Odder than the Otters float somewhere between catchy skiffle and melodious psychedelia, blending surreal storytelling into their riverside rock ‘n’ roll. Drawing influence from The Band, Neil Young, Jake Bugg, Shakey Graves, and Sam Roberts, the Otters hit home then drift downstream into otherworldly travels.
A clean shaven Cody Goertzen left for Southeast Asia with a backpack and a ukulele. No one really knows what happened over there, but he returned to Canada as a shaggy songwriter with a fresh perspective and a lot of musical love to share.
Goertzen swapped stories and lyrics with drummer Adam Hill in the summery shade of the Assiniboine Forest. They formed a strong songwriting partnership to the strum of the Baby Taylor guitar and the tap of a cajon. Joe Johnson’s smooth guitar leads and Mitch Kruse’s playful bass lines electrified the folk foundation of the Otters — just in time for their first show in August 2015.
From then on, the Otters have embraced the prairie DIY attitude. They have self-produced four music videos, recorded their first single “Bad News Edison,” hand-printed hundreds of T-shirts, and recorded a four-song demo.
In early 2016, Goertzen and Hill spread the Otters gospel in Ecuador for three months. Since their return, the band has toured western Manitoba and played notable gigs like Buss Stock, Shine on Festival of Music and Art and the 150 Alliance fall event at Winnipeg Art Gallery.
The Otters’ quirky and comprehensive musical storytelling is guided by the age-old binary of wildly fun excursions and sobering personal experiences. Their quick-witted narrative celebrates ramblin’ wanderlust, tropical beach life and the uplifting power of radio, while their ironic humour explores serious topics like addiction and family trauma.
The band will release their debut four-song EP in fall of 2017, followed by a supporting tour. In the meantime, they are hitting the studio and preparing for the upcoming festival season. They’re eager to play as many shows as they can get their paws on.