Menacing yet beautiful, The Scarlet Fever combines its glam rock roots with art rock’s avant-garde experimentation, which in turn takes them to a pervasively darker post-punk place. Jay Draper (vocals), Rob Peets (guitars), Brad Pope (bass), Chris Woodacre (drums), Bradburn Williams (synthesizers) and Cat Samuels (backing vocals) deliver stunning, and sometimes slightly disturbing, portraits of the human condition.
Releasing their debut full-length album “The Scarlet Fever” in 2009, earning a nomination for Best Indie Rock Band at the 2010 Toronto Independent Music Awards, holding their own as openers for underground legends Sex Gang Children in 2013, and releasing their second album “Collider” in January 2015, The Scarlet Fever is wasting no time cultivating an underground following and carving out a niche in Toronto’s music scene.
Rich, playful and dark, the band’s self-titled debut, “The Scarlet Fever” (2009), is a surrealist expression of life, love, and self. The album takes off with distortion and a blood curling screech that concede to a driving pulse and bold declarations, “All I want is everything, is that so much to ask?!” before it spits you out in hushed introspective whispers “One day when I am dust and bone…” Held together by a sophisticated interplay between shadowy forces and a shimmering romanticism, the album features soaring guitar lines that work with animated synthesizer riffs and lingering samples to bring an otherworldly aesthetic to an album grounded in gritty, true-to-life lyrics and textured guitar sounds. Indeed, The Scarlet Fever takes us away to a sinister, seductive playground that mirrors back to our own thorny ids.
The band has recently completed their second full length album “Collider” (2015), an appropriately titled explosion of contradicting, yet strangely complementary, sounds and influences. The album not only captures the band's creative powers in the studio, but also channels the raw energy of their dynamic and engaging live performances. The whole band steps up with an increased proficiency in both writing, and performance. Kicking off with the adrenalin fueled pace of “Forever Late” the band wastes no time in channeling controlled chaos from the aether. Draper experiments with the alchemy of identity on songs such as "Chrysalis" as he croons and wails “Is there room inside this chrysalis for one more metamorphosis?”, and on “Are You For Real?” “What makes you so sure you know yourself anymore than fire knows what it burns for?”. Peets shows us his range as a guitarist, from his artfully restrained post-punk precision, to soaring solos which harken back to the influence bands such as Pink Floyd had on him. Pope and Woodacre lay down dynamic and playful rhythms, channeling both Peter Hook and John Bonham respectively. Finally, Williams shows us his talent for mixing the harsh and industrial with the ambient and psychedelic. The album closes with the sinisterly alluring “Claim To Fame”, a tale of the powers that be, who started this mess we call life, and promise to be directing us to one last grand finale.
The Scarlet Fever has already brought its captivating, theatrical performances to Toronto venues such as the Mod Club, The Rivoli, The Bovine Sex Club, Lula Lounge, Cherry Cola's, The Cadillac Lounge and The Velvet Underground. Bringing a sonic experience that will stimulate your mind and take you to far off places, The Scarlet Fever is now on a mission to take over your town in dramatic fashion.