Canadian indie alt. pop/rock project Century Surfers — including 10-year multi-band scene staple Roddy Colmer and popular news anchor-turned-music man Jamie Gutfreund — are out with their debut single, “The Storm” — and promptly reached the Top 50 alternative chart on iTunes Canada.
To set the scene, Colmer’s the lead vocalist while Gutfreund is on guitar. The former is known for a decade-plus of dominating the scene as lead singer/songwriter of local rock/reggae outfit Rebel Emergency before unleashing two albums with electro-rockers Most Non Heinous. Most recently, he’s run with a solo pursuit; his most recent release Afterglow landed at #2 on the Canadian singer/songwriter charts.
For his part, Gutfreund is a name and face recognizable to the Toronto-area’s early risers through his work as co-host/anchor of the top rated CP24 Breakfast Weekend show, and as remote host for the city’s #1 breakfast news program, and among the resident anchors and reporters on CP24’s breaking news team. Suit and tie begone, however, he’s easily found on guitar moonlighting for various bands city wide.
Having become fast friends through a shared affection for all things 90s rock, the duo first came together with Colmer’s solo album, Afterglow, in mind. “We were thinking he’d support it with guitar, but it quickly spiralled into a completely different direction…” Colmer recalls. “We love Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden… It was natural to start writing songs together.
“We wanted to revisit these sounds, but with a modern approach using the latest production techniques.”
The result is a forthcoming debut EP, set for release in Summer 2020, and the album’s premiere single, “The Storm” — available now. While they all grew from the same soil, this track in particular can trace its roots back to the state of Tennessee.
“The makings of ‘The Storm’ specifically started after Jamie made a trip to Nashville for his first time in the summer of 2018,” Colmer says. “He came home loaded with inspiration and immediately started to write.”
“I picked up my acoustic guitar, dropped the tuning to an open D chord, and started to play,” Gutfreund adds.
“When he first played me the guitar part, it sounded like a storm to me,” Colmer continues. “The verse felt like it was building in intensity, like a wave. Then it reached a crescendo and came crashing down into a chorus.
“I wanted to capture that same feeling with the lyrics and melody.”
“There was something about Roddy’s darker, haunting melody that immediately drew me into the verse,” Gutfreund recaps. “But when I heard him open up during the chorus, I knew this song had strong potential.”
Produced by Dusty Chesterfield — noted veteran of the craft, and current bass player for multi-platinum prog-rockers Saga — the track pointedly lands reminiscent of “peak Stone Temple Pilots,” they say.
“We definitely wear our 90s grunge influences on our sleeves here.”
“The Storm” is available now.