Our latest guest playlist has been compiled by Canadian guitarist Shermy Freeman of the all-female surf rock quartet The Surfrajettes, who have charmed audiences with their clever mix of psychedelic rock and reverb-drenched surf music since they formed in late 2015.
How long have you been playing the guitar and how did it all start
I started playing the guitar when I was in the 11th grade for a few years, and then I didn’t really pick it up much for the next 9 or 10 years! I remember seeing a lot of my male friends learning guitar and I thought, “hey! I want to do that too!”.
What is the first album you ever bought
This is a tough one! Thinking back, I believe it was AC/DC’s “Who Made Who” with my Christmas money in the third grade.
What is the last album you bought
I actually just bought Bronski Beat’s “Age of Consent”. I’m a huge new wave fan also!
How did your band The Surfajettes form
Back in 2015 I had this idea to start an all female surf band when I noticed there was a lack of female representation in our local scene. I called up Nicole whom I’d gone to high school with, and was also in the guitar program. The rest is history! We had our first show booked before we’d even found a bass player…yikes!
What have been some of the highlights for the band
A huge highlight for me has definitely been getting to travel. We have also had the opportunity in the past year to play two cruises, one with Melissa Ethridge, and the other with The Beach Boys! Another highlight is also just getting to see people who genuinely like what you’re doing come out and support you. I am always so appreciative of that and feel so grateful when folks buy our record!
Favourite gig you have played
I want to say one of the cruises, but honestly I have to say our recent album release show at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. We recorded an album called “Roller Fink” in Toronto last year, and it was a really special show for us. We even gave out bags of cotton candy.
Where are your favourite place to shop for records
I love looking for records at thrift stores, and record stores, I’ve had amazing luck finding some holy grails in Cleveland actually. Amoeba in LA is awesome. Our record label Hi-Tide recordings also sells really cool surfy records, with amazing art and coloured vinyl inside. That’s not even a name drop! Haha, I’d shop there if I wasn’t affiliated.
What is your favourite song from the playlist
I find making playlists tough because I do feel like they should have some sort of cohesive vibe, but I love so much music it’s hard! On this list I’d have to say “Friday On My Mind” by The Easybeats. There’s something about the way the chorus drops, lyrically signifying the weekend, that actually allows you to experience the little serotonin boost associated with being done work for the week every time you listen to the song.
What are your three desert island songs
As far as desert island songs go, they’re probably off in left field compared to my playlist. First I would say “Under the Milky Way” by The Church (I guess I just really love Australian bands), “I Wanna Be Adored” by The Stone Roses, and a more current song obsession is The Manakooras cover of “Congo Glide” which is on my playlist. It’s a really cool Exotica band featuring a lap steel. I hope they have a lap steel on this island, as I’ve discovered that’s the kind of time I’ll be needing to learn to play something resembling a song on one.
Who are your musical influences
My two main musical influences are Angus Young and Herb Alpert. Seemingly unrelated (though fun fact born on the same day), but their music had huge impacts on me at a young age. Other than that obvious example in my mind, I have been influenced by so much music from the 1940s through the 1990s! Don’t even get me started, I’ll be talking for days.
We love the interior of your home. Where are some of your favourite places to hunt for antiques
Thank you!! Thrift stores, Antique malls, dumpsters, your Grandmothers basement! None of those are jokes. I’ve been collecting since I was a teen, but I still get the same high finding a good score at the thrift…
You can follow Shermy here or check out The Surfrajettes here