Described by the magazine Rootstime in Belgium as ‘One of the greatest talents of our era”, and listed as the “2nd best gig” by the major UK newspaper The Independent, becoming the #1 most played artist on Canadian Galaxie Folk/Roots radio, Western Canadian Music Award winning artist Sarah MacDougall is getting known for her honest and poetic songs, passionate performances, and unique voice. Born in Sweden, Swedish magazine Nöjesguiden declared her “One of Sweden’s best singer/songwriters”.
Since the release ofaward-winning The Greatest Ones Alive in 2011, Sarah has been touring Canada and Europe endlessly, taking time to work on songs and record between tours. Last winter, she hunkered down under the Northern Lights in Whitehorse and put the final touches on the sonically rich album which was to become Grand Canyon. The album, co-produced by Sarah and Caleb Stull (Field Study, Dominique Fricot, Language Arts), which was recorded in Toronto and Vancouver, features 8 songs and guest appearances from Erika Angell (Thus:Owls), Rose Cousins, Jesse Zubot (Tanya Tagaq, Dan Mangan), Peggy Lee, and Leah Abramson (Abramson Singers). Stepping outside of traditional folk and flirting with sounds that could have come from The Postal Service or Kate Bush, Grand Canyon keeps the acoustic guitar but infuses the sound with heavier drums and richly textured strings and synths.
The songs are about identity, love, fear, hope, growing up, rootlessness, forgiveness. They are written from the point of view of the hopeful outsider, trying to figure out their place and make sense of the world. Grand Canyon sees Sarah challenging herself and pushing new boundaries musically and sonically, and it is an album that will surely see Sarah reach new levels in her career.
Sarah has played festivals such as Iceland Airwaves, Winnipeg Folk Festival, The Great Escape, and she will continue to tour and write music throughout 2015.
Sarah MacDougall’s beautiful new record is as vast and as varied as its namesake’- CBC
“Grand Canyon is a refreshing addition to Canada’s singer-songwriter genre, but it’s also so much more. The album is filled with Sarah MacDougall doing what she does best: taking indie-pop expectations and shooting them full of fresh turns and honest lyrics” – Greyowl point = Proud hoot (really good)
“an excellent and an accomplished album and augers well for Sarah’s future as a distinctive writer with a unique voice. A sterling effort.”- NE:MM
“an album of darkness and light, the spring and sun after a long, arctic winter” Exclaim!:: 8/10
‘Thoughtful, strong, and spiritual”- The Globe and Mail
“This is a real breathtaking and touching record from one of the greatest talents of this era.”- Rootstime, Belgium
“Sarah MacDougall (from Malmoe and now Canada) has become one of the few voices that is separating itself from the big choir of song poets”- Ystad Allehanda, Sweden 5/5 stars!
Part carpenter; Part actor; Canadian singer-songwriter Ben Kunder has spent years honing his craft to become a full time musician. On May 26, 2015, Ben ventured closer to making this a reality with the release of his DEBUT solo LP, Golden.With a voice that truly fills your heart and keeps you warm, Ben writes songs that everyone can relate to. His powerful voice is a driving force in his music, guiding his songs by creating impressive and tactful melodies and dynamics.
Exclaim! declared, “Kunder’s extra special voice, along with gorgeous production, lends the record an almost velvety quality.” While NewCanadianMusic said the album: “features strong and warm vocals, nicely-crafted folk-rock songs, and top-notch production and playing,” and the Toronto Star had this to say about Ben – “he’s got the kind of mellow sincerity in his voice to take it beyond generic country-pop.”
No stranger to the Canadian music community, Ben has been writing and producing his music independently for over 7 years. Through a chance meeting with John Dinsmore (NQ Arbuckle), the pair hunkered down at John’s, Lincoln County Social Club studio to co-produce Golden. The album features 9 stunning original songs by Ben, including the first single and title track, Golden. Ben (guitar, vox, and piano) is joined by a group of Canada’s finest musicians for the studio recording, featuring Brian Murphy (Alvvays) on guitar/piano/Wurlitzer, Rich Knox (Dustin Bentall, Danko Jones) on drums/vox, Anna Ruddick (Ladies of the Canyon, Randy Bachman) on bass/vox, and Aaron Goldstein (Cowboy Junkies, Daniel Romano) on pedal steel. Also John Connolly lends his voice, along with Kirty, Maia Davies (Ladies of the Canyon) and Jasmine Bleile (Ladies of the Canyon) for select tracks.
Ben has lived all across the beautiful country of Canada, from his solar powered cabin on Salt Spring Island, BC, where he spent his days chopping wood and chasing deer from the garden, to Charlottetown, PEI, working at the Confederation Centre for the Arts. Now, Ben is back to where he started his journey in his hometown of Toronto. Golden is an album that pushed Ben to new levels, and will surely see him reach new heights in his career. Ben will continue to tour and write music throughout 2016.
“Soulful Country-Pop with a voice to die for…”
Americana UK, United Kingdom
“Ben Kunder’s voice sounds like filtered sunbeams…”
Altcountry.NL, Netherlands 4/5 stars!