Friday, January 25, 2013

Little Gems - Canada 1st Edition

I serendipitously managed to land myself in Guelph - Canada's folk music capital- for my University exchange. By now you must have realised I like to be a music-beagle trying to find as many new bands as I can and although I've only been here for three weeks and already I have been overwhelmed by the amount of talented musicians I've seen/heard so far. Most of these musicians are from Guelph or Ontario but there are the odd exceptions...

Ptarmigan -  Imagine Mumford and Son's before they all had beards and you've got these guys.

Jordan Raycroft - You have probably heard me rambling on about the Open Stage Night at the Bullring which has become my new campus home. Well this guy hosts it and he usually blows everyone else out of the water. If you like City and Colour (and beards) I can guarantee you will like him...

Sarah Felker - Another of my Bullring gems, this girl came on and silenced the place which rarely happens! She'd definitely one to watch UK...

Alanna Gurr - She played in Guelph (her hometown) the other night and she is quite new on the Canadian folk scene but she is very deserving of that place. There isn't really any other way to describe her than lovely. If you like First Aid Kit from Sweden, you'll like Alanna.

The Good For Noughts - (See what they did there?)These guys played at Jimmy Jazz's a week ago and although I didn't stay for long (due to a poutine craving) I was really impressed with what I heard. They almost reminded me of early Goo Goo Dolls stuff, and most of you will remember by infatuation with them.

Inlet Sound - These young whippersnappers have the essence of Canadian folk/pop by crafting their new album in log cabins and managing to get the word "gravy" into a song about love.

Chilly Gonzalez  - My friend Jordan introduced me to this guy. It's not really like anything else on here but you might remember me mentioning Pretty Lights before? You may also remember my appreciation for an amalgamation of electronic, jazz, soul and hip hop. Yes? Then listen on.

Mike Cavanaugh - See on your facebook homepage, click on messages and then on 'Other' and, like me, you might have likes from some musicians who have been stalking who you've been liking and are asking you to listen to their stuff. Although it sounds a bit creepy most of them are pretty darn good, for example:

Mo Kenney - The BBC's Canadian sister, CBC, has a radio station entirely dedicated to playing independent music (take note BBC) and this was the first song I heard when I tuned in. It's a lovely little catchy number.

Your Neck of the Woods/Ben Doerksen - This song is written by leadman Ben Doerksen and I know this is a terrible version but it was just to get a feel for it. You can hear a clearer(and less country) version here on his myspace, I strongly recommend you check it out

Beth Moore -  She seems to have made quite a name for herself already with awards here there and everywhere. Her voice sounds pretty country but she doesn't play much of your typical country and instead this produces a really nice tone! Also being a fan of the Wizard of Oz I absolutely adored this video!

Gavin Slate -  This song is ridiculously powerful, especially alongside the video. Just like Frightened Rabbit sing with a Scottish accent, Gavin sings with a Canadian accent and not the typical American twang everyone else seems to. He is also a big fan of Travis, so you might have noticed a subtle Scottish twang too!

Yukon Blonde - This is what all Canadians look like; beard with some face. These guys has their song "My Girl" was used in a recent promo video for Canada which I watched before even coming here ( and they have even been name-dropped in How I Met Your Mother, by Robin of course.

The Wooden Sky - These guys have been around in Canada since the early 2000's and have crossed into Europe a few times. Gavin's, the lead singer, voice is amazing live and the clip below doesn't quite do it justice but check out here instead:

Mount Sharp - These guys were the soundtrack to my St Patricks day and I had a great time, but I can't remember. However I looked them up afterwards and they definitely deserve the numerous encores I was drunkenly demanding...

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