Spygirl’s music moving

By David Kenney

Spygirl is traveling without moving.

From a hotel room in Fernie, B.C., members of the Vancouver jazz-fusion quintet are discussing the movement theme behind their self-titled debut album. However, vocalist Koralee Tonack and pianist/trumpeter Jane Gowan are unsure as to what took them in such a direction. They’re stalling.

"It’s kind of a transportation [theme]," says Tonack. "But I think it’s just a coincidence."

Maybe, maybe not. Spygirl’s debut is a sophisticated drive through relationships, full of emotional red lights and the urge to burn rubber. Songs like the pulsating "Drive Away," the pseudo-electronic "Dull Roar" and "Roll Down" are chock full of imagery depicting a need to flee and escape. Even the album liner notes suggest travel with obscured roadways that seemingly lead to nowhere.

Maybe it has to do with Tonack’s vocals. Her mid-range pipes mostly drone, achingly hitting high notes. Like the band’s wandering sound, her vocals never stay in one spot for too long. The variety suits Tonack fine.

"I kind of confuse people when they try to compare my voice to others," says Tonack. "I play the sound game but it’s hard not to with our music.

"We are what we are–we know to hit them with what we got."

Currently playing the sound game on tour, including a stop at the Blue Banana Lounge Fri., March 30, Spygirl is secretly plotting for a showcase somewhere. The band isn’t going to give up indie status just yet though. Gowan laughs at the Napster situation and the record industry’s pursuit of Internet music sales.

"It’s the same old story," she says. "They were just mad it was someone else screwing artists for a change and not them."


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