Afie Jurvanen isn’t from the Bahamas. He’s a Finnish-Canadian from Barrie–a working class town in rural Ontario. But his chosen epithet is fitting. Since 2009 he’s been making music under the name Bahamas–writing songs about sunsets, love affairs, and making out with crooked smiles. Through simple arrangements, he charts an escape route from the snow belt to the coral reefs. His new album, Bahamas Is Afie, will be released August 19, 2014 on Brushfire Records/Universal.
Bahamas is Afie is a coming of age record. Self-titled and self-produced – It is the next step in the evolution of Jurvanen’s songcraft, guitar mastery, and melodic pop hooks – following his previous full-lengths Pink Strat (2009) and Barchords (2011). Bahamas is Afie remains a sparse, moving, headphone album, complemented by a more developed arrangement of strings, brass, winds, orchestral percussion, and chamber choruses that transport the listener from moving seas to a search for strength, to a place of resolve and comfort.
“This feels like a self-titled record to me. The songs seem to have a definitive quality to them, and they ended up going to all kinds of unexpected musical places. I really thought I was going to make a traditional folk record but as the recording evolved I started having some pretty different ideas. I started playing this game like, ‘what would 80s Van Morrison do if he were producing this?’ or ‘what about John Williams?’ It all came together in a simple, naive and direct way and I was really energized by the process. And I got to play a lot of guitar…I feel like I’ll get another chance to make a folkie record somewhere down the road. For now, this is me.”