Musician eager to play at home

Local girl Eden Oliver returns to town with her band West My Friend on tour for the release of their third album “Quiet Hum.”

West My Friend with born-and-raised Terrace girl Eden Oliver

Local girl Eden Oliver returns to town with her band West My Friend on tour for the release of their third album “Quiet Hum.”

The band was last here in 2012 on its “Homesick Blues” tour.

I’m excited to return to my hometown again to play,” said Oliver by email last week.

It’s sort of like a macro version of performing a song for your extended family after an annual holiday dinner–everyone’s lovely and welcoming and at the same time you wonder if you’re supposed to be trying to impress upon people how much you’ve grown.”

She added that the band is performing at several places she knows well: Terrace Little Theatre, where she attended drama summer camps, and at Caledonia and Skeena schools, so she’s expecting some deja vu.

Formed in 2009 in a Victoria cafe, West My Friend can be placed in any music genre, says Oliver, but that’s not necessarily helpful.

I normally describe it as original music performed on mandolin, accordion, upright bass, guitar, and four-part harmonies,” she says, adding they push the boundaries of ‘folk’ music and create what they want to hear regardless of whether it fits in a genre.

Growing up here contributed to her musical development, with a pretty supportive music scene and a setting surrounded by mountains, which shows up in her lyrics, she says. “I also think growing up in a town with not too much else to do (aside from getting out into nature) led to a lot of time spent digging into creative outlets,” said Oliver.

For this album, she took a program called musician in residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Banff, Alberta which helped her write some of the songs, and she said just being in the mountains and next to a river definitely had an impact on her in a homesick sort of way.

A number of my tunes from that time refer to those surroundings,” she said.

Since they last played here, the band added new bass player Nick Mintenko, who brings a lot to the band, she added.

I think I’m more and more excited by the material that we’re producing, so I’m excited about this album and what we’re able to present to the Terrace audience,” said Oliver as she pondered their first home show four years ago compared to now.

Our first show in Terrace was our 62nd show, and this show in Terrace will be our 400th show. With that many shows under our belt, we’re way tighter and we put on a more engaging show.”

West My Friend plays at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at the McColl Playhouse. Tickets on sale at Misty River Books, Xanders or at the door.

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