Sound, Phrase & Fury 3.2

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Mar/Apr 2015 • Sound, Phrase, & Fury


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SPF Editor-In-Chief Janet Adamana

Associate Editor Ally Sigurdson Promotions Director Steff Shields

Contributors & Photography Credits Dagmawit Dejene Kristen Fisher Special Thanks Casey Manierka-Quaile Kamilah Apong Miles Gibbons Alexei Orechin Georgina Callaghah Lisa Nicole Grace Pierre-Olivier Dufresne Marc Maziade Gabriel Castonguay Mathieu Royer Malcolm Williams Matt Rolland Grace Rolland Bekah Rolland Jen Sandoval Jesse Allen Jordan Voth Matt Voth Jarrod Mikolajczyk Jorb Ngantian

Sound, Phrase & Fury is a Canadian music magazine out to help promote musicians not usually covered in mainstream media. All music, photos and articles used are for the sole purpose of spreading the knowledge of these artists and their music. We always encourage readers to support every act through purchasing releases, merchandise and attending live shows.

Mar/Apr 2015 Spin Your Thread Note from the Editor



A History in the Making Callaghan and her new album, A History of Now


SPF Recommends Our picks of artists to listen to


Pain + Gain Bleed American and their debut album, Figure It out


In Review Our take on some new releases


Everything In Between Unbuttoned talks musical mash-ups

& @soundphrasefury Mar/Apr 2015 • Sound, Phrase, & Fury


Editor’s Note

Spin your thread Here at SPF, there is nothing that we love more than being introduced to new music that completely captivates us. It’s what we started this all for - to be the ears that musicians work so hard to reach. We recently had the pleasure of attending the Folk Alliance International Conference & Music Fair – the world’s largest gathering of Folk musicians and industry professionals. Needless to say we were like kids in a candy store! With hundreds upon hundreds of talented musicians and hours of endless showcases, it was hard not to be enthralled! Within these pages are some of our favourites from FAI 2015 – although there were way more than what we can fit. We hope as we continue to do what we set out to do and scour the globe for the best of the best, you’ll find a musician (or a few) that really connect with you. Because really, that’s all us artists ever want to do.

together we will share

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Janet Adamana Editor-In-Chief Mar/Apr 2015 • Sound, Phrase, & Fury



everything Unpredictable, spontaneous, risky & evolving - just a few words to describe the musical ensemble Unbuttoned. The four-piece Toronto band refuses to limit themselves to any one category, in turn offering audiences a sound completely unlike any other.

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“Labels are just really limiting,” says vocalist/keyboardist, Kamilah Apong. Unbuttoned tries to keep from being classified as any one genre but listeners can pinpoint various musical influences in their songs including electronic, R&B, pop, soul, and rock. “We’re sort of a compilation of our influences,” says the band’s other vocalist/keyboardist Casey Manierka-Quaile, better known as Casey MQ. “We’re who we listen to. We’re who we talk to, and who we interact with.” Unbuttoned originated in a basement where highschool friends Apong and Manierka-Quaile, created the band. Since then, Unbuttoned has seen


photo & words BY Dagmawit Dejene

in between

Though their latest album, Planes, was only released a few months ago, the group hints that they are currently working on some new music, different from what they’ve done before. The band Their music can go from upbeat pop, (“Listening has also been touring across North America, and to Me”), to synthetic electro, (“My Dealer”), to has recently taken up a residency in a local pub soulful R&B, (“One Mind”). They are definitely not at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. “We afraid to try any style, yet their music still remains played at the [Ryerson University] Parade + Picnic true to their own unique sound. This fearless exback in September, and opened up for Naz,” said ploration is also prominent in their music videos, Apong. “They asked us to come back, so I guess we which carry a unique, artistic element not seen did well.” anywhere else. “We’re kind of evolving a little bit right now,” says Gibbons, “and we’re getting ready Get a copy of Planes at Unbuttoned.Bandcamp. to give birth to that.” com. Like them several line up changes, but currently the group consists of Manierka-Quaile, Apong, drummer Miles Gibbons, and guitarist Alexei Orechin.



