Topic: first listen

David Picco came back from away and can't stop writing songs

Musician David Picco decided to return to St. John's and step away from being a full-time musician. Instead, he found himself writing more songs than ever.

Musician and fisheries officer keeps loneliness at bay with music

Jared Waterman took up playing the guitar and writing songs when he moved to northern Labrador to take a job as a fisheries officer.

Damhnait Doyle says she finally sounds like herself

Damhnait Doyle feels that her latest album, Liquor Store Flowers, is a representation of the music she loves.

What do Paige Penney of St. John's and Taylor Swift have in common? Their debut albums

When 14-year old Paige Penney of St. John’s decided to record Watch Out For Your Step, her first album of original songs, she decided to think big and record it in Nashville.

Roger Howse plays the 21st Century Blues

Roger Howse’s sixth album, 21st Century Blues, is his way of reaching out to fans that he doesn’t see much anymore.

Trad band Tarahan's tunes are all about the tales

The five members of Tarahan have played their blend of Newfoundland and Celtic music together for about 15 years and 600 shows.

Performing music is what Lewisporte teen Cassidy Rich 'wants to do forever'

Cassidy Rich of Lewisporte has a lot on her mind — refining her voice as a songwriter, booking some summer gigs to promote her new album, and getting good marks on her high school exams.

Lo Siento is feeling the creative vibe in St. John's

The road that led to the formation of Spanish language punk band Lo Siento went from Buenos Aires to Winnipeg before winding up in St. John's.

Eastern Owl's Qama'si: A call to action

The members of Eastern Owl say their second album, Qama’si, which in the Mi’kmaq language means 'stand up,' is a call to action.  

Have a keyboard and computer? It Could Be Franky

The album "has opened up a whole other world of music to me," says Danielle Hamel, who uses Franky as a stage name for her electronic music projects.

Singer-songwriter Steven Bowers reconnects with his musical Newfoundland roots

Steven Bowers built his musical career in Nova Scotia and western Canada, but now feels like he needs to make more music in his childhood home of Newfoundland and Labrador.

RPM Challenge 2019 creates 'beautiful, amazing music,' says organizer Elling Lien

Elling Lien of Unpossible NL is listening his way through a pile of brand new music made in Newfoundland and Labrador last month as part of this year's RPM Challenge.

Dealing with loss, singer/songwriter Selina Boland goes into The Cold

Singer-songwriter Selina Boland has had a rough time dealing with the death of her mother, the musician Laverne Squires, and Boland's new album is a way for her to work through this chapter of her life.

From late night music camp jams to Cotillion

The folk trio Cotillion is a music camp band, but its members, Gerry Strong, Dave Panting, and Hugh Scott, are hardly youngsters on a holiday.

Paul Brace thought he might not live to tell you about his solo album

Paul Brace recorded his ECMA-nominated album Liars and Actors while undergoing aggressive cancer treatment in 2018.

Trad band Rum Ragged's good times with The Hard Times

Rum Ragged’s new album is called The Hard Times, but the current times for the band are anything but.

The otherworldly music of harpist Kira Sheppard

Harpist Kira Sheppard transfixes and transports indie pop audiences with her retro heavenly sounds.

Clarinetist Christine Carter tees up interest in classical chamber music

Clarinetist Christine Carter's research on musical interest techniques is striking a chord with some unlikely fans — professional golfers.

Mark Hiscock squeezes out a new beat with his solo album

Mark Hiscock, Shanneyganock's multi-instrumentalist, explores the laid back sound of Newfoundland country on his new solo album, The Old Fishing Schooner.
First Listen

Why Peter Willie Youngtree's obsession with death helps him appreciate life

Peter Willie Youngtree and the Blooms’ new album, Musical Chairs, is an unusual blend of high-energy roots country and rock and roll, and lyrics that explore, well, death.

Christmas is just starting for N.L.'s favourite Ukrainian band, the Kubasonics

While the Christmas season is winding down for most people in Newfoundland and Labrador, it’s just getting started for the members of the Kubasonics.

Fretboard Journey brings us their Christmas Picks

The members of Newfoundland and Labrador guitar supergroup Fretboard Journey are digging into their expansive repertoire of Christmas music to bring us their favourite songs.

A Week in December during an August heat wave

When Ian Foster and Nancy Hynes decided to record last summer as a duo, they immediately decided on a holiday album, thanks to Hynes' 'encyclopedic' knowledge of Christmas songs.

