A musical duo formed between artists from Vancouver and the Okanagan credits last summer’s wildfires for bringing them together.
Phunk & Wangles is the songwriting and recording project from D. Wangles (Doug Elliott) of Vancouver and J. Phunk (Joseph Pinheiro) of Coldstream.
Separate ancestry searches led the pair to discover they were distant relatives. Then, during the 2021 wildfire season, the two finally met and discovered their connections ran deeper than family.
They started recording music together immediately, and the chemistry was instantaneous.
“We had just hung out together in Vancouver, after I had fled the Okanagan to get away from the smoke and fires,” Pinheiro said. “Once I got back home to Coldstream I started sharing some lyrics I had written. We started texting back and forth until Getting Ready was born. I think it was less than a week later when Wangles had the rough outline of the music and we were both kinda surprised by how good it sounded. Also how quickly it came together.”
Getting Ready is the song the duo first wrote together during the pandemic and wildfire season. Their debut single also features Pat Steward on drums and was released on April 5. The music video will premiere on April 12.
“This collaboration just came out of nowhere really but the results have been so good we just keep going,” Elliott said. “We’ve definitely found a creative rhythm together that’s clicking and we’re having too much fun to stop.”
The two took different paths in the music industry. Elliott, a member of Canadian band The Odds, has been writing and performing in bands since he was 16. Pinheiro started in college radio and has worked with various artists for indie labels, Universal Music Publishing and also had a stint as a band manager.
“Bottom line is we’re laughing a lot and creating twice as much,” Pinheiro said. “And it’s been a great release for us creatively during the pandemic, heatwaves, politics, wildfires, war — there’s been no shortage of inspiration to write about. Now it’s time to share what we’ve been geeking out about for the last eight months.”
The duo has written a couple dozen songs since they first met. Getting Ready is a track daydreaming of a time when people can head back out and enjoy life post-pandemic.