Mar/Apr 2015 • Sound, Phrase, & Fury


A History in the making Callaghan’s journey to become a full-time musician began with one simple e-mail and the decision to chase her dreams in a land across the sea. In just a mere five years, the British singer/songwriter has already lived a life every musician dreams about – from recording and touring with her biggest idol to setting up roots in America’s music capital. Callaghan takes us through her crazy, beautiful life, and her highlyinspirational new album, A History of Now.

words by Janet adamana

JA: Tell me all about coming from the UK to Nashville. That sounds like such a crazy story. GC: I am a huge Shawn Mullins fan. I’ve listened to his music religiously and his album, Soul’s Core changed my life. That album was so amazing and I thought, if I could have anyone produce my album it would be Shawn. So in 2009, Myspace was the place to be. I was Myspace ‘friends’ with Shawn, and I thought, I’m just going to send him a message. It’s probably not going to work but what’s the harm? A couple of weeks later I got a reply from him saying ‘hey, I listened to your songs and I just love what you’re doing. I’d really like for us to work together. Do you want to come to Atlanta and record a couple of songs?’ I couldn’t believe that had worked. When I came over [to Atlanta] I got talking to his sound engineer, Kip Conner. Kip had been on Myspace and saw my message. He had heard my name from somewhere else and

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said to Shawn, ‘you have to listen to this girl.’ I’m so grateful that Kip did that. It was crazy. I came over in 2009. We did three songs together and I went back to the UK and back to my job. Shawn said he really wanted to do the whole album, and have me go on tour with him. So at that point I thought I need to move to America and really give this a good shot. Initially, I thought I’d be here for a year. That was nearly five years ago! (laughs) It’s been a crazy time. JA: Who knew a little e-mail could get you so far. GC: Yeah, and you think the decisions you make could totally change the course that you’re on. You just never know what makes a connection with someone. I definitely have that whole outlook on life now -that you’ve just got to try it and see.


JA: A lot of your songs are about that. Do you think that’s something that will always be a big part of your music? GC: I think so. I know a lot of my songs touch on that - living life to the fullest, trying to get as much out of it as you can and really experiencing it all. Obviously everyone goes through hard times as well but you’ve got to just embrace it all and think ‘this is what I want my life to be like. I’m going to try and get there.’ JA: Tell me a bit more about your new album, A History of Now. GC: It’s a really happy album. There’s a lot of up tempo, positive songs on it. It’s a little more towards the pop end of things than my previous album, but it’s still firmly in the singer/songwriter genre. Dennis [Matkosky] and I experimented with the new and the old. We had some really fantastic Nashville musicians come play on the record and also had Casey Brown from Owl City. He did some


tracks for it to give it a more modern edge. We also recorded a lot of it to tape, so it has this kind of warm analog sound, with some modern stuff thrown in there. JA: Any significance to the title? GC: It came from the theme of the album, which is looking at your life, about the decisions that you make and the things that sometimes seem insignificant at the time but when you look back you think ‘wow that took me here.’ Now, people are looking back at their family tree and ancestry and are fascinated by the lives that people lived and their stories. It’s kind of about how you’re doing that right now, you’re writing your own history.


Pre-orders of A History of Now are available on iTunes and include instant downloads of “Noah’s Song” & “Best Year 2015.” The album comes out April 7. Like Callaghan at

A lot of my songs touch on that - living life to the fullest, trying to get as much out of it as you can Mar/Apr 2015 • Sound, Phrase, & Fury


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Mar/Apr 2015 • Sound, Phrase, & Fury


artist to watch recommends

folk/jazz/electro-pop- montreal


Techno-folk – Yes, that is a real thing, thanks to the innovative musicians behind, MAZ. The Montreal-based quartet meld the elements of Québecois folk, sultry jazz and old school funk, with the new age movement of electronica and indie-pop, overall reinventing and expanding the parameters of traditional folk. With accolades such as a Juno nomination for Instrumental Album of the Year and seven Canadian Folk Music Award nominations for their debut album, Télscope’s and sophomore release, Chasse-Galerie, the group have already seen much recognition for their promising musicality early on. With their beautifully unconventional sound and their outstanding and energetic on-stage performances, MAZ is sure to continue to wow audiences around the world. - espacemaz

barta folk - winnipeg

Ending 2014 with an immensely successful Kickstarter campaign for her debut album, folk outfit BARTA, gears up for an incredible new year. Singer/ songwriter Ashley Bart is the driving force behind BARTA, melding folk, touches of bluegrass and country, with her pure and pleasing vocals completely captivating you in song. Along with a debut album release in the summer, music videos and a long list of shows are also in the works for BARTA this year. - - words by Janet adamana & Fury • Fury • Mar/Apr 2015 12 Sound, Phrase, &


