The Tourist Company
Gig Seeker Pro

The Tourist Company

Vancouver, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF | AFM

Vancouver, Canada | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Alternative Rock




"The Gastown Sessions: The Tourist Company"

Producer: Mark Yuen – Follow me on Twitter @yeshe

The Gastown Sessions is a Vancouver Sun music project. We invite bands to play in locations across Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood, Gastown. (follow @gastownsessions on Twitter for upcoming sessions).

Artist: The Tourist Company

Song: Irrepressible Future

Location: LightForm – Gastown, Vancouver

Upcoming shows: - The Vancouver Sun

"Vancouver alt-folk foursome The Tourist Company debuts single ‘Shouldn’t Believe’ with a cosmic flare"

VANCOUVER — The Tourist Company was once a group of acoustic guitar toting woodsmen and women, who first met singing around a fire at summer camp.

Songs sung ‘round a campfire usually conjure memories of such familiar masterpieces as “Funky Chicken” or “Found a Peanut”, hardly reminiscent of the sophisticated pop approach to folk tunes the Tourist Company takes on in their music today.

From harmonizing over s’mores to placing as one of the top three in the 2014 Peak Performance Project, this ambitious quartet is going places, and booking express tickets to get there.

Today the Tourist Company releases the lyric video for “Shouldn’t Believe,” the lead single off their forthcoming album set to be released in 2016. Launching off the theme of their last musical offering, a four-song EP called Space Race, the video features computer-generated constellations mixed with vintage footage from the stars. Though the aesthetic vibe they’re going for may still be interplanetary, the music itself drifts away from their previous material as the band experiments with their sound.

This single is heavy on the alt-pop, it’s clean yet broody, more like the kind of song you would sing when everybody else has gone back to their cabins, and the rain has put out your campfire.

This thoughtful preview gives us a juicy taste of the new spaces the Tourist Company is setting out to explore with their music in the coming year. You shouldn’t believe everything you read on the Internet, so take it with a grain of salt when we tell you this song is the perfect thing to listen to as you come down from your summer high and turn to face the reality of another winter. You don’t need to give into another year of lost resolutions and Seasonal Affective Disorder, let this tune help you tell the coming year who’s boss. - Beatroute

"The Tourist Company "Shouldn't Believe" (video)"

Vancouver-based indie pop unit the Tourist Company are readying a new record, but before the full details are revealed, the band are sharing the new video for "Shouldn't Believe," and Exclaim! has got the exclusive premiere.

The sparkly synth-pop jam is paired with images of the group members flecked with dancing lights, as projections of television footage and kaleidoscopic effects add some extra visual interest.

The band had this to say about the new video:

We wanted this video to reflect the internal monologue of the song; to capture the hope of the 1960's Space Race that clashed with an increasing disbelief in an impossibly idealistic future. The song is about waking from a dream-like fog and the visuals are meant to emulate that twilight zone feel. We're really happy with how it turned out.

The Tourist Company will be opening for Dear Rouge at their upcoming Vancouver show at the Commodore on November 20. Until then, enjoy the brand new clip for "Shouldn't Believe" in the player below. - Exclaim!

"6 Early Standouts from Searchlight 2016"

There's only a few hours left to submit your entry for Searchlight 2016. We've been getting so many great entries we thought it necessary to share some from across the country. In the video above, take a look at six early standouts from this year's competition, including Eh440, Isabelle Young, Scott Mackay, North of Here, Renee Landry and the Tourist Company. - CBC

"The Tourist Company"

The original trio of Swindells, Levey, and Parry started playing music together in 2010 after meeting at a camp ministry and released their debut album, Brother, Wake Up, in May of 2013. Following the addition of Quezada last fall, the band decided to take a more lengthy approach with the Space Race EP—released on May 6. “A lot more time and attention went into how we got the sounds for each song,” says Parry. Levey nods in agreement, adding that there are “a lot of layers to [the album]—a lot of intricacies.” - Discorder

"PEAK Performance Project finalists The Tourist Company get busy"

VANCOUVER — After coming in third in the 2014 PEAK Performance Project, headlining the Harmony Arts Festival last summer and now embarking on a Canadian tour that kicks off on March 27 at Fortune Sound Club, things are at an all-time high for Vancouver progressive pop rock darlings the Tourist Company. Melding folk, rock and roots into pop-influenced melodies, the four-piece is in prime position to become Canada’s next big thing in music. Not bad for a band that met at a Sunshine Coast summer camp in 2010. - BeatRoute Magazine

"An Interview – The Tourist Company"

The Tourist Company Comes From?

Before starting my interview with Brenon Parry (drums/percussion for The Tourist Company), I had assumed that the bandmates were all from Vancouver. Despite this feeling, I was still compelled to ask the question if only to put a checkmark beside that box on my sheet. Turns out, I was wrong! To my surprise, none of the four members of The Tourist Company actually originated in Vancouver. They had all migrated to Vancouver for various reasons and had met at a summer camp, Keats Camp, on the Sunshine Coast.

