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Talking Bands

by Evan James Ceretti

Ian Gill, Curtis MacDonald, Joshua Arran (photo: Evan James Ceretti)Joshua Arran and the Noisy Crows are Joshua Arran (guitar, lead vocals), Ian Gill (drums), and Curtis MacDonald (bass, vocals). Arran had been in Hull, England writing and performing songs as a solo artist until his return to PEI in August, 2017. He booked a show at Baba’s from England, and messaged his friends Gill and MacDonald, “ya’ll up for a two-week deadline?” And that was the start of the Noisy Crows.

Gill had been working on recording Arran’s songs prior to that, filling them out with drums and bass. Electrifying one of their tunes—Wooden Spoon—reinforced the decision to play as a full band. “I knew that I wanted a group eventually. I was working on my own because, well, that’s how it started I suppose, but the sound wasn’t coming close to getting across the way I wanted it to," said Arran. Gill said he and MacDonald try to instrumentally take Arran’s concepts and make them impact in the way the lyrics are meant to. “If it's a song that needs to take its time and really be carefully listened to, then we take that approach. Or if it’s a song that’s going to run you over and beat you we try to take that approach as well.”

The band defines their sound as rock, which ranges from a stripped-down singer-songwriter style to heavy and fast-paced, blending elements of pop and punk. Much of Arran’s songs and lyrics are inspired by personal hardships involving family. “Most of them are about me and my son’s mom splitting up and things that went with that; the complications that come with your family dream falling apart.”

“A lot of it I write to deal with my own anxiety and rough points, so it’s sort of a distraction for me.” The band has a new single coming out, Speak Up, that focuses on bringing awareness to mental health issues. “It talks about how an open line of communication with the people around you is super important because if everyone pretends they’re awesome all the time, the person who feels shitty thinks they’re the only one,” said Arran.

In October, the band auditioned in Charlottetown and were chosen to be featured on the Atlantic Canadian TV series Club One New Releases. They were then picked, along with one other Island band, to go to Trinidad and Tobago and NFLD for additional filming in March and April, respectively. Once there, Atlantic Canadian groups team up with Caribbean groups to fuse their sounds together.

The guys are humbled and looking forward to dipping their toes in the sand in March. Gill said they are all “surprised and fortunate, flying by seat of pants, very cheerfully so.” See them live March 18 at Baba’s. Listen on Spotify.

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