Tag: 49 Above

49 Above: Dan Mangan & Blacksmith, “Club Meds”

49 Above: Dan Mangan & Blacksmith, “Club Meds”

Vancouver based singer songwriter Dan Mangan’s music has been evolving sense his debut acoustic based self titled EP and first full-length LP, Postcards and Daydreaming.  Gone is the straight acoustic singer songwriter replaced with a more nuanced approach with true collaboration with his excellent backing band, Blacksmith. Dan has said that Club Meds is a team album with the band and that is exactly […]

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49 Above: The Fantastic “The New Sun AHHHH Hotel” by Spoon River

49 Above: The Fantastic “The New Sun AHHHH Hotel” by Spoon River

There aren’t too many albums that when I first put on and I say, “F#@* yeah!”, but the sophomore album by Vancouver’s Spoon River made me utter those words. Why The New Sun AHHHHH Hotel did not receive more buzz outside of Vancouver is a mystery, but it’s an album that is fun, energetic, and a just a real treat. The album, which […]

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49 Above: Elza, “Glories”

49 Above: Elza, “Glories”

Born in Russia, her talent fostered in Tel Aviv, and now residing in Vancouver, Elza is an emerging singer-songwriter in the mold of Natalie Merchant, My Brightest Diamond, and Tori Amos. Her five-track, debut EP, Glories, is a haunting yet stunning album. It’s highlighted by “Pace“, which starts off subtly before builds and builds to its climax just as the protagonist […]

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49 Above: Soft Wounds, “Demo”

49 Above: Soft Wounds, “Demo”

Toronto’s Soft Wounds are a young quartet who make shoegaze-y indie music. Similar to Brooklyn’s Crystal Stilts and Porcelain in their approach, Soft Wounds have released their first demo, which, while not surprisingly is a bit rough around the edges, shows tremendous promise. There is a dreamy quality to their shoegaze indie rock, which is best captured on the extended […]

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49 Above: Sarah MacDougall, “I Want to See the Light (Lost From Our Eyes)”

49 Above: Sarah MacDougall, “I Want to See the Light (Lost From Our Eyes)”

Canadian/Swedish singer-songwriter Sarah MacDougall recently released a stirring, brilliant new track, “I Want to See the Light (Lost from Our Eyes)”. The indie-folk track echoes the sound and magnetism found on Marta Pacek‘s terrific Voodoo Dolls False Alarms and the alluring qualities of Orenda Fink’s Blue Dream. “I Want to See the Light” is the first single from MacDougall’s forthcoming […]

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49 Above: Toronto’s Post-Punk Band, Terrorista

49 Above: Toronto’s Post-Punk Band, Terrorista

On 49 Above, we tried to focus on bands from small cities and towns across Canada, but there are also some great, up-and-coming bands from major urban centres, such as Toronto. Terrorista are a two-piece, lo-fi, post-punk band comprising of Sam Hargrove (guitar, vocals) and Rich Taylor (drums and backup vocals). They’ve been together for a couple of years, and […]

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49 Above:  Virginia to Vegas’ Debut EP and Tour

49 Above: Virginia to Vegas’ Debut EP and Tour

If you’re like my wife and listen to top-40 radio, you’ve likely heard of Derik Baker – a.k.a. Virginia to Vegas. The 24-year old, emerging pop star from Toronto has a story similar to Justin Beiber. Like the more famous southern Ontario native, Baker was discovered on YouTube by Wax Records in 2013 and a star was born. Not surprisingly, […]

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49 Above: Dinner Belles, “The River and The Willow”

49 Above: Dinner Belles, “The River and The Willow”

In another feature, Vancouver was spoken about as a great Canadian city for music, arguably moreso than Toronto and Montreal with its diversity. But what about a smaller city, one not considered a sprawling metropolis? Look no further than Hamilton, Ontario. Home to about 500,000 people and located about an hour west of Toronto, Hamilton is known as Canada’s equivalent […]

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49 Above: Sarnia’s Legendary Harmonica Man, Mike Stevens

49 Above: Sarnia’s Legendary Harmonica Man, Mike Stevens

Back to my hometown of Sarnia, Ontario, to check out the internationally known harmonica player, Mike Stevens. This guy is a bonafide musical legend in country and blues circles, and has won countless awards and accolades for his pioneering harmonica styles. A few examples listed from his site, just from the past couple of years: 2013 Folk Music Ontario Estelle […]

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49 Above: Sarnia’s Killer Duo Erika and Sara

49 Above: Sarnia’s Killer Duo Erika and Sara

Oh, Sarnia. I grew up there and have been waiting to feature this fine city on #49Above. It’s a beautiful place with loads of sandy beaches, outdoor activities and good folks. It can be a challenge to be “stuck” there when you’re a teenager, as other cities aren’t exactly quick to get to. Toronto is 3 hours away, Detroit is […]