Brenon came from Southern Arizona, Jill from South Africa, Josue was born in Guatemala but he had spent many years in Oregon before moving to Abbotsford, and then there was Taylor. Good old Taylor came from the Centre of the Universe, or close to it, Ontario. It was Taylor that brought them together.

Taylor, our lead songwriter, singer and guitarist had been writing a bunch of his own original music. In February of 2013 he wrote to myself and Jill, our female vocalist and keyboardist, to help him with his solo work at a studio. While recording it all, he decided he didn’t want to release it as a solo singer/songwriter project, so we decided to form a band of it! ~ Brenon

The Tourist Company is currently heading out on an eastern tour in effort to open up some new markets, meet some new people, and play at some “really cool venues” but they will be back in Vancouver on March 27th to play at Fortune Sound Club.

We are really excited about playing some new music, some stuff that people haven’t heard before, that we will be testing the waters with. It will be exiting to come back to Vancouver ~Brenon

An interview with the band would not be complete without talking about their third place win in the Peak Performance Project, 2014. Being at the finale, I had been impressed with their performance, but it was their expressions when their third place standing was announced that impressed me most. It was so easy to see the appreciation the band had for the PPP when the results were announced; they had worked their asses off and, at the very least, deserved the $50,000 reward that came with third place.

Brenon explained that a lot of the knowledge they took from the Peak Performance Project came from small talks with industry professionals. He explained the importance of learning about bookings, managing your finances, promoting yourself, and marketing. The number one thing that they learned from the experience: That we really need to treat this like a business.

The same excitement I could see in the band when their third place win was announced, I could also hear in Brenon’s voice. With some people you may hear a bit of resentment for not coming in first or second but Brenon’s voice was full of true appreciation for what the PPP had done for him, the band, and for all the many other bands. He proceeded to commend Good For Grapes for all their hard work and stated that they had “worked their asses off”.

So, what is that vision for the band? Well, it would seem that they are moving further away from that Vancouver Folk sound that they had started out with. Although there are appreciative sentiments for folk, they have found that with each new song they write the sound evolves and changes more and more. You can hear this parting from folk in their Space Race EP and you are bound to hear it on their next full length album after they step into the studio in around April of this year.

Their sound is super fun and poppy, and although I know that many people would shake their head at my comparison, I can feel some tones of the best of Belle and Sebastian in some of their music.

Thanks again to Brenon for taking the time to chat with us. There are a couple of questions that we are starting to ask each band:

“what was the first concert you attended” and although Brenon tried to explain his answer, the answer was still P.O.D. and Story of the Year
“the weirdest reference to your band you have gotten” I loved this answer. In West Vancouver at the Harmony Arts Festival a person had come up and said that they really sounded like Lorde.
Make sure you check them out soon. In Vancouver their openers will be another Peak Performance Project contender, from Alberta, Scenic Route To Alaska as well a as a dearly missed, but apparently back together band, Behind Sapphire. - VIES Magazine

"Making Trails with The Tourist Company"

Most bands entered in this year’s Peak Performance Project are acts that many listeners will already know. Some groups, like Good for Grapes, were just waiting until all of their members were old enough to compete, while folks like David Newberry, a veteran in the local music scene, only recently decided to give the Performance Project a shot. But there is an exception to this rule: the Tourist Company.

After coming out of nowhere last year with their debut album Brother, Wake Up, the four piece band has already done their share of touring, released a second project entitled the Space Race EP, and landed themselves a top 12 spot in this year’s Performance Project. It might seem like magic, but really it’s to be expected. Guided by leader singer Taylor Swindell’s sense of storytelling and melody, Jillian Levey’s gentle keys and backup vocals, Brenon Parry’s hard-hitting drums, and Josué Quezada’s smooth basslines, the group has in just two records created a loose but polished style of experimental folk that carries the kind of ambitious movements and storytelling of Bon Iver with the occasional aggressiveness of last year’s Performance Project winner, Rykka. This is a band that not only has a chance of breaking out in the province, but of winning the Peak Performance Project altogether.

With an upcoming acoustic tour and another album in the works, we decided to catch up with Taylor and Jillian to talk about the Space Race, screenwriting, and the joys of being Vancouver’s newest indie power outfit.

So, what’s going on with the Tourist Company right now?

J: A very busy week! We are one of the top acts in the Peak Performance Project this year, so there’s a list of challenges that they’ve given us and stuff that we have to work on on our own apart from that. It makes for a busy summer.

Congrats on making the top 12! A lot of people know about the project, but not about what it entails. Care to fill us in?

T: It’s basically like one humongous project, almost like being back in school again. They give you different assignments to do over six months that pertain to your career- the idea is that they’re things that you should hopefully be doing already. And then they give reports to fill out, your report is filled out and graded, and that’s your score in the project.

