New Sound in Fredericton Music Scene


Våras playing the streets of Harvest Jazz and Blues (William Cumming/The Basement Files)

Harvest Jazz and Blues brought together a lot of different sounds this month, but none was quite as unique as Våras. Inspired by Icelandic post-rock group Sigur Rós, the local indie band is bringing a new sound to the Fredericton music scene.

Våras’ music is eerie. The band uses effects and distortions to create an emotional soundscape that washes over their listeners, bringing out feelings that will stick with them long after they have stopped playing.

The band’s front man, Alex Tracy-Gould, plays his guitar using the bow from a violin, which he says adds emotion.

“It just has that sound that you just can’t get out of anything else,” said Tracy-Gould. “You have the really grindy, crunchy, almost eerie sound that comes out of the guitar when you play with the bow.”

Tracy-Gould started Våras in 2014 as a solo project. He wanted to create music that reflected the change and emotions that he was experiencing in his life.

“At the time I had been through a lot,” said Tracy-Gould. “I was supposed to be moving away with someone, but that got screwed up. I had gone through a break up, changed friend groups. It was a very emotional, very eye-opening time. I just needed change, and Våras is what started as a result of looking for change in my music.”

Tracy-Gould is in the midst of taking a second year off from going to school at Mount Allison, which he said he wasn’t sure was right for him.

“In all honesty I think I was just trying to live a life that was in my past,” said Tracy-Gould. “I wasn’t really going to school in a way that I was enjoying. I was only doing [it] because I told myself I would a couple of years ago and I was just trying to follow through with it. I just wasn’t really happy.”

Tracy-Gould began growing the band as he needed more instruments for his compositions. The band currently has about six members, though the structure is loose and people come and go as needed.

Tracy-Gould (left) and Hanson (right) editing Våras’ debut EP (William Cumming/The Basement Files)

The band is currently working on their debut EP, which is self-titled and due to come out September 30. It will come with four original compositions and one Sigur Rós cover. The project is being headed up by the band’s producer/drummer, Ryan Hanson.

Hanson just graduated from DaVinci College in the Audio Engineering Program, and joined Våras three months ago to help work on the EP.

Hanson said that although he is not sure if he will be with Våras in the future, he hopes that they can go on to find success.

Tracy-Gould says that he is just happy to be making music.

“What makes me happy is music, and playing music and going out there and doing whatever I can with music,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if I am just doing the lighting for a show, or if for some reason I have to do sound. I’m just happier that way. Maybe there is not that yield of having a job or whatever after … but this is fun, and that’s what I like doing, having fun. So here I am.”