BTW with Lenny Stoute Megan Bonnell, Botany, Moby, Andy Shauf , Songsbury, Sean McCann, Future States, Divine Brown

Megan Bonnell.jpg

Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Singer-songwriter Megan Bonnell is currently on a cross Canada tour this fall with Great Lake Swimmers. Hitting up five of the provinces, the tour will see Megan perform solo for crowds from Sudbury, Winnipeg, Calgary, Nelson, Saskatoon, and Sault Ste. Marie, to name a few. The tour kicked off Monday, October 24th and to get her fans pumped for the show Bonnell`s released a stunning acoustic video performance of her song, Broken Hearted Avenue, off her current release Magnolia, a lush instropective discourse of an album.

"I love that this tour takes us winding around Lake Superior, across the prairies, and into the mountains. Everything seems to fit perfectly together on this run. The Great Lake Swimmers every night; in churches and small towns. I feel very lucky." Megan continues, "Fall is such a reflective time of year, and to witness the way it takes hold differently in each province, is really poetic to me. It makes me feel inspired to be playing each night under these wonderful circumstances."

Setting up shop at Joshua Van Tassel's Dream Date Studio, Southern Souls' Mitch Fillion steps behind the camera to capture an incredibly intimate take of Megan's song, Broken Hearted Avenue. Van Tassel plays double duty both gracing the soundboard and the drum kit, along with fellow musicians Chris Stringer (guitar), Bret Higgins (bass), Michael Eckert (pedal steel), to create a stunning new version of the song.

Bonnell released debut album Hunt And Chase in October 2013 on Nevado Records. She has toured Spain with John Grant, opened for Passenger at BIME Live festival (Bilbao, Spain) and performed at Barcelona Jazz Festival and The End festival (London, UK). She also did a full North American tour supporting Justin Nozuka, and has played at noteworthy summer festivals across North America such as Taste of Toronto, Field Trip Music Festival, CBC Music Festival and Gateway Festival. Earlier this year she shared the stage with Matt Corby at a show in Toronto and joined Jordan Klassen on a spring tour.

BotanyBotanyGrowing up outside Fort Worth, Texas (the birthplace of Ornette Coleman), Spencer Stephenson spun Botany out of a youth full of music handed down from a drum-n-bass-producing older brother and a guitarist father-- borrowing effects pedals and drum machines from both, before his first experiments with recording software at age fifteen. A drummer foremost, Stephenson went on to study Jazz drumming, piano, and guitar in college before dropping out, primarily focusing on sample-based music all the while. He concedes, “I spent most of my time there opening the top of the piano to pluck the strings with my fingers, or scraping vibraphone bells with a cello bow, really anything I could find to create interesting sounds that were kind of atypical to me at the time.”

Deepak Verbera, the third LP by Stephenson aka BOTANY, bends the beat-driven path carved by the composer’s first two records into meterless cosmic territory, juxtaposing free jazz arrhythmia with cathedral- filling harmony, ringing off the temple walls with soaring grandeur. The billowing textures that loomed behind his previous output break unabashedly into the foreground, shedding the beats that once stenciled them in. What arises in the absence of discernible rhythm is a psych-inflected scrapbook of atmospheres with tremendous sonic and emotional breadth. On Deepak Verbera, however, he lets go of the rhythmic backbone that defined its boom-bappy predecessor, Dimming Awe, The Light Is Raw, in favour of expansive, shifting layers of sound inspired by the spiritual free jazz of Alice Coltrane and Rashied Ali. Weaving self-recorded phrases of guitar and piano with choral chants, library music and sampled surface crackle, it’s near impossible to distinguish what’s new and what’s taken – or distorted – from elsewhere. There’s a steady, undulating arc to the album, building to all-engulfing noise, paring back to peaceful, wavering drones, and building up all over again.

MobyMobyTaking inspiration from Max Fleischer’s iconic animation of the 1930’s, Moby & The Void Pacific Choir (in collaboration with Steve Cutts) have released the music video for “Are Lost in the World Like Me, a lighthearted look at alienation, modern dystopian living, and the collapse of our species.

The video was directed and animated by critically-acclaimed illustrator Steve Cutts who says, “For me the video is about our increasing dependence on technology and about human interaction today, or a certain lack of it. It focuses on the way tech is changing us – how we have become desensitized.” Moby adds, “A few years ago I saw Steve Cutts' ‘Man’ video and was amazed and blown away. I did some internet sleuthing and found his e-mail address and humbly asked him to make a video for me. And, lucky me, he agreed. The video he made for ‘Are You Lost in the World Like Me?’ is without question one of the best videos that's ever been made for one of my songs.”