So it’s almost like homework?

J: It is actually, yeah!

T: Kinda like homework. They did give us a book to read and stuff like that, but the homework is definitely a lot more fun than school because it’s all about making music, which of course is awesome.

And you guys had a video shoot for the project just yesterday?

Both: Yes!

J: One of our challenges is to create a short video that introduces who we are as a band. So that was fun.

T: I don’t know when it’s actually being released, but it’s due pretty soon.

J: We spent so many hours feeling just frustrated working on it-

T: We’re not scriptwriters.

J: Exactly, we’re not. We enjoyed the costuming and the shooting of it, but actually writing it was difficult at times.

Any hints as to what the video’s like?

J: Well, we all like a certain director. Named Wes Anderson. I think that’s all I need to say.

What inspired you guys to write a whole EP around the Space Race, and even name it after it?

T: When I was a kid I was fascinated with the Apollo landings and would watch documentaries on them. Obviously I was a really cool kid [laughter]. That fascination stuck in the end and I ended up thinking in January that we should make an EP-

J: A EP.

T: A EP. And I just kinda wound up writing about that. The way people acted and things just happened in that era has always just seemed so incredible. The whole progression of the space race was just so…tumultuous. It’s always fascinated me.

Even in such a short time difference between your album and EP, there’s a huge stylistic difference– Space Race seems much more polished and more rock-oriented. What led to the change in sound?

T: We’re always trying to build on our sound, so we really just wanted to move forward and just, well, get better on the newer record. We always want to get better at what we’re doing. We also had the oppurtunity to work with Jordan Klassen on that record, and he’s just a phenomenal producer. His mind just really suits our music. He has a way of thinking that pushes us out of the box but also totally grabs your attention. He had so many good ideas. Working with him was just a great learning experience.

Taylor, before the band formed you had been writing songs in secret, right?

T: I always write. I just didn’t like people hearing my music back then, because I thought it wasn’t any good [laughter] and I still don’t all the time. I just felt it was finally time to do something with all the music I’d been writing, so I bugged these guys about it and thought “Let’s see what happens.”

Jill, how’d you guys find out that Taylor had been writing?

J: We always knew he was very talented. We all met at a camp, actually, and he was clearly very musical. And after getting to know him for a few years and just jamming, we knew that he wrote– we just had never heard anything. So when he asked if we could record some of his stuff in a studio, we were totally on board. We didn’t know we would ever wind up actually making a band, but hey!

Taylor, were you excited about releasing your own stuff?

T: No, it was absolutely terrifying [laughter]. It’s exciting, but I’m a naturally introverted and quiet person, so that kind of thing was a definite push out of my comfort zone. But it’s a good thing.

Do you still do most of the writing for the band?

T: Well, kinda yeah. I kinda write stuff and then show it to the rest of the band to be picked apart. Or not.

J: Usually we’ll have lots of suggestions, our own pieces to add, things to play with like drums and background vocals, then we’ll get together and see what everyone is thinking. But Taylor definitely creates the core of it. It’s not that Taylor wants all the control, but he creates the story of the song– and we don’t want to change that too much, because it’s usually great. But we may want to rework arrangements or rhythms and things like that.

Back to the Peak Performance Project. What are you most nervous and most excited for moving forward?

T: For me, it’s amazing getting to know the people in the other bands. There’s so much you can learn from them and absorb from such creative people. SEeing how good they are pushes you to be even better– like iron sharpening iron.

J: We met them all for hte first time at Khatsahlano, and they;re all so nice. The community of musicians in Vancouver are all super supportive of each other. I come from a background of dance competition, which isn’t exactly like that. It’s pretty competitive. It’s really cool just to see musicians caring about each other’s music and standing in front and just being very friendly with each other.

You guys experiment with the typical folk and rock formulas quite a bit. What are some of your influences?

J: I like stuff like the Oh Hellos, Aidan Knight……oh now I’m blanking! We’re going to cover a lot of the same bands, anyway.

T: I like a lot of weird stuff. I like Sufjan Stevens a lot, Royal Canoe is a current favourite.

J: We Are the City.

T: We’ve started listening to a lot morel local music ever since we got into this competition. The Belle Game is another one.

J: Oh, the Belle Game!

T: We also listen to Jordan Klassen’s music a lot too. .

J: Repentance is a great road trip CD.

A lot of bands write under really bad names before they find a good one. What’s the worst name you’ve ever performed under?

T: Well, we’ve only ever been the Tourist Company…

What about other bands?

T: Good point.

J: I haven’t actually been in any other bands.

T: Brennan would have some good answers for this.

J: Oh my gosh, Brenon.

T: Brennan was a metal drummer. I don’t know any of his former bandnames, but they’re probably great. Mine are pretty tame.

Shoutout to Brennan. Give me your worst.

T: I think we called ourselves “Patrick, Drive”, which just sounds like a person called Patrick being told to drive. I don’t even know, man.

