Pineo & Loeb
Saturday, February 9
Pacifico, 1505 Barrington Street
"A lot of these songs we didn't think initially would be even possible, like 'Stairway to Heaven,'" says Mitchell Pineo, one half of EDM outfit Pineo & Loeb, recounting a green room conversation where someone said no one had ever done a good cover of the classic. "I was like, that's a challenge."
Now it's one of the 12 tracks from Elevation, a full-length collection of covers the Halifax pair releases Friday. The album—which has been a year in the making—features energetic takes on favourites from Led Zeppelin, Prince, TLC and Arcade Fire.
Pineo and JR Loeb, who have been creative partners for nine years, started working on Elevation during the tour for their debut album, Lifeblood. While on the west coast, crashing with supporting act Incline, they recorded demos in the bathroom at night while Incline was asleep.
"We were just feeling super-inspired to get these ideas out, so we would put towels under the door and just try not to sing too loud," says Loeb, laughing.
The duo focused on making the album feel like a cohesive experience, says Pineo. The songs are rooted in varied genres and decades from the '70s to now. They wanted to fuse what they love about the originals with the modern, "more dance-y" vibe that defines their style, and brought in guest vocalists like Rich Aucoin, Ghettosocks and Jah'Mila.
Pineo says the inspiration to do a cover album was sparked by the passing of a close friend just before the Lifeblood tour.
"When you think about musicians who have passed away, or friends, you can still feel their presence in a way," he says. "You can still feel their energy and what they stood for."
The duo kicked off the Elevation tour last week in Mexico.