Two Hours Traffic to disband

PEI pop band embark on farewell tour from Ontario to the Coast.

After over a decade of producing music, Prince Edward Island pop band Two Hours Traffic is ending its journey on a high note. With the release of the group’s last studio album Foolish Blood earlier this year, the group has decided to amicably disband in order to pursue other musical aspirations.

In an announcement on their website, Two Hours Traffic said that “it is just the right time” to part ways, and thanked fans for the love and support they have received throughout their career. Along with this news, they have also announced a number of farewell shows in Ontario and the Maritimes.

A staple of Prince Edward Island’s pop music scene, the group has released four studio albums and three extended-plays together. Their sound has drawn on elements of 1960s pop and rock music, featuring complex instrumentals, romantic lyrics, and catchy hooks.

The band has strongly impacted the musical community of Prince Edward Island, where a steady increase in independent music has prospered over the past few years.

“I think Two Hours Traffic are somewhat responsible for the wave of pop-tinged indie-rock that Charlottetown has become known for over the last decade,” said Fraser McCallum, member of Charlottetown’s Racoon Bandit.

“Their sound showed local musicians that pop wasn’t a dirty word; that you can be a front-man of a band with an acoustic guitar and some earnest storytelling in your lyrics. The band was really the poster child for the Charlottetown pop scene for the last while, and was an inspiration for many aspiring musicians.”

McCallum says they started their group in 2009 after realizing what heights a group from the Maritimes could reach in the Canadian music scene.

“We saw that it could be done in the East Coast and we figured we had something to say and contribute,” says McCallum.

“There were a lot of other bands in town, so it both inspired us to get our songs organized and also created some healthy competition.”

Paper Lions, another musical group from Prince Edward Island who were influenced by Two Hours Traffic’s music, said they were sad when they heard the news, but not completely heartbroken for the members’ futures.

“Bands break up. Bands start up. They’ll never stop making music,” said Colin Buchanan, guitarist for Paper Lions. “They will continue in other projects, I’m sure.”

According to McCallum, the music scene in Prince Edward Island is very supportive. He also notes that it is surprisingly diverse, featuring traditional musicians along with a wave of modern independent bands. 

“The community is rich with talent and very tight-knit. In Charlottetown, it’s almost harder to find someone who doesn’t perform in some capacity than someone who does.”

Buchanan said that there are plenty of new PEI bands willing to fill the void, and hopefully reach the same heights as Two Hours Traffic in the near future.

“There’s never a lack of great music in PEI,” he said.

Two Hours Traffic will be embarking upon a farewell tour throughout December. Their Ontario shows will include Toronto, Kingston, and Ottawa. 

In the East Coast, they will stop in Fredericton on Dec. 18, Moncton on Dec. 19, Halifax on Dec. 20, and, finally, Charlottetown on Dec. 21.

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