Happy Accidents

Story by Justin Allec, Photo by Laura Paxton

Local trio Pedestrian Lifestyle is no stranger to the pages of The Walleye. The band’s lush take on shimmering post-rock has resonated ‘round here since the band’s earliest days. The power trio’s latest EP, Nocturnal Sea, was quickly added to my nightly soundtrack. After more than a year without shows, any material from our local bands is welcome.

The tracks from Nocturnal Sea are new takes on songs that were written during the band’s last tour to southern Ontario in 2019. Josh Talakoski’s guitar rings loud enough to carve canyons, while bassist Neil Peltonen’s and drummer Dylan Maxwell dance nimbly in tandem before stomping craters. Talakoski’s vocals are also stronger than on past releases, echoing all over the songs with just the right amount of rasp.

“The reason for the EP now was to stay present, to maintain a presence in people’s minds,” Talakoski says. “Because who knows when we’ll ever play again. Or even be allowed to jam.” Pedestrian Lifestyle, in pre-pandemic times, had been a constant presence on Thunder Bay stages over the past decade. With life on pause, the band followed the new rules of writing songs: record your parts and send them to your bandmates. “The songs came together piece by piece, but it’s hard when you’re not all in the room together,” Talakoski explains. “You’re missing something from the roadmap, even if you’re pleased with where you end up.”

Nocturnal Sea itself is something of a happy accident, owed to a combination of recent lockdowns and the band members overworking themselves during their tour in 2019. Pairing up with Visions of Doyle for the journey, Talakoski and his band attempted to organize the shows and record a split album for promotion. In the end, the tour happened, but the split album, Gorblins, had to wait until later in the year. “It turned into a full-time job,” Talakoski laughs. “It did work out in the end though, because otherwise we wouldn’t have had new music to release this late in the pandemic.”

While the members of Pedestrian Lifestyle bide their time waiting for venues to open, they’ve started working on a full-length album. It’s early stages, but Talakoski feels like it’s the next step for the band. “We’ve honed in on an aesthetic,” he says confidently, and with songs as strong as what’s found on the Nocturnal Sea, we’re willing to wait.