J: I have a good name on the backburner that I kinda wanna use.

T: I don’t like it.

J: I’m worried someone will steal it, but I think the name Cedar Shakes would be good. Cedar is a solid thing, and then shakes sounds dancier, looser…

T: And of course everyone loves naming their band after building materials.

So, what’s next?

J: Tomorrow, we’ll be playing at the Harmony Arts music festival in West Van. It’s gonna be a really fun outdoor show. After that, Taylor and I are going through a stripped-down acoustic tour of BC and Alberta.

T: We’ve got new music in the works, and are developing a project that should hopefully drop sometime in September. - Lotusland Magazine

"Peak Performance Project Finalist: The Tourist Company"

As an avid concert goer, I am one of many music junkies in Vancouver that are excited to attend the 2014 Peak Performance Project Finale on November 20th at the Commodore Ballroom. (Sorry minors!)

For those of you living under a rock (or if you just don’t listen to local indie music) the Peak Performance Project is an annual contest held by 102.7 The Peak FM radio station. It’s basically like a Battle of the Bands but with local talent from B.C. The winning band or artist gets a whopping $102,700. Second and third place receive $75,000 and $50,000 respectively.

I got in touch with the bands competing in the upcoming Finale to give Link readers a brief look on what show goers can expect to see at the Commodore.

In no particular order, the second band finalist is The Tourist Company

For those who have no idea who you guys are, explain a bit about yourself?

Taylor: We are an experimental folk rock group from North Vancouver, BC. We formed in February of 2013 when Brenon and Jill joined me in the studio to record an album of songs I had been working on in secret for a number of years. When our engineer asked what our band name was, we had to think quickly and came up with The Tourist Company from a long list of ideas that Brenon had written. We love experimenting with time signatures and sounds that are unexpected and interesting. We also love ice cream and puppies and making fun of Jill whenever we get the chance.

What was your immediate reaction when you heard the news?

Jill: I was at work – I work in an orthodontic office as a dental assistant – with the radio on as loud as possible while still being able to talk to patients, and they had already announced the first band of the top 3, so I was on edge. When they said our name I’m pretty sure I yelped, and then all my co-workers started screaming and cheering. The patients were SO confused, haha.

Brenon: I jumped out of my chair, yelled loudly, and ran out the door and down the street with my arms in the air!

Taylor: I was at home cleaning the kitchen trying to distract myself when announcement time came. My wife and I finally sat on our stairs with the radio on and I literally fell over when I heard the words, “from North Vancouver… The Tourist…” I was basically passed out on the ground from relief, but my wife was jumping around like crazy.

Josue: I was on my honeymoon with my beautiful wife Lauren. We could not have had a better setting to hear the good news! So many things to celebrate!

What has been the greatest struggle for you guys as an up-and-coming band in Vancouver?

Taylor: Becoming a name that is recognized is a tall order in our city. There is such a huge music scene in Vancouver, which is awesome, but that means it’s also difficult to distinguish yourself amongst all the other amazing bands.

Up until now, what has been the bands greatest accomplishment?

Jill: This! Placing in the Top 3 of the PEAK Performance Project, for sure.

What has been your favourite band moment?

Jill: Mine was probably the moment that we found out we were in the Top 12 selected for the PEAK Performance Project this year. That was so unexpected and such an amazing adrenaline rush! We were at the Fortune Sound Club at the big announcement, and they announced us first, so we weren’t ready at all! We were prepared for a nail-biting couple of hours of waiting with baited breath, and possible disappointment.

Taylor: I think I’d have to agree with Jill… Although it’s pretty tough to beat the Top 3 Announcement!

Brenon: The moment we finished our PEAK Performance Project Showcase at the Fortune Soundclub. We all went side-stage, looked at each other, and hugged. I think we knew we had pulled off a great show and it felt really good.

Josue: Chilling and chatting over lunch at a band meeting the day after we submitted our PEAK Final Report.

Did you expect to make it this far? Why or why not?

Jill: Certainly not this quickly!

Taylor: We didn’t really expect to make it in to this year’s PEAK Performance Project, let alone the Top 3. Our band has only been functioning since September 2013, so we definitely felt a little overwhelmed by the strength of the competition. There were so many quality bands in the Top 12, and we thought our inexperience would factor against us. We set out to learn as much a possible throughout the project and improved as much as we could. It’s still hard to believe we’re here!

What do you plan to do with the money?

Taylor: We need to get out on the road and tour a lot more this year, so a lot of our money will go towards traveling. We’re also planning on using some of the money to finish the new record we’re working on.

If you guys weren’t in the top 3, which other bands do you think deserve a top spot?

Taylor: Everyone! All the bands are so talented, creative, and hard-working.

Brenon: I agree with Taylor. Altered By Mom, David Newberry, Shred Kelly, Wild Romantics, Jodie Pederson, Damn Fools, Miss Quincy and the Showdown, Jon Bryant, Goodwood Atoms are all fantastic bands.

