Essentially, Vancouver-bred band BESTiE is the incarnation of all the wonderful things in life: drowning in puppy kisses, pineapples, a song about pineapples, girls in coconut bras and high-waisted shorts and music that will transport you back to last month’s sunny vacation in Hawaii.
“People have been very embracive of us,” says vocalist Tristan Orchard, “and they send us pictures of different pineapple things on social media all the time. We all think that’s amazing. The winters in Vancouver get extremely depressing and non-tropical, so [our music] is also like a fantasy escape from that for us.”
The band’s blend of tropical pop and summery post-wave is undoubtedly infectious and will be plentiful on their upcoming album. Though it’s still in the works, BESTiE has revealed a few gems that fans can look forward to, including the sunny-riffed “Sriracha” – yes, named after the hot sauce – that was born after a fantastical journey to Third Beach, dance number “Afraid of the Dark,” and “Asleep on the Bus,” a song about gruelling 9 – 5 work days. “There’s always people falling asleep on the bus here, [so that song] is sort of a metaphor for going through life being on the bus. You didn’t miss the bus and you’re on it going somewhere, but you’re too tired to enjoy it.”
The new music is coming together at a crucial moment for BESTiE: the band was announced as a Peak Performance Project Top 20 artist in June. As part of the project, they travelled to Rockridge Canyon in Princeton, B.C. to partake in a week-long boot camp in late August that coached artists on performance, songwriting, radio tracking, music industry laws, and social media issues and introduced them to industry professionals.
Recalling a favourite moment, Orchard details the band’s collaboration with Rykka, another Top 20 artist. “I saw her for the first time a year ago, when she opened for my friends, Humans,” he says. “I was completely blown away and I even emailed her after the set saying, ‘Oh my God. You are the best. I love you.'”
“When we got chosen by the PPP to work on a song together and she came over to rehearse with us, we had this great energy from the get go. It was really fun.”
Now fresh out of boot camp and ready for more, the band is pulling out all the stops for their October 17 showcase. There, they will perform to earn a spot in the prestigious Top 5 and a continuing chance at winning $102,700 towards their musical careers.
“We have some crazy plans for the showcase,” Orchard says amidst a peal of laughter.
And by plans, they mean animals.
“We’re getting the baby tiger from the Thriller album cover, and we want to get the IKEA monkey riding on a donkey – just for one song, though. We don’t want to overdo it, because it’s all about balance with us.”
“You’re going to get FOMO [Fear of Missing Out] if you miss it,” Cameron interjects. “Fear of Missing IKEA Monkey. FOMIM?”
The future for this charming – and rather comical – band is jam-packed, with a tour planned for the L.A. coast in November and managing the first annual #SafeFest, an all-ages music festival happening in October. “Ultimately, we would like to continue having the most fun ever in the Peak Performance Project and our showcase coming up, and with our charity events. We’re really excited about this upcoming album, making music videos, and doing as much as humanly possible.”
BESTiE plays at Fortune Sound Club on October 17 as part of the Peak Performance Project.
By Kristina Charania