Canadian Musician - March-April 2022 - Page 78


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What : Pop / Rock Where : Toronto , ON Visit : www . harknessmusic . com
Released in 2021 , the debut album , The Occasion , from Toronto musical auteur Harkness was a decade in the making . From the kaleidoscopic pop mirage of the title track to The La ’ s-esque “ I . D .” to songs like “ The Opener ” and “ Code ” that feel like long-lost gems from the ‘ 60s psychedelic garage-rock scene , the album is steeped in the history of great guitar-based pop music .
Harkness points out that despite the layers of multi-part vocal harmonies and sophisticated hooks , there is a dark undercurrent beneath the music ’ s lush , pop surface . “ Ultimately though ,” Harkness says , “ I hope that while listening to these songs , people at once feel the urgency and desperation of our time but are inspired and emotionally moved enough to take steps in their own life to help improve our collective world .” Harkness is also keen to point out he doesn ’ t rely on machines or music samples , instead working with “ real people playing real instruments to create lush , evocative , deeply human sonic scapes , all with a fresh , modern pop aesthetic .”
Fans of classic guitar-driven pop-rock , from The Kinks to Bleachers , will want to check out Harkness as he takes this lineage and put his own distinctive and evocative twist on it .
Over the last few years , Toronto-based teenage pop artist Cmagic5 has been steadily building momentum among press and fans . Her latest single , “ Dancing on My Heart ,” and its accompanying music video have racked up more than 215,000 views on YouTube and 3 million views on TikTok . It follows her 2021 album , Ready to Run , which has accumulated over 2 million listens on Spotify alone .
Though still very young , Cmagic5 says a life in music was always in the cards , having been singing and performing since she was just four years old . She completed her classical vocal training at the Royal Conservatory at 16 and her hard work and lifelong passion show in her vocal performances that are mature beyond her years . Her vocal strength and the blend of old- and new-school production styles make clear that , without a doubt , Cmagic5 is someone for pop fans to keep a close eye on .
What : Pop Where : Toronto , ON Visit : www . cmagic5 . com
What : Jazz-Rock Where : St . John ’ s , NL Visit : www . bigspaceband . com
Big Space is an instrumental jazz-rock trio from St . John ’ s , NL . Featuring guitarist Grant King , bassist Ian Murphy , and drummer Ashley Chalmers , the band takes a jazz approach to original compositions that touch on genres like postrock , math rock , and progressive rock .
Free improvisation is a key part of their sound , and the trio is all about taking chances and catching moments of inspiration . Their self-released 2015 debut , Live at The Levee , documented the energy of their live performances . For their 2021 follow-up record , In Relation To , the band headed into the studio but kept the live ethos by committing to no overdubs . A high level of interplay between the three musicians can be heard throughout the album , which combines the dynamic feel of a live show with studio-quality sound . Released in October 2021 , In Relation To marks the latest progression in the band ’ s sound , ranging from riff-driven instrumental rock to contemporary jazz fusion and atmospheric soundscapes .