The Sylvia Platters are featured with Stephen Carl O’Shea on a new album, Shadow Steps, released by Abbotsford’s CIVL Radio. (Submitted photo)

Abbotsford’s CIVL Radio releases Shadow Steps album

Artists Stephen Carl O’Shea and The Sylvia Platters featured

Abbotsford community and campus radio station CIVL Radio 101.7 FM is getting into the record business.

Released last week, Shadow Steps is a split 12-inch vinyl LP of new original material by Fraser Valley mainstays Stephen Carl O’Shea (You Say Party) and The Sylvia Platters.

“CIVL had hundreds of artists apply for Fraser Valley Music Awards over the past two years,” said Aaron Levy, CIVL station manager.

“We are so excited to provide two of the highest rated artists our judges reviewed, and two of the most active artists in our community with the opportunity to produce the music that they love. We can’t wait to see who gets this treatment next year.”

The Sylvia Platters’ guitarist Nick Ubels said the group is thrilled to have the support of CIVL Radio for this release and “even more so to be able to collaborate with local legend Stephen Carl O’Shea.”

The artists celebrated with a pair of release parties in Abbotsford on Oct. 19 and Vancouver on Oct/ 21.

The album was recorded in the first half of 2018 at the Vancouver Public Library Inspiration Lab.

O’Shea worked with Vancouver producer Mike Gittens to complete songs he has been working on since 2012.

He simplified his approach from past “all the sounds, all the time” efforts with You Say Party, and found a new voice that built on the political dance-punk lyrics he contributed to YSP’s earliest efforts.

The Sylvia Platters recorded their half of the split album at Little Red Sounds in New Westminster with producer Felix Fung.

The songs range from fuzzy and propulsive indie rock to understated dream pop influenced by the likes of Ride, Teenage Fanclub, Beach House, Wilco and Smashing Pumpkins.

The bed tracks were recorded live off-the-floor with an emphasis on spare and effective overdubs.

“Felix challenged us to scrutinize our arrangements and only accept the best performances we could give,” Ubels said. “That hard work has really paid off in what I feel is our best work yet.”

Shadow Steps is a part of the legacy of the 2017 Fraser Valley Music Awards presented by CIVL-FM, celebrating the burgeoning music community growing in the Fraser Valley.

The album title comes from a lyric shared on both sides of the record, and reflects the way each artist’s contribution plays off the other.

Album artwork was created by Fraser Valley artist Renee Campbell.

The Sylvia Platters are Alex Kerc-Murchison (guitar), Nick Ubels (guitar and vocals), Tim Ubels (drums and vocals), and Scott Wagner (bass).

In addition to the vinyl release, Side A (The Sylvia Platters) and Side B (Stephen Carl O’Shea) of Shadow Steps can be heard via SoundCloud or on most streaming services.

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Stephen Carl O’Shea is featured with The Sylvia Platters on a new album, Shadow Steps, released by Abbotsford’s CIVL Radio. (Submitted photo)

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