What can The Tourist Company fans expect to see in the future?

Taylor: Placing in the Top 3 has given us the ability to finish the album we’ve started working on, so we’ll hopefully be releasing a full-length record next year! We’re incredibly grateful to all our fans who have supported us throughout this crazy year. Expect to hear bizarre touring stories, and see lots of meticulously photographed Instagrams by Jill.

Final thoughts? On anything… the contest, the band, tips, advice, life, whatever?

Jill: Appreciate the little things, celebrate the small victories, and listen to music.

Taylor: Forgive Jill for her corniness… And a huge thanks to everyone at The PEAK 102.7 and MusicBC for an incredible experience.

Good luck to The Tourist Company! Check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep updated on the band’s status. I’ll be attending the Finale on Nov. 20 to give a recap of what went down, but those interested in checking out the music for themselves, tickets to the event are currently available online. - Link Magazine


The Tourist Company
Genre: Experimental Folk-Rock
Hometown: Vancouver

How did you become a band? Where did the band name originate from?

(Jill) Taylor, Brenon and I met in the summer of 2010 while working at a summer camp on Keats island. We began playing together sporadically throughout the year, and met Josué in the spring of 2013 just after we recorded Brother, Wake Up. Josué also ended up working at the same camp that summer actually!

The band formed near the end of our time in the studio, while we thought we were helping Taylor record his solo project. He had other ideas though, haha. Brenon came up with a very long list of band name ideas and we chose one that felt right. We liked its feeling of transience and the idea of being always moving, whether that be movement in music, style, or geographical location.
Where do you guys draw your influences for your music?

(Taylor) Our inspiration is pretty eclectic. Sufjan Stevens, Patrick Watson, The National, and Sigur Ros have all had a profound impact on my sonic palette, but all four of us have had different tastes in music which makes our collaboration interesting and diverse.

What sets you apart from all the other bands out there?

(Taylor) We like animals a lot. Dogs and cats mostly, the occasional red panda or kid goat. But musically, we like to keep our sound interesting and varied, with different time signatures and rythms. Mostly because I get bored easily and like to create new things.
What are the bands future plans?

(Josue) We’re moving to Cuba to start a new musical journey. The Latin/Caribbean genre has been a big inspiration to 3/4 of the band and we decided to invest in that and just dive in. We have a couple contacts over there, Carlos and Marcielle, but if anyone knows any rad music peeps across the water, let us know yo! We kid, but actually, we just want to keep playing music and honing our sound.

What was your favorite cartoon growing up?

(Josue) G.I. Joe

(Taylor) Growing up? I still watch cartoons.

(Jill) Recess.

(Brenon) Ren & Stimpy

Favorite pizza topping?

(Brenon) Pinapple.

(Jill) BBQ chicken.

(Taylor) Roasted red peppers.

(Josue) Pepperoni. I’m a purist.

If you could have one superpower what would it be?

(Jill) Oh that’s a tough one. Teleportation. What a time-saver.

(Taylor) Telekinetics, because then I’d be a Jedi.

(Josue) If I was a superhero, I would be Entrepreneurial Man.

(Brenon) Flying. For sure.

What is the first album you ever bought?

(Josue) Trenchtown Rock by Bob Marley

(Jill) I have a terrible memory for these things, but it was probably either Mariah Carey Butterfly or Savage Garden. Or Spice Girls.

(Taylor) Stereogram Schmack!

(Brenon) Fundamental Elements of Southtown by POD

Anything else you’d like to say?

(Taylor) We’re actually really excited about a new project we released in September called Music For Meals. Union Gospel Mission is an organization that is dedicated to helping those in need in our home town of Vancouver and we’ve partnered with them to help raise money for their meal programs. “Atlantic” is the name of the acoustic album we recorded for this purpose and we’ve priced the album at the exact value of a meal served by Union Gospel Mission. Each album sold buys a meal for some who needs it. - Pup Fresh

"The Tourist Company"

Vancouver, BC

July 16, 2014

Having recently been accepted into the 2014 Peak Performance Project, and about to embark on their second tour, things sure are heating up for Vancouver band - The Tourist Company. We chatted with them about their strategy entering PEAK, their musical influences, and funny tour stories!



G: How did The Tourist Company get started?

TC: Our band was born in the studio. Taylor had been writing songs on his own for years; he finally had the time and money to record some of it in February 2013 so he asked Brenon and Jill to help him out with the sessions. Sometime during the recording sessions our engineer asked the obvious (yet somehow unthought-of) question, “What are you guys going to do with this music?” That’s when we decided to make a band of it.

Brenon went on a name-listing rampage and came up with a list of umpteen ideas; we eventually settled on The Tourist Company because of its feeling of transience of never staying put. We have ambitions to travel more and we like the idea of avoiding prolonged contentment in any given situation and moving forward. After finishing our first record we took a short break over the summer before playing our first show in September that year and we’ve been writing, creating, and playing shows ever since.