LeRiche on his 'overwhelming, unforeseeable' musical career

LeRiche's EP, X-Dreamer, is racing up the German college radio charts, and it’s getting lots of airplay on CBC Music, college radio in the eastern United States, and online.
First Listen

Park Day's 'beach pop' sound is more Middle Cove than Malibu

Park Day’s first full-length album, Punchlines, is full of melodic pop songs that band member Adam Ravalia says encompasses both "the brutal and the beautiful."

Ken Tizzard spreads the gospel of Ron Hynes

Singer/songwriter Ken Tizzard says touring with Ron Hynes was a life-changing experience, and he continues to learn by playing his late mentor's music.

Not the Autobahn: Florian Hoefner and Subtone take a Canadian road trip

Florian Hoefner and his German jazz musician buddies take their band Subtone on a Canadian tour full of adventures and long, leisurely drives.

Adam Baxter's album Domestic is about 'house, home and family'

Singer-songwriter Adam Baxter's new record is a collection of introspective, acoustic-based songs.

The global all-ages appeal of the Swinging Belles

The Swinging Belles is a swing band for children, but the band members say they have fans of every age.

Craig Young can't put down his guitar

When Craig Young was growing up in Burgeo, he was lucky that his family’s home was close to the school, because he would play his guitar until the last second before the school bell rang.

Wade Tarling finds Strength in his solo piano work

Wade Tarling is an in-demand session musician for jazz, pop and musical theatre — but he always takes time to keep learning new things about the piano.

With 3 MusicNL nominations, Property's value is up

Property's angular pop sound is catching the ears of audiences and the music industry all over Atlantic Canada.

Labrador's Silver Wolf Band is doing their 'duty to the land that we love'

The Silver Wolf Band’s sound may be contemporary folk rock, but the band’s songwriting subject matter is pure Labrador.

Through Texas, the tale of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment marches on

Danny O’Flaherty is an Irish-American musician living in Texas, but his latest album, It's a Long Way From St. John's, is all about the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

Quote the Raven creates new music with help from a parrot

Jordan Coaker and Kirsten Rodden-Clarke, the members of Quote the Raven, had some heavy-hitting songwriting help on their first full-length album: Chris Kirby, Charlie A’Court — and Monty the Parrot.

'He's in every note of every song': The Ennis Sisters' latest album healing tribute to late father

Maureen, Teresa and Karen Ennis say their latest album, Keeping Time, is all about the milestones in their lives, the sad ones and the celebratory ones.

Nashville is like Newfoundland, except for the accent, says singer Mallory Johnson

Mallory Johnson of Conception Bay South is building on the success of her 2015 single Tupelo by immersing herself in Nashville's country music scene.

The band's name is Trend, but the sound is classic

The members of the band Trend are in their late teens and early twenties, but their musical influences come from music made well before they were born.

Like a fine wine, Andrew Pike's songs improve with age

Andrew Pike wrote songs and recorded demos for his sixth album, Trying to Find the Medium, then laid the songs aside — for 12 years.

Mark Bragg enters a different season of music and life

Mark Bragg signs publishing deal with Arts & Crafts Music, talks about his new album.

With Wreckhouse, Sherry Ryan sings tunes about trains

Singer/songwriter Sherry Ryan says inspiration for her new album, Wreckhouse, comes from a favourite family story from her childhood.

Waterfront Fire's mission? Bring back the concept album

Jordan Coaker and Paul Brace of Waterfront Fire say their band wants to bring back the entire album experience music, art and a physical object.

'Music was first,' says Joel Thomas Hynes

Joel Thomas Hynes is an acclaimed writer and actor, but he says that music was the gateway to a life of creativity.

After half a century, Anita Best and Sandy Morris finally make an album together

They have been friends and fellow musicians since the late 1960s, but the new album from Anita Best and Sandy Morris is the first time they've recorded as a duo.

Mick Davis and Thin Love capture the magic of new songs

'Rock and roll is not broken, and it doesn’t need to be fixed,' says veteran Newfoundland musician Mick Davis, of Touch The Moon, the new album by Mick Davis and Thin Love.

Michelle Noftall's new album has its roots in a family love story

Michelle Noftall’s second solo album, Roots in the Water, is a concept album which digs into an extraordinary tale from Noftall’s family history.

Shanneyganock's Chris Andrews sings different tune on solo album

“The name comes from 25 years in this business,” says Chris Andrews, about the title for his solo album, A Bit of Wear and Tear.