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49 Above: Atikokan’s Secret Bluesman, Reno Jack

49 Above: Atikokan’s Secret Bluesman, Reno Jack

Yesterday, we featured Sunday Wilde from Atikokan. Well, one of the main reasons she’s been as successful as she is, is her relationship with this man: Reno Jack. It sounds like it has been an on-again, off-again affair that has inspired many of Sunday’s great love songs. Jack has been a fixture of the Toronto Queen Street scene for ages, […]

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49 Above: Atikokan’s Blues Queen, Sunday Wilde

49 Above: Atikokan’s Blues Queen, Sunday Wilde

The pride of Atikokan, Ontario (north-east of Thunder Bay, with a population of a few thousand folks) must be Sunday Wilde. I’ve been a fan of hers for 7 years since stumbling across her songs when I was doing The Ruckus, and have been following her career ever since. She has “the voice” and her band has “the style” and […]

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49 Above: More folk from Trois Rivières with Sivell

49 Above: More folk from Trois Rivières with Sivell

There are a lot of great acts in the smallish town of Trois Rivières, Quebec. As I was hunting for some acts to feature, I stumbled upon Sivell, who have a brand new EP out this week. Based in the folk tradition, this EP has a soft side and a pretty great blues side. Check out the amazing licks on […]

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49 Above: Trois-Rivières is overrun with Bears of Legend

49 Above: Trois-Rivières is overrun with Bears of Legend

My first exposure to Trois-Rivières happened when I was a kid, and my brother’s hockey team hosted another team from Trois-Rivières. We lived in Sarnia, and I was about 10, and spoke roughly five words of French. The kid who stayed with us (all the families billeted these kids for a few nights) spoke less English than I spoke French, so […]

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49 Above: Hamilton’s Terra Lightfoot, where have you been all our lives?

49 Above: Hamilton’s Terra Lightfoot, where have you been all our lives?

This is our second stop in Hamilton (check out yesterday’s article here). Terra Lightfoot is a roots/folk singer songwriter who stands above the seemingly infinite number of folks working in the genre. She can do that whispery folky thing beautifully, but in a second her voice can dive into deep loud bombastic blues. It’s rare to see an artist work their voice […]

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49 Above: Hamilton’s The Emsee – Powerful Hip Hop

49 Above: Hamilton’s The Emsee – Powerful Hip Hop

Hamilton suffers from kid-sibling syndrome in many ways. While most cities across Canada don’t get the attention of Toronto or Montreal, the fact is that there’s some pretty amazing stuff out there that doesn’t always get a lot of attention. Hamilton (with half a million residents, and some pretty amazing sites and sounds) isn’t the first place an international publication […]

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49 Above: More Moose Jaw Experimental Music with Frank Willis

49 Above: More Moose Jaw Experimental Music with Frank Willis

Our second stop in the lovely small town of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (our first stop was yesterday). Frank Willis is an enigmatic artist and he produces some very out-there experimental material. When I found him online, I first heard his 2012 album Thee Last Supper which was a collection of Jim Jones speeches overlaid with his own ambient-metal madness. A […]

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49 Above: Moose Jaw is home to some crazy stuff. Case in point: The Faps

49 Above: Moose Jaw is home to some crazy stuff. Case in point: The Faps

The city of Moose Jaw Saskatchewan has an intriguing motto: Suprisingly Unexpected. For a city of 35,000 souls, there seems to be a remarkably high volume of odd and interesting projects, people, and events. Being a smallish town (though not as small as most of the towns in Saskatchewan), folks have to double-up on things to be viable. Take, for […]

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49 Above: Guelph’s Ondine Chorus – Improvisational Choral Pop (!)

49 Above: Guelph’s Ondine Chorus – Improvisational Choral Pop (!)

And we continue our visit in Guelph, Ontario (first act featured was Elequant). Ondine Chorus have a unique thing going on. Most pop music fans don’t think of choral music as something to explore. Here’s hoping Ondine inspires you to dig a little deeper into the genre. I recently discovered this group through a feature on CBC Radio, and was super intrigued. […]

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49 Above: Guelph’s Elaquent – Producer Extraordinaire

49 Above: Guelph’s Elaquent – Producer Extraordinaire

Onwards to beautiful Guelph, Ontario! Guelph is a mid-sized university town in Southern Ontario, close enough to Toronto for an easy day trip, but far enough away from the bustle to be its own thing. Like Kitchener, London, and other Southern Ontario towns, Guelph has a massive arts and cultural scene that is often overshadowed by the big TO looming nearby. […]

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