The Fairest and Best released their new EP When I Feel Like This back on October 23. Due to my scaled-back blogging schedule for the duration of my copywriting class, I missed the party, but I’ve been listening to the record and finally have some time to shout it out in more detail. These guys are a treat to watch live, with their hard-working, adept musicianship, and gorgeous vocals and harmonies – not to mention a great sense of fun and playful audience interaction. Last time I saw the band was at their Horseshoe Tavern gig in May, where they gave the crowd a sneak preview of the new EP.
The Fairest and Best are: Robert Graham (lead vocals/keys), Caitlin Holland (vocals/back-up vocals), Tony Nesbitt-Larking (drums), Darryl Wood (guitar), Brant Garratt (guitar) and Gerry Williams (bass).
When I Feel Like This is a tight record; short and sweet, the combined tracks are a great showcase for the band’s eclectic talents. The title track has a feel-good, rhythmic groove and tight harmonies. “One Little Sign” is a passionate rock ballad dialogue between a guy and a gal, featuring Holland; it’s bittersweet, whimsical love song about a couple trying wondering if they can get the feeling back. “I Won’t Cry For You” features a driving, guitar rawkin’ anthem and lyrics that talk about looking back with no regrets.
You can also find The Fairest and Best on Facebook and Twitter; and check out front man Robert Graham’s CD Storm in a Teacup sometime.
The Fairest and Best have a gig coming up in Toronto in the New Year – on Jan 7 at 9 p.m., when the band will be joining The Celebration Army and Sara Wilkinson at The Piston. In the meantime, check out the video for “One Little Sign”:
Singer/songwriter Emily Mac released her first single earlier this week: “California This Winter,” available for download/purchase on iTunes and viewing on YouTube.
Featuring Mac’s powerful and soulful vocals, the arrangement inspired by the R&B, gospel-infused sounds of Motown, “California This Winter” is not just a lament for the season, but one of the heart and soul. The opening lines of the chorus say it all:
I can’t stand the cold of these winters no more I can’t stand them getting right deep into my bones I can’t stand the ice that forms ’round my heart with every break…
The video features some chilly, grey scenes of late fall and winter in Toronto, the orange of the autumn leaves overwhelmed by bare branches and bleak skies in the semi-darkness, followed later by the even bleaker and chillier atmosphere of the light snow flurry on the waterfront.
But fear not, it’s not all icy gloom in this ballad – this dream of escape from a geographic and romantic freeze – there are hints of warmth, light and joy, both lyrical and visual in “California This Winter.” But you’ll just have to watch the video and see for yourself:
You can connect with Emily Mac and her music via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reverbnation and her YouTube channel.
Take a moment to rock out to Laura L’Rock’s latest music vid “Rock’s Not Dead” – featuring band members Don (owner and driver of the vintage hearse Bleeding Betty) and Dennis Colautti, Nelson Sobral (Melting Pot, Songwriters Circle of Jerks and Red Falcon White Lightning), High Heels Lo Fi, the late Nik Beat and yours truly, among other friends and supporters – a Klangfarbenmelodie Video Production, produced/directed/edited/colourist by David Hustler.
There’s a lovely dedication to Nik Beat at the end. The day of the video shoot was the last time many of us saw him.
Just released today, Angela Saini’s new music video “Something Like I’m Beautiful” is a lovely visual realization of the song, from her latest CD Leap. It’s one of my favourite songs; beautifully candid and vulnerable, it speaks to a feeling that every woman has had at some point – and, in some cases, all too often. No matter who she is, a woman can always use a reminder that she matters and that she’s beautiful.
What a pleasure being out at The Cameron House for She’s Listening Toronto II last night! This fundraiser in support of Ovarian Cancer Canada featured five amazing female singer/songwriters, all bringing their talents and positive energy to the stage in support of a great cause: Heather Hill, Kat Leonard, Melanie Peterson, Angela Saini and Jessica Speziale.
And what a great evening it was! I was already very familiar with – and love – Hill, Leonard, Saini and Speziale, and was really happy to meet Peterson and see her perform with her band. And she is also awesome!
Check out these ladies’ websites, and take a look at their music videos too. Heather Hill recently released her music vid for “Stupid Happy” and Jessica Speziale launched “Brace Yourself” recently. Here’s Angela Saini’s “Little Black Dress” (and she tells me a vid for “Something Like I’m Beautiful” is coming soon!) Here’s Melanie Peterson’s “Cinema Girl” – and if you haven’t heard Kat Leonard’s fangirl ode to Johnny Depp, then you must take a look at this singalong vid of “Jockstrap.”
And last, but not least, here are some pix I took at the event last night:
I absolutely love this super fun, quirky, sweet love song – and this amazing music video by Toronto-based singer/songwriter and bringer of positive vibes Heather Hill:
You can catch Heather Hill live, along with Kat Leonard, Melanie Peterson, Angela Saini and Jessica Speziale, tonight (Wed, June 4) at The Cameron House for She’s Listening Toronto II, a fundraiser in support of Ovarian Cancer Canada. 8 p.m. Suggested $10.
Back out for some Canadian Music Week music goodness last night – this time, at Toronto’s iconic music venue the Silver Dollar Room for blueVenus.
blueVenus brings pop that rocks – punched up with a bit of funk, Motown, blues and jazz – and they moved us with selections from CDs Grin and the recent Comfortably Numb, and a taste of the record to come. You must see blueVenus live.
Andrea de Boer is the songwriting and vocal force behind blueVenus, and her most excellent band at the Silver Dollar Room last night included: Jessica Stuart (guitar/backup vocals), Iva Valent (keys/back up vocals), D’arcy McGuire (bass) and Matt DeMatteo (drums).
Check out the video that Kimberly Mallett shot of blueVenus performing “Grin.”
Here are some pix from last nights CMW gig: