Doing some Sunday shopping at the local dump is something a lot of Northerners can relate to, and the synth laden garage rock duo Soda Pony from Whitehorse, playing a set at this weekend’s Folk on the Rocks are no different.

Photo courtesy of Soda Pony
Whitehorse’s Soda Pony, consisting of Aiden Tentrees, left, and Patrick Hamilton take a light hearted approach to garage rock and note the influences of dump culture in their music and lives. The pair will be playing this weekend at Folk on the Rocks.

Patrick Hamilton, simultaneously playing drums and key-bass, and Aiden Tentrees on guitar, vocals and synth, have been friends since childhood, cruising through dumps as long as they’ve been playing music together.

Tentrees has even taken the “garbage management career path” when not on tour, working at a small waste facility.

“It gives you an enlightened perspective on society and has influences on our music,” said Tentrees.

“Whitehorse doesn’t really have a booming thrift store scene so when the Salvation Army closed, the dump really became the place where people cruise around.”

The pair have visited the dump in Yellowknife and had “an excellent time.”

While not searching for treasures in the trash heaps, Hamilton and Tentrees jam together in the small, but supportive Whitehorse music scene, carving out their niche with playful and charismatic performances.

Since forming in 2013, they’ve been playing at international festivals, have toured though Canada and released two albums: Self Titled Debut and the 2017 Sophomore.

Having been called “dump rock” or even “pet rock”, their influences ranging from the Pixies to Neil Young for Tentrees as a guitar player, they highlighted the influences of musicians taking a less than serious tone.

“I also take some notes from a guy like Roger Miller, who’s cheeky and funny, not too serious but has a good message and it’s a cleverly crafted thing,” said Tentrees.

“If it doesn’t have a sense of humour than it’s not really a big influence on Soda Pony,” said Hamilton.

This coming weekend, the pair will be showing off some new material for Yellowknife from an upcoming album which caps off their “high school nostalgia” trilogy, which has been a underlying theme in their music.

“It’s going to be a kiss off to all that and be a concept album about coming of age in Whitehorse,” said Tentrees.

For now, the pair have been enjoying their stay and getting ready for this weekend’s performance.

“Yellowknife is always great place to visit and we’re pretty excited about playing,” said Tentrees. “You guys definitely get our vibe.”

Brett McGarry

Brett McGarry came to Yellowknife in early 2019 after graduating from Humber College with an advanced diploma in journalism. After covering city council and local business as a reporter, Brett is now an...