Denver — Candace is a band (formally known as Is/Is) not a single person, but three axe wielding rockers. Specifically two bassist / guitar players, who switch off during sets, and a drummer. Sarah and Sarah play the axes, Mara bangs the drums. They got their start in Minneapolis where Sarah Rose and Mara went to middle school together. Sarah Rose says, “We’ve known each other forever.” They moved the operation to Portland following Mara. “We had some fill in drummers back in Minneapolis. They were never quite right, so we moved to Portland.” On Instagram you’ll find them “@Candanceisaband.” Candace wastes no time getting to the future. Sarah Rose says, “we write songs pretty fast.” Her favorite to play, “that’s never going to be one that’s recorded.” Adding, “right now our newest song is definitely my favorite to play.” Last weekend you could find them playing Red Bull Sound Select at Summit Music Hall. Fresh off a West Coast tour, they drove from Portland to deliver the sound of a forest to the mountains of Denver.
Portland is weird, that’s what they say. Things that are weird to some people, conversely are normal to others. Keeping Portland relative, Candace is a normal Pacific Northwestern band. You can think Sleater-Kinney, from Washington, or Babes in Toyland, who was rooted between Oregon and Minnesota too. That’s an easy way to digest it. They’re Sub Pop, they’re Seattle sound, they’re all of that and none of it. Judging the artist by the medium they work in is sometimes an injustice. What’s normal about Candace is they’re growing their sound. Writing constantly, recording continually and playing for the fans all the time. They’ve been working on their next album recently, recording with Larry Crane from Tape Op Magazine and Jackpot! Studios.
They’re Portland the city in chords, a sound. Kyuss made some incredible “desert sludge” in the 1990s and in 2017 Candace is making great forest sludge. Maybe forest sludge isn’t a sound yet and doesn’t conjure beautiful thoughts, but what did “grunge” mean before young Seattle kids took to their guitars? Forest sludge may be etherial, glowing, shimmering and rocking like a 1982 public skate at your city’s version of Skate City. Sarah, Sarah and Mara rock a roller skating vibe, it’s mellow, it glides. It’s a counter to desert sludge. The opposite of discord, it’s true harmony. Instead of a ride through the stages of Dante’s Inferno, you’re taking a ride through the stages of a night at the roller rink. You remember. A constant interlude and a chance to breathe life. Their show feels like a breeze flowing through trees and a stream gently cascading over moss covered stones, with a touch of, “keep looking at us and you’ll get a knuckle sandwich” vibe.
They’re suited to basement house shows or Denver night clubs like Summit and the Hi Dive, but their sound is growing like a redwood forest. Next, you can find them playing new tunes in a venue near you, putting the sets together on the fly and touring in their Astro Van. Everyone’s a Goonie in their own personal way and Candace is a band to, “never say die.” They’re doing things their own way and it’s an up and coming sound, look for them to just get bigger.