A lot of my relatives used to live in Vancouver, but they have since moved away to other places. One year, at a family gathering in Taipei, I asked my uncle why the majority of the family decided to leave Vancouver and move to places such as Taipei.
Turns out, life in Vancouver had become a matter of routine for many of them.
“Vancouver is a city that is surrounded by nice scenery and nice weather, but the pace is just so slow there……people walk slower, new buildings take longer to build, things that are popular around the world seem to be taking longer for them to reach Vancouver…… It’s like nothing exciting is happening there.” I must have looked puzzled, so he went on to explain.
Indeed, compared to most fast-paced cities in the world, Vancouver is more laid-back. But as a Vancouverite, I think this city has its own excitement; it is just hidden away, not that easy to discover. But when you’ve stumbled upon something surprisingly good, it’s like finding an Easter Egg in a film or comic book – the feeling is just so fulfilling.
To me, It Ends with Us. is like an Easter Egg hidden in Vancouver. At first I thought, just like many similar bands, It Ends with Us. would be just another cover band that came together in high school. The band is relatively new, and the members are young; it gave me this false impression that the band has a lot more to develop. As a result, I was hesitant.
So when I finally gave their newest EP, “Sail the Storm”, a listen, it totally blew my mind. Starting off with the first song, “Jumpstart” (https://youtu.be/cqCY_wM3wJo), the beats filled up my eardrums. The rhythm combined with the rhyming lyrics in the verse makes this song very catchy. This type of arrangement continues to its pre-chorus, and once it reaches its chorus, whenever the keyword “Jumpstart” is mentioned, a wave of electric guitar that mimics the sound of a starting-up engine follows. A nice way to surprise the listener.
Then, after listening to the first 2 songs of the EP, just when I thought It Ends with Us. relied heavily on the metallic nature of electric guitar, the third song of the EP proved me wrong again. Unlike the first 2 songs, “Hysteria of Relief” (https://youtu.be/ditfb3ZHCdY) employs a series of clean chords played by unplugged guitars. This somehow turns the song into the main attraction of the EP. I love how this song shows a different side of It Ends with Us., a slower and softer side.
“Sail the Storm” captures the musical style of It Ends with Us., and also delivers that element of surprise. I believe this element of surprise is unique to Vancouver. At first, the life in Vancouver might feel like a matter of routine for you., but if you look deeper, you would discover something extraordinary.
The name “It Ends with Us.” might be describing something coming to an end, but I truly think this is just the beginning of the band. One day, they would become something exciting. You can feel the endless energy that is flowing through their music – an energy that will carry them into the future.
Note: It Ends with Us. was originally set to perform at this year’s TAIWANfest in Vancouver. Unfortunately, they have to withdraw from this year’s lineup due to a scheduling conflict.
Recommendation: Give their “Loserville” (https://youtu.be/pmHM8v06iPM) a spin. This song captures the helplessness of the current young generation, and it uses its fast paced melody to express the “don’t care” attitude of being a self identified “loser” in our current society.