“Are You Lost In the World Like Me” has been taken from the debut album These Systems Are Failing by Moby & the Void Pacific Choir, out now via Arts & Crafts. Moby’s sole live 2016 performance will be at his own curated vegan music festival – Circle V – in Los Angeles on October 23.

Andy ShaufAndy Shauf'Nother thought-provoking video, this time from singer-songwriter Andy Shauf who`s sharing the new alien house party video for “Quite Like You”, animated and directed by Chad VanGaalen and premiering today via Clash. "Andy's story was really easy to get inside of and hang out for a while, so I just sat right here in my drawing chair and decided what type of fashion the party mutants would be wearing,” says VanGaalen. ”Tennis ball pedestal helmets will obviously be available soon-ish."

Shauf adds, "I'm a big fan of everything Chad makes, so I was really glad we could work with him on this video. We gave him free reign and he knocked it outta the park. I also didn't realize an alien party could be so emotional."

Shauf is currently on tour across North America in support of his latest The Party. Next year he will take it to Europe for a string of tour dates. As well as receiving mucho critical acclaim from music critics around the world for The Party, Andy Shauf was shortlisted for the 2016 Polaris Music Prize.

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES
Nov 22 – Toronto, ON - The Mod Club
Nov 23 – Hamilton, ON – Mill’s Hardware - SOLD OUT
Nov 24 – Waterloo, ON – Starlight
Nov 25 – Toronto, ON – The Mod Club - SOLD OUT
Nov 26 – Peterborough, ON – Gordon Best Theatre
Nov 29 – Chicago, IL – Schubas
Nov 30 – Madison, WI – The Frequency
Dec 1 – Indianapolis, IN – Hi-Fi Lounge
Dec 2 – Nashville, TN – The Basement
Dec 3 – Asheville, NC – The Mothlight
Dec 4 – Charleston, WV – NPR Mountain Stage – SOLD OUT
Dec 5 – Washington, DC – DC9 Nightclub
Dec 6 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
Dec 7 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade – SOLD OUT
Dec 8 – Ottawa, ON – National Arts Centre
Dec 9 – Montreal, QC – Le National
Dec 10 – Quebec City, QC – L’Anti

“Judge me on my work, not who I’ve worked with” is the credo in which Songsbury (Mat Teofilo) bases all his thoughts, ideas, and creative works on. A humble artist with the presence of a star, Songsbury is able to engage audiences everywhere through all aspects of his music.

A decorated classical pianist with a performer’s degree awarded by the Royal Conservatory of Music, he is a well-educated, well-trained, and well-versed artist.Songsbury’s singing and song writing started at the age of 12 with the composition and performance of his self-penned song “Close to Your Heart”, a song that landed him numerous awards, scholarships, bursaries, and first prizes at talent competitions (Arts Richmond Hill, Celebration of the Arts, Markham Idol, Supernova Battle of The Bands to mention a few), television appearances and performances (Rogers Television, TLN, Chin TV), as well as singing the anthem at a Toronto Blue Jays game.

This publicity has led Songsbury to work with some of the most influential people in the Canadian music industry including Farley Flex (Canadian Idol) and Bill Banham (former Senior VP of Sony Music Entertainment, Director at Virgin Records). This also allowed him to share the stage with such acts as Suzie McNeil, Neverest, Aleesia, Rebel Emergency, and Christopher Dallo. Songsbury was also front man for the rock band “Unbound”, which toured much of southern Ontario as well as garnering national Canadian college radio play for their single “Take It or Leave It”.

His catalogue of songs has grown tenfold over the years and has scored him a top spot on the Billboard charts with artist Diplo’s “Revolution EP”, as well as numerous songs and collaborations with other artists including Madonna, Miley Cyrus (Created the Madonna/Miley mash-up of Don’t Tell Me to Stop/We Can’t Stop for Miley Unplugged MTV), Victoria Duffield (co-wrote with Victoria for her upcoming album), and Vita Chambers (co-wrote Vita’s single “A+D”). He has also composed music for film (Vivo Per Amore) which was awarded best drama at LA’s International Student Film Festival and was nominated for best original score in Montreal’s Young Cuts Film Festival. He has recently finished scoring a short film which premiered at Cannes Film Festival (Hostage) as well as a full length documentary (Escape from Room 18) that is to be released in early 2017. Currently, Songsbury is residing and working in Los Angeles and prepping for live performances across Canada and the US starting in the fall. Songsbury has gone through many evolutions as an artist and continues to evolve constantly. From his beginnings as a classical pianist, to a solo singer/songwriter, to front man of a rock band, to the Songsbury of today, there is no telling what is to come next.

Sean McCannSean McCannSean McCann is a homeboy through and through and that sentiment has been the making of his career. Séan’s love for Newfoundland and Labrador folk songs shot him to international fame as a founding member of the renowned group Great Big Sea. After millions of albums sold, countless hit songs, and record breaking tours around the world, Séan realized that his 20 years with the band had to stop. Music is supposed to connect, heal, and bring happiness; and while Séan was giving that to tens of thousands of people a night, he himself was lost. Instead of finding truth in his music he was using it to hide which wasn’t fair to his fans or himself. So he left the band and started over.

In 2014 Séan released his first post GBS album; “Help Your Self”. Produced by Joel Plaskett, “Help Your Self” is a collection of songs that helped Séan find his truth and share it with his fans, friends, and family. It helped him find a path towards dealing with issues of addiction and abuse which has taught him to find strength from pain. It helped remind him of the power of music which at one time would have been used to cast a Friday-night spell over a sold out hockey arena on a Monday, but now finds him touring the country as a solo artist in intimate venues where he can connect with his audience in a way he had always hoped to. He has also found himself using music as therapy working with people with disabilities and become a sought after speaker trying to help others to help themselves and find light through the darkness.

The journey to find his own peace, love and happiness continues through music and a new album that will be released one song at a time. “You Know I Love You is a happy collection of songs made by a man intent on being happy. No manager, no label, no agent, there is nothing left between Séan’s music and the ears of people who want to hear it other than a smartphone. Despite how small social media has made the world, and how it has included all of us into the same conversation with a simple hashtag # ; the basic human quest for a connection to something real is too difficult to fit in just 140 characters. Luckily, through the years of technological advancement and subsequent social change; two universal energies remain constant: Music and Love. Séan McCann brings the love, the challenges and the healing to Hugh’s Room Friday, October 28.

Future StatesFuture StatesFuture States is a psychedelic pop band who make music that rewards repeat headphone listens as much as it inspires fevered dancing. Their music is built on layers of weaving keys, woozy guitars, and sampled sounds, paired with a propulsive rhythm section. On top of these dense textures sit pristine pop melodies and reverb-soaked harmonies. Based out of Montreal and Ottawa, Future States consists of Chuck Bronson (Guitar, Vocals), Brodie Conley (Guitar, BV), Daniel Gélinas (Drums, BV), Nicolas Hyatt (Keys, BV) and David Lacalamita (Bass, BV). Their unique sound emanates directly from their collaborative ethos. The band draw from varied musical backgrounds and educations—experimental composition, psych/prog, jazz, indie rock, and folk—working diligently together until each song becomes more than the sum of its individual parts. This process is aided by Gélinas, who acts as the band’s in-house recording engineer. The result is a tapestry of musical influences, put together like a puzzle that yields a satisfying whole.

Recorded over a two week period at a church in Northern Ontario, Casual Listener, their first full length LP, sees Future States charting a path between two poles of their musical interest — pop songcraft and improvisation. Divine BrownDivine BrownThe arrangements for Apostolic, Lulu, Wish You Well and Violencia highlight the former, with carefully orchestrated melodic and rhythmic ideas, and meticulous attention paid to instrumental layers. In contrast, You Got It All Wrong, Regress to the Mean and the album's multiple interlude tracks showcase how the musical relationships within the band play out in real-time, with loose arrangements made possible by the freedom to improvise together and record late into the night in the church-turned-studio. The quiet album closer Sudo Su pairs Bronson’s abstract lyrics with delicate vocal harmonies, eerie church organ, an ethereal ringing bell, and pizzicato cello performed by Christine Bronson, sampled and carefully re-arranged by Hyatt into Norman McLaren-esque percussive pops. Together, the songs on Casual Listener are testament to the venn-diagram that is Future States’ music: experimentation that feeds into polished pop.

BITS'N'PIECES

New single from Divine Brown "Love Alibi "featuring 80 Empire drops November 1st. Lucas & Adrian Rezza of 80 Empire produced this anthemic track rooted in soulful house music with dance/EDM elements. "Love Alibi" is from her new EP "Crazy Love Amplified" due out February 14th, 2017. ...rare T.Dot appearance from Belfast protopunks Stiff Little Fingers at Horseshoe Oct.27.