Incredibly accessible, yet never boring. These Creeps have something for everyone.
Olivia and the Creepy Crawlies are 6 Canadians creating some of the most blissfully sweet, truly independent folk-pop that has ever graced the Great White North. I introduce them to any kind of music fan of any age, finding them undeniably enjoyable.
This gang of popsters is comprised, mostly, of Fanshawe (a college in London,ON) graduates of the Music Industry Arts program and have been releasing gems for the last 4 years. Olivia (singer/ukulele), Aurora (Drummer), Connor (bass/trumpet) , and Chris (guitar/autoharp/harmonica/self-proclaimed Screech of the group) were actually all in the same year of the program as well. Olivia remembers posting a video on Facebook about 4 years ago of a band that she really liked with a semi-joking caption along the lines of “somebody start a band like this with me” and Aurora, without missing a beat, commented saying she was in while the others soon followed. Kelly went to a different college but was known through mutual friends and was asked to join to provide her beautiful backing vocals and glockenspiel work. Jordan Moore, the guitarist for both EPs and the engineer/mixer for Charley eventually left to focus on audio engineering and his new job at True North Records was essential in the Crawlies rise.
I remember when I was first introduced to their music in 2014. Charley (named after Jordan’s cat) their introductory EP had just been released and they came to Kingston (about 5 hours from London) as a stop on their tour. I recall simply thinking “oh, cool name, this should be a fun show if nothing else”. I looked them up, and found a music video for “Long Forgotten Friend”,
then if you could, imagine a super-cut in the style of Darren Aronosky’s Requiem For A Dream, a montage of chills, dilated pupils, and a near cold-sweat. I was speechless. I was expecting something completely different. Something perhaps gimmicky and scrappy, not something this delightfully beautiful, haunting and truly mature. Their live show also lived up and, even surpassed expectations. Olivia and her ukelele leading a band armed with bass, guitars, drums, glockenspiels, harmonica, autoharp, trumpet, and palpable fun. The Crawlies, a larger than average band, still manage to give every member stand-out parts and gives you a great sense of their personality in the wonderful music videos they’ve released.
“Your Mom”, the closer on Charley is easily my favourite and cemented me as a forever-fan, to the point that I hastily made a fan video so I could somehow be forever linked to it, even though I had never edited a movie in my life!
Their follow-up EP Tongue Tied features more great art from Kelly (it’s actually a 5-foot wide painting, more art of hers can be viewed at kellysamuel.com). They continued to build on the themes of love, doubt, loss, and playfulness found on their debut, with a expanded, lusher sound. Tongue Tied opens with “Gatsby” which showcases the even higher level of polish.
“Gatsby” floored me and squashed any misplaced worry I had that they wouldn’t be able to recapture the magic and beauty of Charley. “Supervillain,” my favourite on this release, is so fun and imaginative, on top of being perfectly constructed, that it’s unfortunate that a Cartoon Network show hasn’t been created simply to use it as it’s theme. Olivia’s voice is so pure, often reminding me of Madeline (Orange Twin Records/ Plan-it-X) yet wholly unique and instantly recognizable.
Although birthed in London, the Creepy Crawlies have scurried their way to Toronto and are once again a 6-piece. Trevor , the newest member was also a student at Fanshawe who was known to the band through his work with the band Toast of the Town.
“The Creepy Crawlies were big for me when I was a wee lad in college. I perform as a solo act as well, and so does one of my buddies, Kyle Ivanich. We had a bet to see who could open for the Crawlies first. He opened for them last year, winning the bet, so I decided to one up him and just join the band. Take that Kyle.”
Fully-formed and operating at one of Canada’s musical epicentres, they are aware of the potential and competition:
“Toronto is this vast ocean of bands, bars, and new faces. There are opportunities around every corner, there are more events and venues to play at, it’s pretty crazy. Also there are tons of different scenes and groups of people to get into. London was nice but Toronto is a different ball game”.
The band has toured the east coast of Canada and sent music the the furthest reaches of our west coast now that The Crawlies are in the big leagues and have announced that new music is on the way, I think it’s time they found an american audience.
Their tunes can be found at:
Aurora also drums for Wine Lips, a much different band ( garage punk) that can be found here
P.S. When Olivia was asked what “Supervillan” she would be…
“Captain Hook, hands down. But not cartoon Captain Hook- Dustin Hoffman Captain Hook. When I was about 6 years old, after seeing the movie Hook, I used to dress up like him all the time. I would get my mum to draw the moustache on me and I had the curly black Cher wig and everything. I used a turkey baster as a sword and run around the house saying “Good form Jack” and stuff like that. I thought he was the coolest. I still have a soft spot for that movie. And I also still have the hook”.