G: What was your first tour like, and how do you think this next one will be different? What are you looking forward to the most?

TC: Traveling through Western Canada in November is always risky, but our first foray into the world of touring was an incredible experience. We played for some awesome people, and made great friends. The day after our first show in Calgary we had to make it back to Kelowna through a blizzard (which was an extremely unwelcome surprise), so we had to leave at the crack of dawn… Let’s just say that Jill doesn’t function well when she’s running low on sleep. We made it to Revelstoke and stopped at a Denny’s for brunch and she was more than a little loopy. She ordered nachos and a few bites into the meal began to realized that they were spicy. "Normal Jill" can handle spice logically. "Sleep-deprived Jill" has a little more difficulty. Her first instinct was pretty good; she downed all of her water in a hurry, but the relentless burning of the jalapenos persisted. Our manager, Alex, informed her that dairy helps to nullify the spice of the jalapeños, and next thing we know we look over and she has taken the sour cream (intended for her nachos) and smeared it all over her lips.

Our summer tour will look different mostly because only Jill and Taylor are making the trip. Playing as a duo places more emphasis on the songwriting and creates a different dynamic, but we’re really looking forward to carrying the same energy into this tour that we do to all our shows.

G: How do you think your sound might evolve over time? Has it already changed from your first album to your EP?

TC: That’s kind of a hard thing to predict! We definitely want our sound to be constantly expanding. Our goal with each song we write is to build off of what we are already doing and go somewhere unexpected and fresh. The sounds and tones of our first record paved the way for the Space Race EP, and everything we learned making that record will definitely influence our future works.
Photo credit Shaun Huberts
Photo credit Shaun Huberts

G: Lets talk about the Peak Performance Project! What is your strategy going into this competition? (Congratulations!)

TC: Thanks! We’re really blown away by the opportunity to be part of the project. Ever since the announcement we’ve been brainstorming and planning what the next few months will look like for us with the PEAK and there will definitely be a few exciting announcements in our near future. We really just want to keep doing what we’re doing; work hard at our live show, make the most of all the playing opportunities we have and keep working on expanding and growing our sound.

G: What are some things you'd like to improve upon as a band through this experience?

TC: We’re still pretty new to the music scene, so we’re really looking forward to learning more about the business side of the industry. Any time a band gets the chance to have what they do critiqued by industry professionals is a huge gift, so we really want to make the most of that. Our live show is probably what we’d like to see refined the most through this process, so we can give our friends and fans the best show possible when they make the effort to come see us play.

G: What are you looking forward to the most about the competition?

TC: There are so many incredible bands in the PEAK this year both in BC and Alberta, so Bootcamp is definitely going to be a highlight of the project for us. We’re really looking forward to meeting the other groups, and getting to know them over the course of the week. The songwriting part is also going to be a blast, so we’re pretty excited about that too.

G: Who are your main musical influences?

TC: Difficult question! Our main influences are really varied considering our musical pasts. Lately our inspiration playlists are made up of We Are The City, Jordan Klassen, Patrick Watson, Royal Canoe, Arcade Fire, Half-moon Run, Aidan Knight, Sufjan Stevens, Lord Huron and The National. Brenon’s metal background mixes with Taylor and Jill’s alternative folk-pop tendencies to create the odd blend of genres our music is currently.

G: How do you feel about the local music scene in Vancouver?

TC: Vancouver is home to so many incredible musicians and artists. There are so many talented people in our city! Unreal. The CBC Searchlight competition was an eye-opener for us. As the rounds went on everyone was so supportive and encouraging. With so much great talent around, it really pushes us to keep getting better at our craft. We’re happy to call this place home.

G: When you listen to a song, what part stands out the most to you?

TC: On the first listen melodies and instrumentation definitely stand out the most. Taylor is a nerd for weird time signatures so he gets really excited and starts tapping along any time he hears something interesting in a song we’re listening to. Lyrics aren’t ignored, but unless they’re something really crazy they aren’t the first thing noticed by most of us. We do enjoy the subtleties of a well-written song very much though.

G: What is the message you want audience to get out of your music?

TC: Our music is written to be catchy and uplifting; basically we want people who hear us to have a tune stuck in their heads and a dance in their step. Our lyrics tell stories of hope (some historical, some not) that are about the normal wear and tear of human existence.

G: What can people expect from the Tourist Company at a live show?

TC: A whole boatload of energy! We have a blast playing together, and we hope that is obvious when we play. Expect a lot of dancing on stage, dynamic and diverse songs, and a whole spectrum of emotions throughout the show. Also expect to see Brenon twirl his drumsticks like a ninja, and Taylor march his way to some unexplainable destination.

G: What has been the biggest challenge you've faced as a band?

