West My Friend band members from left, Alex Rempel, Jeff Poynter, Eden Oliver. Courtesy Moss Photography

Langley grads take folk tunes home

West My Friend performs indie-folk at the United Churches of Langley on Nov. 9.

Two Langley Fine Arts School graduates are returning to their hometown to perform the indie-folk tunes they’ve been working on since forming a band in 2009.

After graduating high school, Langley natives Jeff Poynter and Alex Rempel moved to Vancouver Island to study at the University of Victoria.

In Victoria, the two musicians joined with their third band member, Eden Oliver, to create West My Friend.

The band is making a stop at the United Churches of Langley on Nov. 9 before kicking off their 24-day tour through the United States.

West My Friendblends acoustic instruments and three-part harmonies.

Poynter describes the band as ‘folk music as if it were written by quirky classical musicians.’

“It’s not just strumming along, it’s very arranged and we put a lot of time into coming up with exactly how we’re going to do it.”

Poynter plays accordion, Rempel plays mandolin and Oliver plays guitar. All three band members sing.

The band has been touring since 2012 and has performed ‘too many (tours) to count.’

While touring, Poynter said his favourite part is connecting with the audience.

“A lot of the places we play, since it’s folk music, it’s more intimate venues so people can really connect with you. You can see what the response is and get feedback right away.”

The trio’s upcoming tour is a mix of new songs along with songs from their album called Quiet Hum, which was released two years ago.

The band’s debut album Place was released in 2012 and was nominated for Roots Album of the Year and Song of the Year at the Vancouver Island music awards.

In 2014, the band released its second album, When The Ink Dries, which received nominations at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

West My Friend will be recording a new album this winter.

Poynter said the most challenging parts of recording an album is balancing time and money.

“Everything always takes longer than you think and it can get pretty expensive. You can put infinite time into it to keep making it better, but at some point you have to say, ‘OK, this is enough.’”

Poynter grew up attending the United Churches of Langley and said it’s nice to have a personal connection to a venue where the band is performing.

“It’s nice, but it’s funny. All these people I haven’t seen in years, but we still recognize each other, so it’s funny going back and having them see me as an adult. It’s nice because they’re super supportive.”

West My Friend performs at the United Churches of Langley on 21562 Old Yale Rd. on Friday, Nov. 9. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert starts at 7:30.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for students and seniors, and free for kids under 12. Tickets can be purchased in advanced at the church office.

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