How trading drumsticks for a masonry trowel made George Morgan love music again

After several decades in music, George Morgan moved from one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s leading industries — culture — into another — the skilled trades.

From living rooms to hay wagons, folk duo Tanglecove will play anywhere

Tanglecove, the folk music duo of Dan Rubin and Dave Panting, are open to playing small spaces just about anywhere.

For Placentia musician Steve Haley, Sackville, N.B., is the 'perfect junction'

Musician and Placentia native Steve Haley says Sackville, N.B., is an ideal location for musicians and artists.

Michael Hanrahan, veteran side musician, steps up to the centre mic

Michael Hanrahan has been a key part of the trad and bar band scene in St. John's even before he was legally allowed to be in the places where he played.

Musician Kate Lahey — aka Weary — is Feeling Things

Kate Lahey, who records under the band name Weary, says music is just one way she expresses her creativity and connection with community.

After four decades making music, Rawlins Cross is Rock Steady

The Celtic rock band Rawlins Cross has settled into a comfortable groove of playing a few gigs every year, but recently, says guitarist and mandolin player Dave Panting, the band has picked up the tempo.

Kellie Loder gives her musical career Benefit of the Doubt

In the past five years, Kellie Loder has gone from nursing student to Juno nominee to seasoned singer/songwriter/musician.

Have a drop of Rum Ragged at Christmas

All four members of N.L. trad band Rum Ragged say they have one thing in common - when they were growing up, music was always on the go in their homes during Christmas.

How a crocheted hat put the Swinging Belles in a Christmas frame of mind

The Swinging Belles recorded their Christmas album, Jingle Belles, during a challenging time of year for Yuletide music — the middle of summer.

The close harmonies and fingerpicking of Rube and Rake

Josh Sandu and Andrew Laite of Rube and Rake have been honing their close harmonies and acoustic melodies for St. John's audiences for several years, and now they're ready to hit the road.

Violin or fiddle? Rosemary Lawton plays both

Rosemary Lawton is equally at ease in the violin section of an orchestra and wedged between an accordion player and a guitarist at a trad music session.

Music from indoors: Brad Jefford's introspective solo album

Brad Jefford is a jazz guitarist who is in high demand as a session musician and for other acts, but it took enforced time at home for him to develop material for himself.

The worldbeat party jazz of Ouroboros

Four saxophonists and a drummer are an unusual band lineup, and Ouroboros founder Greg Bruce says it’s a combination that gets their audiences on their feet.

How the gift of song helped Peter G. Noel make an album

Peter G. Noel’s debut album, In Case We Forget, happened in part because of a gift.

Veterans' stories are 'pretty powerful stuff,' says songwriter Terry Penney

Singer/songwriter Terry Penney has been writing songs about war veterans ever since a chance meeting with Leslie Ginn, a Second World War veteran, in Penney’s hometown of Lewisporte.

Jazz in the key of puffins: Pianist's new album inspired by the North Atlantic

Since jazz pianist Florian Hoefner moved to St. John’s a few years ago, he’s been spending a lot of time in the great Newfoundland outdoors, and that time has inspired him to compose new music.

'This is what I want to do,' says young singer/songwriter Rachel Cousins

Rachel Cousins of St. John’s is still in high school, but she’s been focused on her goal to be a singer/songwriter for years.

The Combine is more than a metal band

'We are a metal band, but we are also much more than that,' says Taylor Roberts, guitarist and vocalist with the St. John’s-based heavy metal band the Combine.

Clare Follett is Neck Deep in original music

Clare Follett of St. John's is still in high school, but she's already a seasoned musician and recording producer.

Steve Maloney plays The Memory Game on his new album

Steve Maloney's second album is a collaboration with Toronto-based producer Joshua Van Tassel.

Matthew Byrne finds traditional songs by 'three clicks of a mouse'

Matthew Byrne says being a traditional folk song singer and a member of the millennial generation makes perfect sense in the 21st century digital age.

'It's a bit more me,' says Larry Foley of solo album

Larry Foley has spent two decades fronting two high-energy bands, but he says his new, stripped down solo album, Come Along with Me Bys, is a bit more true to himself.

Shanneyganock's musicians are true to themselves and having fun

'It’s still fun,' confirms Chris Andrews, of performing, touring, and recording with his longtime Newfoundland trad band, Shanneyganock.

