Mother Sun is a band full of artists trying to make music they would listen to.
“We’re just four massive music fans that also want to make music,” said Jared Doherty, who plays guitar and sings for the foursome of local mid-20s musicians.
Mother Sun plays psychedelia-influenced pop and rock with folk and jazz elements. They want their sound to be familiar — influenced by music from the ‘60s and ‘70s — without merely copying what past artists have done.
“We want to make it interesting to listen to — to make it familiar, but not, where you can’t put your finger on it,” Doherty said.
He and the the rest of the band, Emilio Pagnotta (guitar and vocals), Alex Ward (organ and keys) and Jared Wilman (drums and vocals), have been dashing away to Vancouver to record every chance they get, working on their debut album.
Two songs have already been released, Flower and One Eye.
The album doesn’t have an official release date, but Doherty said the band is planning to put out a 10-song album in the summer.
Doherty and his bandmates got together in late 2017 and began recording shortly after.
The four were familiar with each other, having already met or played in other bands of the “small world” Kamloops music scene.
For example, he and Wilman, who also plays in Echo Beach and At Mission Dolores, have played together for more than five years and went to the same high school.
While Mother Sun is one of many bands growing in the city under JP Lancaster’s label Factotum CO, Doherty said the band will likely have to travel to see success.
“Our inclination has been more to hit the road, but I think the scene here can always grow,” he said.
“If you’re touring in, say, Europe, it’s such a condensed area and you can travel to so many places. Whereas here, you might have to drive to Edmonton — and you might want to play a couple of nights there to make sure you have gas money.”
And recording has travel needs, too. The band has been working with Felix Fung at Little Red Sounds studio in Vancouver.
Doherty said there are pros and cons to recording in Vancouver — a pro being working with Fung as a producer, who Doherty said pushes the band for its best performance
“We did 25 takes of one song there, and on our own, I don’t know if we’d be that honest with ourselves,” he said.
But the comforts of home help.
Doherty said that without the limits of studio time — the band is typically there for two days — it’s a lot more comfortable and it pays off to take time to do things and experiment at home.
In the band’s immediate future is a Thursday show at the Blue Grotto, where they’ll be supporting Small Town Artillery and Year of the Wolf. Tickets are $8 in advance, online at factotumco.ca/store, or $10 at the door. Bands hit the stage at 8 p.m.
And in the long-term, the band is planning a U.S. tour for the fall after its album is released.
With all that lined up and the pieces coming together, Doherty said he’s excited for the year to come and plans to keep making music that he likes.
“That’s when people actually start taking notice,” he said.
“At that point you’re not following a trend, you're just doing what sounds good to you and it’s more genuine — and whether people know that or not, it really shines through and that's what makes a band unique and special.”