Port Alberni’s 2018 Battle of the Bands winner will be returning to his hometown for a performance at Char’s Landing on Saturday, Feb. 23.
Sean Lyons is a 23-year-old alternative artist originally from Port Alberni. He has established himself as a well-known musician around the Vancouver music scene through an ambitious series of passionate live performances, persistent audio releases via streaming platforms (iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, etc.) and music videos that can be found on YouTube.
Lyons was the first place winner of the 2018 Battle of the Bands in Port Alberni, put on by The Zattzoo Project. Lyons was one of eight bands or solo acts to perform in the annual youth competition, named in memory of musician Zakkaree Coss.
Lyons used the $1,000 cash prize to purchase a vocal pedal for his performances, and the competition landed a spot for his band Sean Lyons and the Good Boys in the 2018 Five Acre Shaker Music Festival at McLean Mill. Since then, he has been working with a variety of producers for new songs to be released this year.
Lyons was born and raised in Port Alberni, but moved to Vancouver at 18 to pursue a career in film. He discovered a passion for music and started performing gigs at different breweries throughout the city.
“Music is pretty much my full-time work,” said Lyons during an over-the-phone interview from Vancouver. “I guess it’s my life now, which is pretty awesome.”
The Battle of the Bands win, followed by his Five Acre Shaker performance, has led to a “snowball effect” for live shows, he said. During his latest show at Char’s Landing in Port Alberni, he will be joined by Lucas Bosma on guitar in a stripped-down and intimate performance, featuring both originals and covers.
Lyons describes his music as “soothing and ambient,” with “spacey vibes” and “an alternative energy.” He is inspired by acts like Julian Casablancas (of The Strokes), Mac DeMarco, The Fratellis, Queens of the Stone Age and Catfish and the Bottlemen.
“I’m more of a vocalist than a guitar player,” he explained. “I’m focused on making the room go quiet with my voice.”
Lyons’ 2018 EP, Roller Coaster, touches on a variety of genres, catchy vocal melodies and impactful lyrics. The title track sheds light on the current fentanyl crisis in Canada. Lyons writes all of his own music.
“I find that the melody would have to come first,” he said. “I come up with something on the guitar, I’ll sing to it and hum some stuff…then I write to the vibe of it.”
Lyons is not new to Char’s Landing—he has performed there previously with groups such as Wildegreen and Chase Spencer. But this will be the first time he headlines a show at the former church. He described Char’s as an “acoustically pleasing” space.
“It’s got a great sound and a down-to-earth feel,” he said. “I like that it’s unique. And I like that it’s my hometown.”
Tickets for the show are $10 and are available by phone (778-421-2427), at the Rollin Art Centre (cash only) or online at http://bpt.me/4069862. Char’s Landing (4815 Argyle Street) is 19+ but accompanied minors are welcome.