After stiff competition from musical acts across Canada, Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk have won CBC Music's Searchlight competition.
The Calgary-area alt-folk troupe and its song I Lost Myself have triumphed in the annual contest to discover the country's best new musical act, beating out thousands of artists in different genres — from hip hop to indie rock.
"I could see this song being played in festivals around the world...in every commercial, movies. It's one of those songs, to me, that has the most widespread appeal," said rapper and producer Kardinal Offishall, one of this year's three Searchlight judges.
"I see something very special there, something exciting...It's very textured, very layered," added fellow judge Sarah Slean.
"This band sounds really awesome. The song is gorgeous. They are terrific songwriters," said judge Torquil Campbell.
Originally from Brooks, Alta., bandleader and songwriter Mann has been a live performer in the Calgary area since 2008. Through collaborations with other local musicians, she formed her group The Fairly Odd Folk.
The group's current composition includes Mann, Jay Christman, Jessica Christman, Josh Akin, Zoltan Szoges and Hammer Clark.
The collective has played tour dates throughout North America in recent years and released its debut album, Over Land and Sea, in April 2013.
As the 2014 winners of Searchlight, the band will be the opening act at this year's CBCMusic.ca Festival, taking place in Vancouver on June 14, and receives $20,000 worth of musical equipment from Yamaha Music Canada.