Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Band of the Week: Ace of Wands 

MEET THE BAND: Lee Rose (vocals, guitar, bass pedals, violin), Anna Mernieks (guitar), Jody Brumell (drums)

THE POPPY SIDE OF INDIE ROCK: This Toronto band started in summer of 2017. Rose had toured with Brumell in another band and had written tunes with Mernieks prior to that. "I had written a ton of music, and I wanted to put it out there," Rose says. "We clicked and it morphed into this big project that now takes a lot of our time." Lee says she describes the band's music as Gothic rock pop. "My main influences are PJ Harvey and Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Kate Bush," she says. "I like the more poppy indie sound. When I was growing up, Arcade Fire was really popular in Canada, and they're a big influence. Our live show is loud and in your face, but there's a nice of mix of softer stuff too."

A CLASSICAL CASE: Rose started studying violin at age 10 but let the classical influence fall by the wayside as she segued into rock. Now, that classical influence has returned with Ace of Wands. "The violin has crept back into my everyday music, and it's the instrument I feel most connected to," she says. "It adds a spooky vibe to our music too. We're hugely into horror music soundtracks." With her bass pedals, Rose can play two instruments at once. "We have a lot of depth as a three-piece," she says. "It's like we're a four instrument band with three people."

AN ACTIVIST APPROACH: A commitment to mental health activism through a system of what the band refers to as "examining socio-economic challenges, artistic expression and community-based healing" drives the group's music. "Through musical expression we are able to formulate these concepts into cinematic soundscapes driven by psychedelic guitars, synth bass, violin and drums," reads a press release about the band's approach. "For that two-year period leading up to the release of our last record, I was in this terrible depression," says Rose. "I was struggling to get out of bed everyday and make a living. I was finding that if I couldn't do anything else, I could play music and write songs. It was this amazing form of catharsis, and I felt a strong calling to share that with as many people as possible."

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: Simmering with intensity, "Lioness," a song from last year's debut, recalls The Lion and the Cobra-era Sinead O'Connor. With its shimmering guitars, "Grown from Good" possesses a more ethereal feel as the band channels Cocteau Twins with the tune's lush instrumentation. A folk-y ballad, "Tarot Cards" also features the violin up front in the mix, and "Winter Wind" has a compelling balance of strings and distorted guitars. In addition, the band has a new single that'll come out on March 13. It's the first track from a new record that'll come out later this year.

WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: aceofwandsband.com.

WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Ace of Wands performs with Garter Shake, Faces of Belmez and Baroque Monody at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28, at the Westside Bowl in Youngstown.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 1, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation