Canadian Musician - May/June 2021 - Page 78


canadianmusician . com / showcase
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By Manus Hopkins
What : Americana Where : Vancouver , BC Visit : www . stillcreekcrows . com
With a multi-faceted mix of serenity and eeriness , Vancouver duo Still Creek Crows bring a pop edge to Americana music , giving a powerful kick to the melancholy style and seamlessly blending a range of emotional atmospheres .
As can be heard on their debut single , “ White Lines ,” they juxtapose upbeat vocal melodies with harrowing guitars and an alt-country groove . The song has amassed over 30,000 plays on Spotify since its January release , and for good reason . It ’ s an involved song , but with a simplistic hook at its core and a catchy enough chorus to stick around for days .
Members Matt Rose and Britt McKillip are no amateurs . Both are in-demand session players and members of awardwinning groups aside from their work as Still Creek Crows . Rose is part of roots-rock outfit The Matinee , and McKillip is half of CCMA Rising Star-winning duo One More Girl , but together as Still Creek Crows , they are treading new musical ground , and are worth paying attention to .
Sometimes , it ’ s unexpected places that yield some of the most interesting musical acts . With music stylistically similar to ‘ 00s groups like The Killers and The Strokes , Gatineau , QC ’ s Stand Up and Say No – headed by singer , songwriter , and multi-instrumentalist Andre Nault – infuses darkly-catchy tunes with biting social commentary on current events .
Stand Up and Say No ’ s newest single , “ Without Constraint ,” released in March , adds a new fire to the project ’ s prolific catalogue , making more use of shifting dynamics , with intense , energetic bursts framed by softer , stripped-down passages , showing Nault coming more into his own as a songwriter and vocalist .
Though Stand Up and Say No ’ s songs are danceable , there ’ s also a moody cynicism in plain sight in each of them , making for a much more intriguing , immersive listening experience . With three albums and numerous singles already out , Stand Up and Say No already has an impressive catalogue , but based on the more recent releases , what the future holds will be even better .
What : Post-Punk Where : Gatineau , QC Visit : www . standupandsayno . com
What : Rock Where : Pictou County , NS Visit : www . stonehousemusic . ca
Talented yet humble , StoneHouse are a rock trio from rural Nova Scotia who have been touring Canada for the last five years . With two full-length albums and three singles out now , the band have earned themselves a decent following , and are picking up more traction and media attention now as they hone in their focus and polish their skills .
StoneHouse invested all the money they had saved as a band , with help from Music Nova Scotia ’ s Artist Creation Program , into a home studio so they could learn to record themselves and produce their own music . Out of this came their newest single , “ Holy Water ,” released in April . The single is a new sound for the band , as they are paying more mind to lyrics and storytelling than they had previously .
There ’ s something refreshingly authentic about the bare bones rock ‘ n ’ roll from a small-town working-class band like StoneHouse . It ’ s abundantly clear that their focus isn ’ t on chasing trends or pushing gimmicks , but rather simply on making the best music they can make and sharing it however they can .