lisa nicole grace acoustic/folk/pop - edmonton

Lisa Nicole Grace is one of those memorable singer/songwriters whose music instantly coos you into a calm and happier place. With an alluring voice and lyrics reminiscent of an honest heart-to-heart from a wise friend, Lisa Nicole Grace, undoubtedly reaches her listeners where it matters most. Her current album, Tree of Life, boasts a wondrous collection of jazz, traditional folk and contemporary pop. The Edmonton-based artist can be compared to the greats like Sheryl Crow and Jann Arden, although adding her own personal touches and pouring passion into every word, Lisa Nicole Grace is quickly developing her own musical legacy.

words by Janet adamana - - Mar/Apr 2015 • Sound, Phrase, & Fury


artist to watch recommends

Family thief acoustic-pop- Twenty-nine palms Bleeding his personal anecdotes of love, loss, hope and hopelessness onto a backdrop of acoustic and pop intricacies, Family Thief has an impeccable knack for pulling at your heartstrings. The California-based indie-acoustic outfit is set to release his new EP, King Of The Floor early 2015. The EP serves up a taste of Family Thief’s overall evolution as he refreshes his acoustic singer-songwriter sound with a mix of pop and rock elements. Always an open and honest man, Family Thief’s music takes you through an exhilarating ride of emotions, paving an easy access into his heart and creating the ultimate path of human connectivity.

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artist recommends to watch

run boy run

Brandon exports, Slow Spirit, breathe new life into the folk-pop genre with their brand new EP, Bad News. Melting together soulful vocals and deep, somber poetry with a backdrop full of jazz, dreamy sonic touches, and otherworldly explorative sounds, the EP’s ghostly, celestialnature, coos you into another realm.

bluegrass/classical- tucson

Put on a Run Boy Run record and allow yourself to be completely enthralled. With their blend of classical, bluegrass and modern folk, matched with their skilful storytelling and elegant harmonies, the Tucson, Arizona troupe transports listeners into another soulful era. Taking inspiration from the old-fashioned sounds of the South, Run Boy Run has breathed new life into the Bluegrass genre with a dash of youthful exuberance and a captivating stage performance. With their albums, So Sang the Whippoorwill and Something to Someone already making waves in their hometown, Run Boy Run is on a fast-track to capturing the hearts of audiences around the world.

words by Janet adamana - Mar/Apr 2015 • Sound, Phrase, & & Fury Fury



pain + gain

JA: From the time you started in early 2014 to now, what has been the biggest change you’ve gone through as a band? JV: We’re a fair bit tighter than we were when we started. The recording process this time around was a fair bit easier. It took three weeks to do the whole album, from the first note to mastering. The EP took two weeks, but that was only 5 songs. So those 5 songs took two weeks and these 9 songs took 3. It was also pretty easy to do. There wasn’t really any pressure to out-do the EP or anything. We didn’t publically say we were recording at all either so there weren’t too many people who knew that it was happening. I think people had a general idea that we were going to be recording

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but we weren’t keeping anyone updated with that process. Sometimes it’s just nice to work. JA: You can tell you guys have developed a much more cohesive sound. You can hear a song and think, ‘Yeah that’s Bleed American.’ So how did you guys decide this was what Bleed American was going to be? I mean it’s one thing to say we’re going to play pop-punk but there’s so many other elements pulled into that. JV: Some of the things that come with our sound were deliberate right from the start, like guitar styles, using less distortion. The clean guitars were a big part of it and the dual vocal play was some-

local love Q&a

In their much-anticipated debut album, Figure It Out, the boys of Bleed American pull inspiration from dark painful pasts and meld it into a record that’s equal parts moving, cathartic, spirited and downright impressive, deeming the quartet a spot in the pop-punk Hall of Fame. Vocalist/guitarist, Jordan Voth, takes us through the highs and lows of writing and recording and the public’s ever-growing opinion that they’ll be the genre’s saving grace.

words by Janet adamana -thing we wanted to do a bit more of. I think it came out with a bit more of that where the vocals play off of mine and Matt’s [Voth] different voices. That, and the use of dynamics to create drama and such - that’s basically where that signature sound comes from.

remarkable to me. But as relieving as it is it’s also a bit stressful because my mom’s going to hear that. People that I know are going to hear it and are going to know what it’s about. That’s pretty stressful.

