Skip to content

Cousin Jack debuts Friends single, aims for three more before year's end

With new members, Cousin Jack also changing directions: 'We’ve shifted sounds; not the overall sound, but we get a little more experimental'

A new single by Barrie-based band Cousin Jack is the first release since their four-song EP was put out in March 2019. 

The band has been making some changes and has gone from a three-piece band to a foursome. New to the band is Aaron Casey (vocals, keys, guitar) and Ben Flewelling (lead guitar), who join originals Cameron Stevenson (bass) and Jake Thompson (drums).

Thompson spoke with BarrieToday about the new single, Friends, and the perfect timing for it to be heard.

“The song was originally about the transition and importance of friends, but given the times we’re in right now, it is even more relevant,” Thompson said. “We’re all missing our friends right now, missing going to a live show and meeting people.

"The timing of the song just worked out so well.”

The single is the first of four to come this year, with the goal being one release per season. 

Thompson not only plays drums, but, as with everyone in the band, helps write the music, too. 

“We’ve shifted sounds; not the overall sound, but we get a little more experimental,” said Thompson. “The cool thing is we all contribute to the writing and creativity of the band. It is a great dynamic.”

With a new vision and focus, the band was set for a big 2020 with dates set up all through the summer.

When COVID-19 brought about social distancing and venues closed, Thompson said the band had to halt everything.

“We just started getting some traction after last year’s EP and had a pretty fun summer planned for performing. So far, we’ve cancelled 12 shows and who knows how long this will last,” said Thompson.

While he is worried about what the local music scene will look like in a year or less, Thompson hopes some establishments will survive to host live music.

With the Foxx Lounge Rock Bar and Hotdoggery recently announcing its indefinite hiatus, Thompson says that has created a big hole in Barrie’s live music scene.

”The Foxx was the best place to play for up-and-coming musicians; it was a one-of-a-kind spot for the area,” said Thompson. “I fear that other places will be closing and when it is time to play, either the venues won't be there or people will be afraid to go out.”

Until then, Thompson and Cousin Jack are finding other ways to be heard and to reach fans.

“We’ve been campaigning a lot on this new single and trying to engage more with social media, We’re also looking into something that is being contemplated in the U.S., which is a drive-in concert,” said Thompson. “It's still early, but it may actually be the reality for the next little bit.”

Thompson encourages fans of the band to stay tuned to their Facebook page and get ready for the summer single when it drops.

“We are doing what we can to get things ready for the four songs a season for 2020,” said Thompson. “We know what we’re capable of and can’t wait to show it.”