Original Pairs Reveal How To Not Grow Old

The Toronto retro-rockers share the ultimate pre-nup for a rock ’n’ roll romance.

Original Pairs turn back time with their retro-rockin’ single and video Not Grow Old — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

A preview of the Toronto outfit’s upcoming album Long Play (OPLP), Not Grow Old offers a four-on-the-floor slab of old-school garage-surf choogle laced with twangy guitars, pounding drums and well-deep vocals outlining the ultimate pre-nup for a rock ’n’ roll romance:

“You can do what you want
You can stay out all night
Spend all my money
Put up a fight
Its all right
I know you love the night
You can never pick up
Put me on hold
Talk with your mouth full
Don’t say you ain’t been told
You better not grow old.”

The song is the stealth-bomb Valentine of OPLP, which traces the evolution of a partnership from its earliest days in a Toronto apartment (Concord Avenue) to its inevitable rough spots (Love Collision) to the panicky prospect of living out the sunset years together. “The Long Play of love isn’t always pretty, but it’s never boring,” the group understate.

And this bunch should know. When they met nearly two decades ago, the group’s Andrew Frontini and Lisa Logan decided to be not just a singer-guitarist and his drummer but a committed couple as well. Lest you assume, though, that OPLP represents some sort of twisted catharsis for the duo — well, they already mined that terrain on Original Pairs’ first album Forbidden Fruit, whose romantic pop rock documented their “scandal-ridden” courtship.

The real scandal is the way Original Pairs have been setting the Toronto scene on its ear since 2008 with their electrifying brand of rock ’n’ roll, which incorporates elements of folk, country, pop and psychedelia. Over the years, they’ve settled into a winning lineup of Frontini, Logan, bassist Lynda Kraar and keyboardist Jon Loewen — the perfect vessel for the off-kilter yet accessible songs that flow from Frontini’s pen.

For this third album, the band chose to replicate their sound by recording live off the floor at Lincoln County Social Club, laying down all eight tracks in a frenzied four days. The aim was to recapture the feel of the early-’80s rock scene in Frontini’s native Kingston, where he played in a band with Gord Downie. It was a time, Original Pairs recall, when the revival of ’60s rock and rockabilly was dovetailing with the development of punk into new wave and post-punk. OPLP attempts to ape that synthesis by harkening simultaneously back to what the group pronounces “rock’s greatest years” of 1965 and 1980.

Watch the video for Not Grow Old above, hear more from Original Pairs below, and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.