A whirlwind trip to the 2011 Polaris Prize Gala

This year’s Polaris Prize Gala was especially neat for me. Not only was I able to correctly predict the winner after five years of failing miserably at playing fortune teller (congrats, Arcade Fire!), but I also got a chance to attend the grand affair for the first time on Monday. Unlike the Toronto-based Polaris jurors, … Continue reading

Eyes on the Prize: My picks for this year’s Polaris long-list

Come June 7, jurors like myself will have submitted their top five nominations for this year’s Polaris Prize. It’s not an easy task, whittling away the seventeen Canadian albums you’ve had on repeat for the past year down to a meagre handful, but I’ve managed to narrow things. Hooray, indeed, but my heart breaks for … Continue reading

Review and interview: Christine Fellows’ Femmes de chez nous

Review and interview published in Exclaim! Take a black-and-white photograph and bring it to life — that’s what Winnipeg, MB’s Christine Fellows did with her fifth and most innovative release, Femmes de chez nous. The 13-track record and accompanying DVD, Reliquary/Reliquaire, were written during, and inspired by, Fellows’ six-month residency at Le Musée de Saint-Boniface. Femmes de chez … Continue reading

Vancouver singer-songwriter Louise Burns sets a new musical fire

Story published in the Vancouver Sun on February 1, 2011. Louise Burns has played sidekick for pretty much her entire musical career. She’s Batman’s Robin. Maverick’s Goose. Han Solo’s Chewbacca. From the age of 11 when she co-founded the all-girl, Juno-nominated band Lillix to her present day involvement in groups such as The Blue Violets, … Continue reading

My latest obsession: Jenn Grant’s Honeymoon Punch

Published online at Exclaim.ca on January 11, 2011. By Amanda Ash Jenn Grant’s music has always mirrored her emotions. Orchestra for the Moon, the Halifax, NS-based singer-songwriter’s debut, showed us her spunky, wide-eyed naivety. Then, her 2009 release,Echoes, brought us to a heavy place filled with heartbreak, loneliness and mourning. Now, with Honeymoon Punch, Grant is ready … Continue reading

Win tickets to see Justin Rutledge and Jenn Grant!

Thanks to the wonderful folks over at Six Shooter Records, you have a chance to win your way into the Justin Rutledge/Jenn Grant show on Wednesday, October 20th at St. James Hall in Vancouver. E-mail amandaashfreelance@gmail.com with the subject line “I like the letter J!” and tell me your favourite Justin Rutledge song AND your … Continue reading

Pop goes Rae Spoon

By Amanda Ash “I was writing love songs ― I guess I was writing love-pop songs,” singer-songwriter Rae Spoon says, describing the tunes he penned for his latest release Love Is A Hunter. Spoon pauses, then jokingly laughs at how the “love-pop” label must portray him. “This is terrible for my career!” Spoon may have ventured … Continue reading

My latest obsession: Kathryn Calder

In 2007, Kathryn Calder decided to explore her songwriting capabilities. Her musical talents had always been leant to a larger group ― either Victoria, BC’s Immaculate Machine or the infamous New Pornographers ― so Calder chose to experiment with her sound and style to see what would emerge. Over the past few years, Calder cut … Continue reading

Live Video: The Mountains and The Trees

The Mountains and The Trees, also known as the Newfoundland native Jon Janes, performed at Little Mountain Gallery last night. The talented singer-songwriter glamoured the audience into such a trance that the room was dead silent the entire set. Part of me believes he can probably bend forks with his brain, but I’m sure he’s … Continue reading

An interview with: Evening Hymns

Jonas Bonnetta, better known by his musical pseudonym Evening Hymns, had to leech wifi from a roadside McDonalds somewhere in Alberta to answer the following questions. Yup. The Toronto-based folk musician (who plays Sunday, July 11 at the Railway Club in Vancouver, BC) took the time from his current Canadian tour to do a quick e-mail … Continue reading

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