes?

Nothing is hard when you're as privileged as we are in these times and places - Sound in the Static


  • ONLY FRIEND (MAY 2013)
  • TIDALWAVE (MAY 2015)



The Backhomes are a two-piece DIY band formed in Montréal, 2009 by musician Kees Dekker and visual artist/animator Aimée van Drimmelen.

In 2010 the duo pulled up roots to move west, settling first in a cabin on the prairies for a long cold winter of writing and recording. The next spring they moved to a small house in Victoria BC, completing debut release ONLY FRIEND (2013), EP TALK B/W BACKWARDS SUNSHINE(2014), and latest offering TIDALWAVE (2015) entirely in their living room.

Their music ranges from hypnotic psychedelic pop pioneered by The Jesus and Mary Chain and Spiritualized to the minimal pulse and tonal bliss of 70’s German Kosmische Musik. Live shows feature mesmerizing animated projections created by van Drimmelen.

The Backhomes have toured Europe and North America, sharing the stage with such bands as Black Mountain, Dead Meadow, Suuns and Moon Duo. They are currently working on their third full length album due out in summer 2017.


“The Backhomes, with their futuristic sounds, are alerting us to the fact that the future is unknown, something that we innately fear. Whether it will turn out to be as ghastly as our worst nightmares or as heavenly as our sweetest dreams may come down to the subtle difference in how we perceive it.” (RIDE THE TEMPO)

“The Backhomes’ Tidalwave is a psych-pop masterpiece”


“A radiant, dew-dappled tape deck chef d’oeuvre.” (DOTS AND DASHES)

“Channelling the effortless psych-jam vibes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the song snakes slippery organ drones, reverberating voice-of-god whispers and a little guitar damage into its four-minute runtime. As you’re letting those sounds sink in your ears, relax your mind and let those morphing Lite-Brite tapestries elevate you to another plain of consciousness.” (EXCLAIM)

“Two amazing flushed out dreamy tracks that recall some of the best Brian Eno tracks with an apparent krautrock influence.”  (IT’S PSYCHEDELIC BABY)


“[Only Friend] engulfs you in a cathartic soundscape akin to stepping out of a dark winter cave into the first sunny days of pure blue sky. When the needle catches the groove, the heat waves begin.” (WEIRD CANADA)

“If you’re only going to have one companion this summer you might as well make it good. Only Friend, the new full-length from Victoria’s The Backhomes, is a well-blended mixture of some of music’s greatest eras. It boasts a full psychedelic sound, killer guitar hooks and vocals that remind you of a more relaxed and experimental time in music.”

“The first aspect of this album […] is it’s intense (and awesome) drugginess. Narcotic (without being narcoleptic) and dreamy. A beauty, a gem and a rare treasure of an album.” (THE BIG TAKEOVER)

Band Members