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Farewell Davidson is trending upwards

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Farewell Davidson is trending upwards

Wakefield, Quebec indie and alternative rock band, Farewell Davidson, has been generating a lot of attention throughout the local music scenes in Eastern Ontario and Quebec lately. 

The four-piece band consists of Ryan Wiles on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Zac Liberty on lead guitar, Alex Claro on bass guitar and Victor Antunes on drums. The band and its members are still fairly young, with the their ages ranging from 19 to 20 years old.


After winning their high school’s battle of the bands competition in 2011, Wiles, Liberty and Claro decided to continue making music together. Antunes joined the band a year and half later and the band has seen continued success since.

“It was more of just a fun thing at first, then we realized we were kind of good at this,” said Claro.

Practicing and playing the majority of their shows around Wakefield in Quebec, the band said they are usually known as a Wakefield band, but are also very familiar with Ottawa.


Farewell Davidson’s refreshing sound has echoes of artists like Tokyo Police Club, Band of Skulls, Kings of Leon and Jack White. However, their songs are a unique blend of the band members’ personal musical tastes.

With Wiles listening to softer indie bands, Claro preferring heavier sounds, Antunes liking funkier rock inspired music and Liberty coming from a blues background, their styles often conflicted when they began writing music together.


Although their musical styles sometimes disagree, they find ways to make it work, with Wiles usually writing the frame of most songs and the band filling the rest in with their own material.

“Most of the time, it is Ryan who would lay out the skeleton of the song,” said Liberty.

Originally playing cover songs at local venues for free, the band has evolved a lot since then. With no direction and playing up to five shows a week at the beginning, the band members said they worried that they would be nothing more than a cover band. However, they persisted through that and created something special.


While their musical tastes may not always be in sync, their instruments and aspirations certainly are. The band has recorded a great six-song EP called Hometown Lights that has generated a lot of attention. 

They now hope to get back into the studio and create another EP. “We’ve grown a lot since that EP two years ago,” said Liberty.

The band members said they hope the next EP will be even better than the first. “We are going to spend a lot more time on this one and maybe some more money and try to promote it properly,” said Wiles. 

They also said they hope to put everything into recording this summer and, although the release date is still unknown they hope to start recording a new single by the end of May.


Farewell Davidson has played with many notable Canadian bands like The Balconies, Paper Lions and Wildlife. They will also be opening for Hawksley Workman at Ottawa City Hall as part of Ottawa Race Weekend on May 24.

A few times a year, the band can also be seen playing live for causes and organizations such as Tony’s Promise and MADD, both of which hold a close meaning to the band and are responsible for the band’s name continuing to be Farewell Davidson.


They said the band’s name was originally chosen when the name of the street where Wiles lived and the band practiced, Davidson, was changed to something else, hence the name, Farewell Davidson. “We were saying goodbye to the street [name] because that is where we practiced on,” said Wiles.

However, there is a second story that is often linked to the band’s name. A drunk driver killed Wiles’ close friend, Anthony “Tony” McColl. Anthony’s father happened to be named David and when David’s son had passed away, the band said their name had a new meaning.

The band members said that before that tragic event happened, they were considering changing the name of the band, but decided to keep it. It has since become very symbolic in their community and an important part of their identity. 

The future for the band looks bright as they look to generate the same success they have had in Ottawa and Wakefield when they move to Montreal in the coming months. The band members said a big reason for the move is to help them expand their reach and image into a larger market. 


Even with Claro and Liberty going off to university in Montreal, they said they would try to keep the band as a top priority. “I don’t see it ever being not the main thing on the agenda,” said Liberty.

This is only the beginning of what hopes to be a long road to success for Farewell Davidson. You can also catch them on the River Stage this summer at RBC Ottawa Bluesfest on July 13, a show they said they are very excited to play.

Check out a live review of Farewell Davidson playing at Ottawa’s Tulip Festival here.


Written by Michael Hanifi

Photographs from Erik Stolpmann


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