TC: The greatest challenge we’re currently facing is strictly geographical. Jill and Taylor live in the same city, but organizing schedules with Brenon living up on the coast for his job and Josue living in Abbotsford is more than a little difficult. We’re looking forward to the fall when things return to a more normal state!

G: Thank you for chatting with us! - Geyser Music

"Peak Performance Project Top 3"

Tonight at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, 102.7 The PEAK and Music BC announced the rankings of the top 3 artists in the 2014 PEAK Performance Project!
1st place – 102.7 Thousand Dollars
2nd place – $75,000
3rd place – $50,000
THE TOURIST COMPANY - Peak Performance Project

"Searchlight Regional Champion" - CBC

"Searchlight Top 3 in BC" - CBC

"Artist of the Week"

Progressive Folk is a movement modernizing the banjo and violin based genre that has been a southern staple for hundreds of years. Some may say that modernizing it has taken the edge off of it, and this may be true. However, you will see that Progressive Folk has it’s many, many redeeming qualities.

The Tourist Company is one of those redeeming qualities. Their simple, storytelling songwriting style mixed with their raw instrumental talent really caught my ear not to long ago. In the rising world of progressive folk, this trio is on the forefront, carving out their own little niche. They have a stunning female/male vocal mix almost void of twang or accent, (reminiscent of another Vancouver band, Hey Ocean!) with a talented percussionist who really knows just how to open a song and bring it right to your heart, and of course they have the wonderful, traditional banjo riffs. They mix the old tried and true folk with pop and rock, not only with their vocals and instrumentals, but also with they way they write their songs. Their lyrics are hybrids of the traditional storytelling folk, which had rigid lines and repeating phrases throughout, and the more loose, more expressionistic structure of pop and rock music common in the last ten years. - Indie Trendsetters

"The Tourist Company set to play at Harmony Arts Festival"

Things couldn't have gone much better for the members of new band The Tourist Company, launched just over a year ago.

Forming in spring 2013, the band, comprised of North Shore residents Taylor Swindells, Jillian Levey and Brenon Parry, along with Abbotsford's Josué Quezada, has since released its debut album and an EP, and gone on their first tour. Other accolades include their being voted regional champion for Vancouver in CBC Music's Searchlight competition, and the most recent feather in their cap, they were named one of 12 bands in this year's The Peak Performance Project.

"We're just grateful for the opportunities that have come up. We couldn't have really anticipated the year going as it has. We're just really thankful to be where we are and excited to see what comes out of all of this too," says Swindells, a vocalist, guitarist and trumpet player with the band. The North Vancouver resident is further grateful for the support of his bandmates and from community members, important contributors to their continued success.

While music has always been a part of Swindells' life, as well as songwriting, it wasn't until January 2013 when he showed some of his songs to his future bandmates that things began to take off. Agreeing to help him record some tracks in the studio, they came to see their potential.

"As that process went along we realized, 'Hey, we should do something with this,' and we figured we should make a band of it," says Swindells.

The Tourist Company released its debut album Brother, Wake Up in spring 2013 and followed it up with Space Race, an EP, in May. Space Race was produced by singer-songwriter Jordan Klassen, thanks to an introduction by the band's friend and manager Alex Wyder.

"(Klassen has) been really great and really taught us a lot. He's just a brilliant mind musically and so it's been good to work with him," says Swindells. Klassen's influence is evident on the new EP, as well as that of fellow contributor Dan Klenner, a former member of Hey Ocean!

"Both of them really just helped us to start thinking outside of our genre a little bit and pushing our sounds and being a little more creative and really added to our thought process with recording and coming up with new lines and hooks in songs. Just working around them and seeing how they do things and what they brought to the table just matured our thought process a lot. We always want to be learning and growing, we never want to be stuck in one place musically. We're always looking to grow and expand and figure out new ways to try and get better at what we're doing," says Swindells.

The resulting Space Race has a more full and bigger sound than their debut, which they mainly produced themselves.

The Tourist Company's live shows are known for being upbeat and energetic.

"I think people go to a live show to enjoy them and to have fun. In our live show, we have a lot of fun creating what we do. We want to invite people into that as well. We hope that they're tapping along and bopping along with the songs that are more upbeat," says Swindells, adding they also write songs that are "not so dancey." "We try to incorporate all aspects of that into our set and so it's not like there's one thing happening all the time so it's really dynamic and flowing, and all the spectrums of what music can be," he says. The band has a busy tour schedule ahead of them this summer, including a hometown show at West Vancouver's Harmony Arts Festival, part of the Sunset Concert Series, Saturday, Aug. 2 at John Lawson Park. The festival is offering a host of music, art and food events along the West Vancouver waterfront from Aug. 1 to 10.

The Tourist Company will maintain a packed schedule into the fall due to their involvement in The Peak Performance Project. In B.C., the project is administered by Music B.C. Industry Association and is intended to help educate, promote, develop and launch the careers of promising talent.

