The Sheaf sat down with local band Too Soon Monsoon in Saskatoon’s own Broadway Café over warm apple pie and coffee to speak about their history, the addition of a new member, their new album and a few upcoming shows.
TSM first started in late 2016 at on open mic night at Somewhere Else Pub & Grill with Greg Torwalt on vocals and piano and Nathan Henry on drums. Since then, TSM has released two EPs, performed at various music festivals across Saskatchewan and opened for the likes of PVRIS and Twin Peaks. They have also performed with local Saskatchewan artists like Ellen Froese and the Garrys.
The band finds inspiration in artists like Metric, Feist, Fleetwood Mac, The White Stripes and even the iconic Lauryn Hill. They describe themselves as “alternative pop-rock with some jazz influences,” or as it was jokingly put, “scruffy indie beard music but with a soft, sensitive pop crunchy inside.”
TSM had been searching for a guitarist and third member and recently recruited University of Saskatchewan student Declan Hills on guitar after seeing him perform with local act Sincerely And. Hills is a second-year computer science major with a passion for music.
“I guess my end goal in music has always been that music is something that gives me so much happiness to do, and it gives so much to me. Asking anything from it kind of seems ludicrous… It’s just so rewarding in itself… That being said, being in Too Soon Monsoon is a dream,” Hills said.
Torwalt also studied at the U of S, graduating in the early 2010s from the College of Education, and he now works at St. Andrew’s College. Henry works as a drywall contractor.
Too Soon Monsoon’s vocal style is reminiscent of singers such as the leads of Wheatus, Alt-J and The White Stripes with hints of the memorable piano riffs that popularized the Fray. Their debut album, Waves, is a conceptual album that takes the listener on a journey.
From the captivating crooning on their latest single, “Stay Golden,” to the more grungy vibes of “The Walls (pt. 2)” to the soft reminiscing of “Energy In Motion,” every song on the album evokes a unique feeling in the listener. Waves drops on May 3 with what is sure to be an electric release show at Capitol Music Club.
Other performers who influence the band include Saskatoon rappers Eekwol and T-Rhyme, Crooked Spies and S’MOORE.
Regarding the album itself, which was recorded with help from Creative Saskatchewan, a lot of inspiration was drawn from a number of different areas.
“It’s quite inspired by nature, especially the river going through Saskatoon. Kind of like taking time to slow down and appreciate nature and appreciate the little things,” Torwalt said.
“One of the songs on the album, “Mountains of Blue,” is inspired by the Lawren Harris painting in the Remai… It kind of triggered me to slow down and appreciate the things in nature and in life… There’s also some other stuff — I lost an uncle during that time, too — so just reflecting on the purpose of life and spirituality and the afterlife,” Torwalt said.
Too Soon Monsoon’s next single, “Point Of It All,” is set to be released on March 29. They can be found on social media with the handle @toosoonmonsoon. Their music will be released on Spotify and iTunes with merch that can be found on their Bandcamp.
Photo: Too Soon Monsoon / Supplied