JA: There are a lot of people saying that this is the record that proves pop punk is not dead JA: There’s much deeper content on this record than the last. Can you go or maybe never was. What’s your take on that through what Figure It Out is all about? whole thing? JV: It never was. It hasn’t really gone away. WhethJV: The whole album is themed around the break-up of my family as a result of my mother’s er it’s a genre that’s in vogue or not I don’t think alcoholism. There are two songs on the album getting too caught up in what a genre of music is, that are not about that – “Bloom” and “Disregard.” is of any merit. There are great songs in absolutely every genre from rap to metal to hard rock to pop “Bloom” is about a person that I don’t like and and R&B. I don’t think it’s so important that we “Disregard” is about a person that I do like. The bring pop punk back but that we write strong other seven songs all deal with the events that happened which lead to the breakup of my family. songs. There are already a lot of bands – a lot of local bands -that write strong songs. JA: Did you find it was a big emotional release while you were writing? Obviously that’s a genre that, maybe we’re not totally immersed in now, but we definitely grew up JV: There are some lyrics that I sang for the first time while recording and I choked up when I sang loving so it is flattering. But it’s way more important that we write good songs, and not necessarily them. There were some spots that I hear and it to save a genre that hasn’t died. It’s about writing, still has a lot of weight to me. Some of the stuff I’m singing about are on-going issues but yeah, taking thoughts and feelings and putting them out there, in a way that is meaningful. it was pretty relieving. Lyrically, it’s very much an album we can all relate to. All four of us have Figure It Out is available for digital download on this kind of family history. Of course Matt and I through Bandcamp and iTunes. Like Bleed Ameribecause we’re brothers but Jarrod [Mikolajczyk] can at and Jorb [Jordan Ngantian] also identify with the issues addressed in our songs. That’s pretty



Mar/Apr 2015 • Sound, Phrase, & Fury


in review

the young evils False Starts Review by Kristen Fisher

For punk enthusiasts that have handed their hearts

over to pop production, The Young Evils out of Seattle, Washington induces a much needed energy.

What started out as Vaseline pop cover band from two respected record store owners, grew into a band that would eventually consist of Mackenzie Mercer (Vocals), Troy Nelson (Vocals & Guitar ), Brendon Helgason (Bass), Michael Lee (Guitar ) and Scott Helgason (Drums). Understanding Mercer and Nelson’s love for the darker side of 80’s music, they clearly translate the possibility of making music that can hold high regard for that particular era.

The Young Evils have felt the presence of every push and pull that a major label can indict when it comes to signing your name on the dotted line. Thankfully, the band found their way through the fog and came out with control over the music they created. Their latest EP, False Starts, is a preview of such homecoming, bringing forth the ultimate destiny that can either be doomed to fail or prevail in the highest light. For The Young Evils prevailing and pushing through by making the sounds they choose, shows that musicians still have the right of way when it comes to songwriting and capturing the waves of noise they record. The Young Evils pull off a 6 track album with the only craving you’re left with is wanting more.

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In Review

The autopilots 10¢ Lemonade Review by Janet Adamana

The Autopilots serve up some juicy hits with their

The EP kicks off in high-gear with opener, “Draw the Line,” a riff-heavy grunge meets dance-rock new release, 10¢ Lemonade. and indie track. Oozing pure rock goodness, this The Winnipeg-based alt-rock quartet return to track perfectly encapsulates the depth and skill of Garfield Studios to create their debut EP. Pulling every band member. The emotional and captivatthe best elements from the likes of The Subways, ing “Happy” balances out the record while allowing Foo Fighters and even the grunge kings and queen you a second to catch a breath before overdosing on of Garbage; The Autopilots present a solid rock energy with “Timebomb” and closer, “View From and roll record. Stocked full of gloomy introspec- The A.M.” tive musings slathered across their signature inyour-face riffs and energetic drums, 10¢ Lemonade All in all, 10¢ Lemonade does not disappoint – such captures the group’s evident musical prowess and a perfect record to quench your thirst for real rock newly fortified sound. roots.


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