Bahamas is the moniker for singer/songwriter/guitar virtuoso Afie Jurvanen. Afie isn’t from the Bahamas. He’s a Finnish-Canadian from Barrie–a working class town in rural Ontario. But his chosen epithet is fitting. Since 2009 he’s been making music under the name Bahamas–writing songs about sunsets, love affairs, and making out with crooked smiles. Through simple arrangements, he charts an escape route from the snow belt to the coral reefs.
Jurvanen, along with Christine Bougie (guitar), Don Kerr (drums), Mike O’Brien (bass), Felicity Williams (vocals), and longtime producer, multi-Grammy nominee Robbie Lackritz (Feist, Jack Johnson, Robbie Robertson) have elevated Bahamas music to the next plateau.
His latest release Sad Hunk is the result a natural progression of Jurvanen as an artist. The album encapsulates all that the legions Bahamas fans have grown to love – great songwriting, emotional resonance, exceptional musicianship, signature arrangements and sharp tongue & cheek humor – while incorporating new sounds, textures and subject matter.
The title and artwork for Sad Hunk finds the artist poking fun at himself as the result of a nickname given to him by his wife in reaction to an overdramatic photo shoot that was out of character for Jurvanen. It’s a fitting backstory for an album that embodies an undaunted self-awareness, each track graced with Bahamas’s wry wit and unabashed heart.
The songs on Sad Hunk were inspired by Jurvanen’s life at home, all the joy and struggle that comes with building a family and the recent move from their native Ontario to the coast of Nova Scotia. There is a genuine warmth and sincerity that radiates throughout the album.
Bahamas has achieved success here and overseas through their exceptional live shows that inspire and entertain. Their streaming numbers range around three million per month consistently on Spotify and continue to grow. Bahamas biggest streaming track “Lost In The Light” has racked up almost 100 million plays, while “All The Time”, the lead single from third album Bahamas Is Afie, recently passed 70m. 2018’s Earthtones won Adult Alternative Album Of The Year at the 2019 Juno Awards, and received a Grammy nomination. In 2015, Songwriter Of The Year by the Junos.