Friday, July 19, 2024

New Music Monday: fivefootnine release first single as they break out into Victoria scene


Victoria and Vancouver Island have a lot of musical talent, and Victoria Buzz wants to highlight some of the best and brightest local artists and bands.

Every Monday, there will be a fresh ‘New Music Monday’ article to help people find and support local artists and bands that are up-and-coming, well established or hidden gems!

For this endeavour, Victoria Buzz has partnered with our good friends at CFUV 101.9 FM, UVic’s campus radio station, to find and select the musicians and bands for this regular column.

This week, fivefootnine is the New Music Monday highlight!

fivefootnine is a five-piece band from right here in Victoria whose self-described sound is rooted in “indie-rock etc.”.

The band is comprised of Janay Ma on vocals and guitar, Carmen Overton on keys and backup vocals, Alex Mendes on the drum kit, Nathan Taylor on guitar and Stefan Bichlmaier on bass who have all been collectively playing and writing together as fivefootnine for just over one year now. 

“The band formed as a lot of us were just friends already in life,” Ma told Victoria Buzz. 

“We shared a common love for music and just started jamming and we said, ‘we should do this for real because this is really fun.’”

Overton added that she and Ma had already written a couple songs but up until then, had no band to play them with up until they formed fivefootnine. 

“We hadn’t really had a way or place to make them become full or make them have a full band sound, so that’s where we started,” she explained. 

Though they have been playing together for just over a year, the band has only just started playing shows around Victoria because they have been working to write, develop songs and build their set up before agreeing to gigs. 

“For most of us, this is our first experience being in the Victoria music scene, so really we’re just getting to know some of the really cool bands and playing live, then we’ll be looking to record an EP as the summer winds down,” said Ma.  

Though they are holding off on a full EP, in a stroke of luck, fivefootnine was able to get into the Victoria Conservatory of Music to record a couple of their earlier tracks with some students learning to produce music. 

The first single they recorded and have released is called Faultline

“It was the first song we wrote as a band together,” said Overton. “It was one of the first ideas that Stef and Janay brought to us and was one of the first songs we were really proud of.”

She added that it was a fun one to record because it was one of their first songs and to hear how it sounds now, as a recorded track, compared to how it sounded in its genesis was a cool experience for the band. 

Ma wrote the lyrics for Faultline as well as the melody while Bichlmaier came up with the chorus instrumentation. From there, they brought the song to the band who fleshed it out and developed the song in a collaborative way. 

She noted that collaborating with her bandmates is always easy because of the trust they have for one another given the longstanding friendships in the band. 

“The song is also about friendship and the way they kind of come and go in your life so it’s kind of cool to write it in that really healthy friendship situation,” Ma explained. 

“At the time we were writing it, we were kind of at a transitional point in our lives; we were just graduating university, figuring out who we are in a world outside of university, and so I think it’s just about going through a lot of growing pains that come from that.”

Preview Faultline below:

Find Faultline in its entirety on Bandcamp and add it to a playlist on Spotify or Apple Music while you’re at it. 

As fivefootnine continues to get gigs under their belts, they say they have been trying to play every venue in Victoria with as many bands as possible. 

They have a show coming up at the Phoenix Bar and Grill on Quadra Street with two bands who have become staples of the scene, Vogue Villains and the Poubelles. 

The show is on Saturday August 3rd at 8 p.m. and tickets will cost $20 at the door. 

They also told Victoria Buzz that they will have a second single released sometime this summer, titled Best Not Found, which Overton says is the second song they ever wrote together.

Keep an eye out for that and follow them on Instagram to find out when it drops. 


CFUV is a non-profit campus and community radio station that plays a ton of local music of all kinds across Vancouver Island. If you like to support local music they are an amazing resource with a plethora of new local tunes in their arsenal. 

“We love CFUV,” said Overton. “We find many of the people in the CFUV community are also on Instagram all the time promoting and sharing information about shows which makes it a really great way for people to find out about new bands.”

“CFUV, the volunteers and the people that run the shows are truly a pillar of the community.”

Tune into CFUV 101.9 FM on air or online!

Let us know what you think of fivefootnine in the comments below.

Curtis Blandy

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