Iqaluit’s Koel and the Twin Otters to do CD launch Oct. 12
Group to perform at Legion, sell copies of CD
The story of how the Iqaluit band Koel and the Twin Otters got together sounds like a musically inspired Hollywood romance film.
Parul Bahuguna — stage name Koel — flew up from Toronto in late 2010 to quit the daily grind and focus on writing and singing.
Not knowing many musicians, Bahuguna wandered into the Iqaluit Francophone centre — on Valentine’s Day — and saw Tommy Tremoleau playing by himself.
“There was not a lot of people there, but Tommy was there in the corner, just playing a guitar,” Bahuguna said.
Bahuguna suggested playing “Crazy For You” by Adele — a song Tremoleau had never heard of — but the two “just pulled it off somehow.”
“Before knowing you, I was playing with a couple of people, but never like you,” Tremoleau says to Bahuguna after a rehearsal held at the same place they met almost three years ago.
That’s how the band’s two founding members started — when the two described playing music together as “natural.”
And after two years of adding band members and performing gigs around Iqaluit, Koel and the Twin Otters have an album to show for their natural chemistry.
Their debut album, called “Animals” will be released Oct. 12 at the Royal Canadian Legion in Iqaluit, with a performance by the band.
The album features nine songs — and it’s no surprise most of the songs are centered on the idea of love.
“I sing about love. They’re about heartbreak, and love, and falling in love. And questioning [love],” Bahuguna said, adding that she will be talking about the inspirations behind each song at the event.
The genre of music the band plays, however, is not so easy to define.
The band’s inspirations range all over the musical spectrum from Tina Turner and Ella Fitzgerald to Pink Floyd and the Doors, but Bahuguna describes their music as “soul-alternative.”
“It doesn’t exist,” Tremoleau interjects.
“As an artist you’re always conflicted to what genre you’re going to be placed in. And I was fighting with this for a long time,” Bahuguna said.
“I love lounge music, I love electronic and hip-hop and pop. But when I sing, what category do I fall into?” she said.
“So when I came here it was like — whatever. Just play everything.”
The band put everything together and paid for one week of studio time last November at Treatment Room — a studio in Montreal that has produced albums for bands such as Belle Game, Plants & Animals and Wintersleep.
The band also practiced at the Francophone Centre before and after the recording by hosting “Coffee and Music,” where they played every other Sunday to friends, family members and members of the community.
That’s on top of mixing the album in their spare time in the evenings, and holding down full-time jobs.
Now the band hopes their efforts will pay off in the future.
“After the CD release we’ll see how we do. I really want to do a lot of shows,” Bahuguna said, saying she wants to tour to Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto.
“I have this crazy dream — I want to do this all the time,” Bahuguna said.
The CD release party starts at 9 p.m. on the main dance floor of the Legion with an opening act by Tatigakjuak Tudlik.
Their CD, “Animals,” will be on sale for $15.
To sample some if their songs off the album, visit their website here.