"We're really excited. It's an honour to be included. The top 12 bands, this year, well every year, they're phenomenal. So to be considered among them, we're really humbled by that. The Peak is an opportunity to refine and get better at everything that we do. It's pretty rare that you have a panel of industry experts looking at what you're doing and critiquing it," says Swindells.

"It's going to be a big learning experience and a chance to get to the next level for us as a band with our sound and with how we're just operating and functioning as a band as well," he adds. - North Shore News


Another video in the Keys To The Streets video series created by Big Smoke – this one shows off The Tourist Company, performing their song “Irrepressible Future” on the public piano from CityStudio in the downtown financial district! Check it out: - Vancouver Is Awesome

"Show Review- The Tourist Company"

Travelling all the way from Vancouver, experimental pop rock group The Tourist Company arrived in Toronto to play a stellar show full of original tunes and good times as part of their fall tour with Van Damsel.

The Tourist Company formed in 2013, and have quickly cultivated their sound into their own mature and modern take on indie pop rock, which has gained recognition from all over the country. For a band that has only been at it for such a short amount of time, the professionalism of their sound and live shows along with the creative mix of different elements in their music are impressive features that set them apart from the rest. Their show at The Cave was no different.

As a group, they are all skilled performers who know how to work together and were frequently changing instruments and vocal lines, displaying the individual talent between members. Not only did they have wonderful stage presence, it was also clear that they put in as much effort into their songwriting as their performance; knowing exactly when to mix it up by adding lots of layers and when to take it all way to let the simplicity and rawness of the music really sink in.

They opened the night with an intricate, progressive piece titled All You on the Good Earth that really takes its time with the build to create the most impact. It is only within the first few moments of the song that many different layers are introduced: the distorted chords and detached notes soon take on a softer quality as the drums build up to the verse which takes it all down a notch, leaving just enough room for the song to subtly grow. The music then features a short burst of harsher drums and dissonant chords that capture attention before stripping it all away in the second verse. Halfway through the song a slow progression builds with some tight harmonies and tempo changes that develop into the peak of the music. Taking it down one last time, the song ends with beautiful acappella harmonies.

As an opener, All You on the Good Earth was the perfect song to introduce a crowd to The Tourist Company because it perfectly demonstrates the intricacy and thoughtfulness that the band puts into their music. Some of my other favourite songs from the night included Shouldn’t Believe and One Giant Leap. I think what’s best about these songs are that they are vastly different and show the true versatility and musical evolution of the group. Shouldn’t Believe is along the same lines as All You on the Good Earth but features a catchier chorus that urges the listener to get up and dance amongst mystifying verses and background instrumentals. One Giant Leap is in the completely opposite direction, taking on an optimistic folk-rock quality, upbeat rhythms, and lots of fun ooh-ooh-ooh’s.

Be sure to keep an eye out on The Tourist Company, as they will be releasing an epic new album in 2016! - Canadian Beats



The Tourist Company has outright rejected the idea of being confined to the limits of one genre or sound. Chalk it up to living in Vancouver that this eclectic group feel far from settled. The group has toured multiple times across Canada, sharing the stage with several of Canada’s elite rock and alternative groups including We Are The City, Dear Rouge, and Fast Romantics, and garnered extensive radio airplay. “We truly feel as though we have had a wild first chapter as a band and are ready for the next musical mission”, said lead singer and songwriter Taylor Swindells.

Their next offering to the world? Apollo, the group’s long awaited debut LP.

In itself, the word Apollo can conjure up many images, the most obvious being the US space missions of the 1960’s and 70’s, which ultimately put man on the moon. In Greek and Roman mythology, Apollo was known as the god of music and poetry as well as one of healing and truth. The themes of idealism, skepticism, venturing into the unknown, and a longing for home, all bleed into The Tourist Company’s new music. 

Opening the record is the achingly beautiful string and harp intro of “1957” leading into “Sputnik”, where The Tourist Company waste no time in making a musical impression by adding everything from bright piano plunks to tambourines, bass synths and trumpets, yet never once sounding lost in their musical landscape. The tune carries an urgency and directness, much like a spacecraft tearing away from Earth’s gravity towards a singular goal. This group isn’t shying away from the dramatic either, as evidenced by “Astronaut”, which features a heavy drop into pulsing bass and distorted Rhodes halfway through the track. As experimental as these approaches may be, elements of pop can be found scattered throughout, in songs such as “Sidelines” and title track “Apollo”. In the reflective piece “Mercury II”, keyboardist Jillian Levey carries the tune with a haunting, dream-like effortlessness, starkly contrasting lyrics like “hold your head above the water”. Those who are privy to the US space missions will know that the album closing song title is pulled from the last words spoken in the televised Apollo 8 mission broadcast.

This group has built their sound and identity around the concept that outer space is more than a vast, dark space. To the band, "outer space encompasses our ideas and questions about humanity, and one’s own journey and struggles." 

Band Members