Throughout his years at St. Thomas University, former Redwood Fields frontman Cedric Noel knew he wanted to take his music one step further. That time came this past spring, when hours once reserved for writing The Aquinian articles and TV reports could now be spent recording an album.
“I recorded a bunch of it, not all of it, and I thought why not just start a band to play with me? It was very spur of the moment.”
Noel’s latest project is Sentimentals.
When Noel graduated last year from the journalism program, he was already well versed in the business of public influence. In first year, he taught himself to play the guitar, which eventually led to a myriad of solo performances in Fredericton.
“I like the concept of a band a lot better than me being lead,” said Noel.
Sentimentals sound a lot more grunge or punk compared to Redwood Fields, which was more mellow. Noel has found inspiration from bands including Ought, The War on Drugs and Breeders.
“Sentimentals is still a fairly new band and I think we’re only beginning to find some sort of direction. But I think our collective rule of thumb is that if we all like it we’ll try it,” said Noel. “Not a lot of censorship but a whole lot of fun.”
Friend and fellow St. Thomas alumnus Will Pacey was first on the list of potential band mates for Noel. Having played a few gigs with him in the past, the bassist was more than happy to join. Cameron Corey, another local musician, joined not long after on the drums.
“Both of them are very adept at music and know what they’re doing so I can throw something really weird or hard at them and they’re just like ‘oh ya, no problem!’” said Noel.
Pacey said their sound is maturing. They’re writing songs together now, from the start, rather than building off riffs Noel would bring to rehearsals.
“We’re evolving as time goes on and we feel like we’re becoming more of a cohesive unit. We’re getting to know each other musically,” said Pacey.
Pacey had never played with Corey before Sentimentals but says the unfamiliarity helped. Their musical creativity is organic by default.
Noel adds that he can only productively write something if he stops thinking about it so hard.
“It’s very hard for me to be satisfied with it unless there’s a good hook about it and it’s weird at the same time.”
Along with two upcoming shows in October, including one with the eclectic B.A. Johnston on the 15th, Sentimentals hope to record an album in the near future.