The spring edition of HopCat presents Local Spins Live at River City Studios features an up-and-coming West Michigan band with eclectic, diverse instrumentation.(Story, video, podcast, photo gallery)THE BAND: Olivia Mainville & The Aquatic Troupe
THE MUSIC: Eclectic and experimental indie-folk
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE BAND: 7 p.m. Thursday (June 2) at The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids with Christopher DuPont, Frances Luke Accord and Alex Culbreth; 7:30 p.m. Friday at Watermark 920 on Washington Avenue in Muskegon with Christopher C. Cordle
As a youngster, Olivia Mainville was “all over the place” with the music she spent time soaking up: Ozzy Osbourne, The Grateful Dead, Jet.
But that all changed after attending her first music festival as an eighth-grader.
She was spellbound by the gypsy swing vibe of Connecticut’s Caravan of Thieves, firmly planting the seeds for her own indie-folk musical passion.
“I’d never heard anything like it before,” recalls the Holland singer-songwriter who turns 20 next week. “I just submerged myself in all these different genres and I listened to a lot of music. I gained inspiration from a lot of different places.”
Since then, Mainville has performed across the state and the country, honed her singing and multi-instrumental skills and surrounded herself with a diverse, uniquely talented bunch of Michigan musicians known as The Aquatic Troupe: Andy Fettig (trumpet, bass, flugelhorn, saxophone, electric guitar, vocals), Bleu Quick (trombone, bass, electric guitar, keyboard, vocals), Ian Burke (drums, keyboards) and Libby DeCamp (banjo, guitar, violin, vocals).
The innovative, boundary-pushing band late last year released its debut album, “Maybe the Saddest Thing,” after recording it at River City Studios in Grand Rapids. The CD made an immediate splash, earning positive reviews and winning WYCE-FM’s Jammie Award for best contemporary folk album of the year.
They returned recently to those very same studios for a spring edition of HopCat presents Local Spins Live at River City Studios session, chatting about their music and performing several new songs for an intimate audience. (Check out the podcast here and a complete one-hour video of the session below.)
PODCAST: HopCat Presents Local Spins Live @ River City Studios
Olivia Mainville & The Aquatic Troupe
Audio Engineering by Roy Wallace
As Mainville puts it, her own songs and musicianship have come a long way since she took refuge in music as a home-schooled teen.
“I made myself a little music cave in my basement. I started gathering a bunch of instruments,” she says. “I started teaching myself all these different instruments. … I listened to music all the time while I attempted to study.”
The band has evolved, too, even over the course of several months of recording its debut album, expanding its sonic textures as well as its eclectic blend of genres.
“As time went on, we also developed as a band and changed a lot,” says Mainville, noting the utilization of instruments such as trumpet and trombone.
For Fettig, the band’s distinctive approach can be traced to Mainville’s proclivity to try unusual chord progressions and arrangements. “The chord progressions are really interesting and not normal,” he suggests. “They’re not like four-chord pop songs.”
The band has a busy June ahead, starting with Thursday night’s show at The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids. Also performing at the 7 p.m. show will be Ann Arbor singer-songwriter Chris DuPont, Frances Luke Accord and Alex Culbreth. Admission is $12 at the door.
On Friday, the band headlines the First Friday After-Party and Local Spins Anniversary Celebration at Watermark 920 in Muskegon, with singer-songwriter Christopher C. Cordle opening the show. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, with Local Spins on hand with T-shirts, stickers and merchandise and Rockford Brewing on hand with Local Spinsation Ale.
The show is a joint presentation of Muskegon Street Performers, Downtown Muskegon Now, First Fridays, Red House Concert Series, Watermark Live and Local Spins. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted for Kids Food Basket Muskegon. Details online here.
Find more information about Olivia Mainville & The Aquatic Troupe and their upcoming show schedule, visit oliviaandtheaquatictroupe.com.
VIDEO: HopCat presents Local Spins Live with Olivia Mainville & The Aquatic Troupe
Video by Brennan Heldt and the River City Studios Video Team
PHOTO GALLERY: Olivia Mainville & The Aquatic Troupe at River City Studios
Photos by Anna Sink
Copyright 2016, Spins on Music LLC