'I'm a different dude,' says singer-songwriter Adam Baxter

Adam Baxter is using technology and social media to build a thriving artistic career in rural Newfoundland.

Bruce Moss rediscovers his folk music roots

Bruce Moss says it’s taken him 35 years to release a follow-up to his 1982 hit album The Islander for a good reason — he lost many of his songs.

On Far Cry, Gavin Simms writes 'simple, direct songs'

“I would definitely brand it a heartbreak album, for sure,” says Gavin Simms, of his solo album Far Cry.

Luke Major dives into the Montreal music scene

Luke Major says Natation, his current band, formed "kind of by happenstance," after a studying trip to Montreal.

Singer-songwriter Megan Marshall has Vibe Galore

Singer-songwriter Megan Marshall says the title of her debut album came about because of an offhand remark during a studio recording session.

Joe Grizzly and the Wildlife: 'A couple of regular joes' who like to rock out

Joe Grizzly and the Wildlife may sound like a bunch of burly outdoorsmen, but in reality, they are just a group of friends from the northeast Avalon who like to play music together.

'I'm so glad it came along,' says recitationist Dave Paddon

Dave Paddon starting writing humourous recitations while he worked as a commercial pilot, and now he has a second career as a sought-after performer at storytelling events around North America.

Rough Hands is musician Luke Tremblett's metaphor for life

Luke Tremblett says his musical name, Rough Hands, is loaded with meaning.

How the Kubasonics became more Ukrainian by moving to Newfoundland

Kubfundland, the latest album by the Kubasonics, is the first Ukrainian album ever recorded in Newfoundland and Labrador, according to Kubasonics founder Brian Cherwick. It’s also the most Ukrainian album of the band’s career.

Watershed is 'an activist record,' says Amelia Curran

Amelia Curran says her work as an advocate for mental health care reform, plus polarizing world politics, inspired the songs she has created on Watershed, her latest album.

The shoegaze sound of Town House

Town House creates music with a dreamy, introspective ambient sound that band members define as shoegaze.

Earle and Coffin juggle school by day, the blues by night

Nick Earle and Joe Coffin are living double lives, one as an acclaimed blues/folk duo, and the other as high school students in St. John's.

Twenty Dollar Pyramids put their money down on a debut album

The members of Twenty Dollar Pyramids bonded over their interest in electronic music, and after experimenting with studio tracks, decided to commit to making an album.

'The quality of music is really high,' says RPM Challenge co-ordinator

Elling Lien of Unpossible NL says local musicians of all ages and skill levels created more than 100 albums of original music last month — just for the fun of it.

From Middle Earth to Pouch Cove: Atlantic Union's new album heads Homeward

On Atlantic Union’s third album, Homeward, band member Dan Rubin has finally revisited a song he created a half century ago during his obsession with J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

'It's trying to capture the moment,' says musician Mick Davis

Mick Davis, known for his work with rock band The Novaks, wrote and recorded songs almost immediately for his new solo album, Endless Weekend.

First Listen: Raised On This by Colleen Power

On her new album Raised on This, Colleen Power is going back to her roots with the tunes that started her musical journey.

First Listen: An RPM Challenge, better late than never

Adrian House has toured in rock bands and played folk songs for whale watching tourists, but it took the RPM Challenge to push him into creating his new solo album.

First Listen: 'I'm just someone who wants to sing'

For Melanie O’Brien, the title of her new album, Shining in the Blue, is the way she aims to live her life.

First Listen: 'I did this one for me,' says Cory Tetford

Cory Tetford says his upbeat new solo album, In the Morning, was inspired by some serious thoughts on mortality.

First Listen: You'll Never Know by Heather Bambrick

Heather Bambrick has built a successful career in Toronto as a jazz singer, broadcaster, teacher and voiceover artist, but her latest CD, You’ll Never Know, is all about her ties to this province.

First Listen: Storm Clouds by The Heartbroken

Damhnait Doyle is quick to point out that her latest project, an album called Storm Clouds by the band The Heartbroken, is a group effort.

First Listen: Museum by AE Bridger

AE Bridger’s new album, Museum, is available as both an album of music and as a long form streaming music video, similar to what Beyonce has done with her recent work, Lemonade.

First Listen: Vale by Cabbages and Kings

The hard rock band Cabbages and Kings has had a productive year since it relocated to central Newfoundland, recording its new album, Vale, in the band's new studio in Norris Am.