Travel, adventure and personal revelation mark the new album by singer/songwriter Alessi Laurent–Marke of Alessi’s Ark. The Still Life is a work both lucid and heartbreakingly lovely, a sonic landscape that roams a wide range of emotions, with (as the songwriter explains), “Nature and love, as common threads”.
It's been a time since we heard from Tasmin Archer, although it comes as something of a shock when you do the math and realise it's ten long years since her last album. Now she's back with 'On' , a stunning collection that proves yet again that wise old maxim that the best things in life are indeed worth the wait. As you would expect, it's a record of hugely atmospheric songs, rich with potent melodies and intelligent lyrics informed by her own unusual experience - and the result is a comeback that is as triumphant as it is welcome. To explain what she's been doing since we last heard from her, it's necessary to put her long-awaited return in the context of Tasmin's earlier success. When she shot to the top of the charts in 1992 with 'Sleeping Satellite', it was a popular misconception that she had come from nowhere to become an overnight sensation.
Hailing from Odense, Denmark, the five young guys in The Kissaway Trail have set sail for new shores, armed with an album full of love, hope and loss. On deck they have their labels Bella Union in the UK, Europe and Japan, and Speak n Spell in Australia, and Playground Music in Scandinavia. The self-titled debut was released in the UK in April this year to rave reviews calling it “a savagely beautiful noise” (NME), "the debut album of the year so far." (The Independent) “mesmerising” (The Guardian), “an absolute revelation” (The Fly) and simply, “phenomenal” (Rock Sound). The band’s live performances are also taking the critics by storm, with The Guardian declaring them “this year’s jawdroppers” and Drowned in Sound concluding that, “the whole experience sticks with the attendee for days, weeks afterwards; they should one day, soon, be playing to far larger crowds.”
Although one of Canada’s biggest country music stars, Johnny Reid strays from the traditional country sound more often than not. The Scottish-born Canadian played three sold out shows this October in Manitoba and demonstrated his versatility and talent on stage every night. Johnny captured audiences with his nine-piece band, including a three-piece horn section and two back up singers, who offered up two hours of heartfelt ballads and soulful R & B tunes. His sound is not what most consider country, but what makes his music fall into that genre is his songwriting. Johnny finds much of his inspiration from love, family, relationships and all the things that country music is known for. His openness and genuine character are visible on stage as he chats with the audience like old friends between songs.
“I was put on a course into the crazy business and bohemian lifestyle of a musician shortly aftter I was born. At my baptism, the preacher told my parents he had a vision that I would be a strong willed child (my mother will vouch for that) and grow up to be a singer. Ever since I was first told that story as a child this little feeling nagged at me. I actually started trying out for bands at the age of 19. My second audition was for “The Rose Chronicles.”
“I guess the Rose Chroncles thought I passed the test because they asked me to join after that first audition. 3 months later, after only two gigs, we were signed to Nettwerk records. Rose Chronicles’ full length debut garnered a Juno award in 1994 for best alternative album. The album had sold about 15,000 copies last time I checked.”
Rose Chronicles toured across Canada a few times and also performed in a few cities on the East coast of the US.
Stef Lang burst onto the Canadian music scene with her first full-length album, The Underdog. The album received a great deal of critical and commercial praise, the first single “Mr. Immature” hit #5 on the Billboard Canadian Emerging Artist chart. It was also in the Top 20 at Contemporary Hit Radio and Hot Adult Contemporary Radio.
These achievements earned her nominations at the Western Canadian Music Awards (“Pop Recording of the Year”) and the Canadian Radio Music Awards. Stef's follow up sophomore album, Self, saw her writing, producing, recording, and editing every song, as well as even creating the album art. The album eschews the more traditional pop subjects and instead focuses on introspective, empowering lyrics and compositions designed to give fans relatable, positive, and motivational music.
I played in Scratching Post for a gazillion years. It was awesome. Brief history: we started in London, Ontario. Got signed to a major U.S label by the guy who discovered and signed Motley Crue and Guns 'n' Roses. That was also awesome til the label folded. So we made some noise indpendently and released a whack of albums, singles and videos. Toured the country a bunch of times with some great bands. Had a blast!
Now I write and co-write songs for and with a bunch of great artists in a bunch of different genres. I love it.
Hard work and perseverance is what it takes to make it in the music industry. Just ask producer and songwriter Chris Perry. Having produced scores of local indie talent Perry moved into the major label remixing arena working with TLC, Edwin, Snow, Our Lady Peace, Jacksoul, and Organized Rhyme. In 2000, he signed on to Camara Alford’s management company UOMO and their focus quickly shifted to major label production and song-writing. Chris Perry has since become one of the most sought after writer and producer in the country, having written and produced hit singles such as “Talk to Me” – George, “All I Ever Wanted” – Brian Melo, “Unpredictable” - Keshia Chanté, “Let’s Go” - Shawn Desman, “Something More” – Ryan Malcolm, “Awake in a Dream” - Kalan Porter, “Run” – Rex Goudie, “Moviestar” – Rascalz, “IE” – In Essence.
With an accomplished career including a platinum debut album, a sophomore Juno Award winning album for Best R&B/Soul Recording, chart-topping singles and videos, movie performances and numerous accolades under his belt, singer, dancer, actor, songwriter and producer Shawn Desman is launching his highly anticipated new album. And it’s undeniable that Desman’s third highly anticipated album “Fresh” represents a tremendous progression of his career. From the moment he released his self titled debut platinum-selling album in the fall of 2002, Shawn Desman has enjoyed phenomenal success in the music industry. His album spent an incredible 49 weeks on the SoundScan Top 200 sales chart and produced two Top 10 singles and two number one videos. He instantly proved he was about to become a superstar entertainer worthy of all the critical acclaim and destined to be at the forefront of the global music stage.
It has been an amazing year for hit songwriter / producer Ryan Stewart. In the last twelve months, Ryan has accumulated three Juno Nominations, won “Songwriter of the Year” along with the amazingly talented Carly Rae Jepsen at the Canadian Radio Music Awards, co-written and produced two Certified Gold singles & five Top 15 hits, and received over 70,000 spins at Canadian radio. Based in Vancouver, and focusing on his own brand of "cred-pop", Ryan has co-written and produced hit songs for Carly Rae Jepsen, Laurell, Carmen & Camille, Jessie Farrell, and Andrew Allen. He is currently in the studio with Suzie McNeil, The Latency, and Marianna's Trench guitarist Matt Webb.