Originally published in Stylus Magazine, Volume 27, Issue 6
Winnipeg’s newest electro indie-rock band, Lev Snowe, is set to hit centre stage this coming December. Lev Snowe is a mellow toned rock group made up of best friends, Daniel, George, Lev, and Tim who share the credit where it is due. Never in your life will you meet a group of such well mannered, polite young gentlemen. Their kindness is not to be taken for weakness as they crank up the volume and leave you wanting more.
On their debut EP, Drifting Off, there’s a subtlety of rhythm that is felt in the music before it can be fully understood with the lyrics. Front man Lev Snowe writes all the instrumental verses as well as lyrics but he’ll be the first to admit how important his band mates are to bringing the sounds of his creation to life.
“Technically,” Lev explained, “I recorded all the parts on the EP. It’s with these guys that my songs are really given energy.”
This humble tone is shared by the band entirely. All any of them had to say about one another is how vitally important the next member is to the band. Whether it’s complementing Daniel’s ear for structure, George’s genius in planning the band’s shows, the new skills they’ve achieved musically thanks to Tim’s synthesizer skills or the depth and complexity of Lev’s lyrics. This band revolves around friendship, comradery, and “rockin’ the heck out.”
The comradery of musicianship doesn’t stop there for Lev Snowe. They played a show the night I spoke to them before which another local band, Champagne Years, was on stage. The crowd seemed timid to allow themselves to be fully absorbed by the music except for four young men standing front row, centre stage. It was, of course, the members of Lev Snowe, dancing and bobbing their heads to every beat. When I asked if they had any connection to Champagne Years they said they didn’t but wanted to show their support to another local band.
“It’s tough to play in front of people,” Lev explained to me. “We always want to be there to support anyone.”
Singer/guitarist Lev told me the beginning of what he refers to as his “music project” came on a day he spent in Gimli, Manitoba. He wrote an instrumental guitar piece and decided he was, for the first time, going to add lyrics to what was already written. “I went off to a field and wrote lyrics to the song. That was the first moment I felt this could be something more than it [was].”
A few months later Lev recorded a few of his creations and made his EP. It was bassist George who finally decided they should assemble a band to play these songs live. Thus Lev Snowe was created.
The aforementioned EP Drifting Off was released in January of 2016 and in the time since the band has seen a stark upswing in their ability as musicians. On top of that, this has been an opportunity for these self described “shy boys” to shine in a way they may have not been able to otherwise.
“Every show we improve. I never expected us to develop as fast as did” explained bass guitarist, George before saying with a laugh “the onstage banter is better than it’s ever been!”
Mid-performance jokes about flame bedazzled PT Cruisers aside, the band unanimously agrees they they’re better now than they’ve ever been. “My favourite part about being in a band is seeing how much we’ve grown” master of the synthesizer Tim stated with the full agreement of his band mates.
What the future holds for Lev Snowe is more of the same; continue creating with improvement and perfection held as the ultimate goal. More than that, Lev Snowe strives to create the opportunity for their fans to have as much fun watching the show as they have performing.
“The crowd isn’t always feeling the excitement so we like to welcome the crowd to the groovy environment” Lev said with a smile. “They don’t have to dance but I’m just going to dance and make it open enough so they might feel comfortable.”
Their silliness off stage is matched by the mystery of their songs. “I believe the music itself should be serious but I’m not a serious person myself” Lev stated.
All in all Lev Snowe is an up and coming band with a familiar comfort to their tone. They produce music that makes you feel good that can turn up past 11 when the lights come on.