Tag Archives: Toronto

Sarah + 1, A Tribute To Sarah Vaughan: A Trip Through Time By Toronto’s Delilah

10 Apr

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Contrary to most Cultures, Canada is vocally proud of its multicultural roots and global identity. Despite the fact that most of us (Canadians) are generally in agreement with this statement, even the residents of Residents of Toronto frequently refer to their city as a “cultural melting pot”. While this isn’t an inherently mean spirited statement, it is uttered with far more frequency when its context is something akin to any pair of historic European arch-enemy factions, who share a community during FIFA.

Too many people seem emphasize “melting”, when the important part’s “cultural”. Visionary artists, such as Delilah, have an innate understanding that the aforementioned melting pot metaphor works both ways.

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The promising Toronto Jazz songstress lay’s down such a performance on her 4 tack EP,  “Sarah + 1, A Tribute To Sarah Vaughan” that it is easy to miss the subtext behind her personal life and personal inspirations. Delilah began her singing career when she was 10, and continued to purse her songstress ambitions after she moved to Canada when she was 19.

Regardless of how versed one may be with Steve Tyrell or Tony Bennett, there is something captivating about Delilah’s particular style of singing, which reflects likes a mirror off of the underlying, smooth, background piano and saxophone support.  For example: “September Rain” is as refreshing as a summer morning jog, where Delilah’s siren singing chimes in as sweet as a pure spoon of sugar.

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“Just Friends” follows up with a slower, sober sounding melody. The bleak lyrics of this song may appear as if they were written in a teenager’s journal, which may mislead some tough guy listeners (such as myself, obviously) to scoff under their breath during the initial play through. After a few repeat, attentive listening, however, Delilah’s crestfallen brand of bitter-sweet chiming narration  begins to make one reach whatever poison they use to keep their emotional stitching numb and tightly done up.

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The next track, “Whatever Lola Wants” is the titular cover of the Grammy award winning jazz singer Sarah Vaughan. While this 1955 classic has much iteration, Sarah Vaughn’s version was immortalized by her trade mark sassy stylization matter-of-fact-pace that soars over the supporting back up brass and drums. What makes Delilah’s modern adaptation of Vaughn’s culturally engrained style seems to be more of a theatrical statement. Instead of recreating Vaughn’s almost minimalistic approach, this track goes for a grander approach, with livelier percussions and brass backdrops over a particularly sultry and sensuous re-definition of “Whatever Lola Wants…. Lola gets… You’re no exception to the rule… I’m irresistible you fool…”

“Smile” is may or may not be Delilah’s most immediately representative song on this record, but is inarguably the track with the lengthiest amount of relevance to western art’s history. While the timelessly positive lyrics and titular subject matter were originally authored and added by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons in 1954, the original musical composition was written in 1936, by none other than Charlie Chaplin. This intimidating history is definitely well handled and adapted by Delilah to be in context with her style, on-stage persona and the intended message. The backing harmony of piano chimes, blasé strings and enduring percussions really personify the bitter-sweet atmosphere of the song. But when Delilah’s slow, soothing voice enters the mix, it really turns into something powerful, like an antidote for avenoir, exulansis, altschmerz and all of the other obscure sorrows.

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It really pays to consider the songstresses’ aforementioned personal origin story, as makes both the context and authority in “Smile” personal and knowledgeable. Both of those truly artistic agencies that force the listeners to even temporarily re-frame or question the self a not only a reflection to Delilah’s craft, but a testament to the “cultural” melting pot that permits such depth and vigour, even from music that was composed half a century ago.

As a youth culture that is broadly defined by the trends it pursues, few artists incentive or interest to explore the truly remarkable chapters of own history, let alone attempt to interpret their significance for others. Delilah’s “Sarah + 1, A Tribute To Sarah Vaughan” is not only a perfect representation of the musician, but of how a dedicated perspective of the seminal individuals and genres can be written to raise new interest from those outside of the modern niche.

Check out more of Delilah’s music:
https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDelilahGypsy
http://www.delilahmusic.com

Dreams of Summer: Coronado’s new EP, Give Up Nothing Vol. 1, reviewed.

24 Jul
Coronado: The Green Period. From L-R: Lisa Lorenz, Amy Morris, Kevin Lee Correia, Carlos Cornado, Luke Boehler.  Photo Credit: MikeBinelli

Coronado’s Green Period. From L-R: Lisa Lorenz, Amy Morris, Kevin Lee Correia, Carlos Cornado, Luke Boehler. Photo Credit: Mike Binelli

Summer is hitting its height, but it may be too early yet to declare 2014’s definitive summer song. Sure, turn on the radio and you can listen to the variety of contenders on autoplay. They may be the good (Chromeo, for one, are enjoying some well-deserved success with “Jealous”), the bad (listen to Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” one more time, I dare you), and the just plain left-field (who would have thought Weird Al would be a no.1 guy in 2014?).

But the song of the summer may also be a product of an unheralded indie pop outfit, one that should be getting its due on the radio waves. That track is “A Line We Never Drew”, the first single off of Coronado’s latest EP, Give Up Nothing Vol 1.

Coronado - Give Up Nothing Vol.1 (2014)

Coronado – Give Up Nothing Vol.1 (2014)

There’s nothing you / can say to me / inside your mind / or in a dream, oh.” With wistful lyrics, a dance-rock rhythm, and fizzled neon guitar in support, “A Line We Never Drew” is the perfect summer song to soundtrack those sunny day drives and fresh restless nights. Vocals from Lisa Lorenz blend the feelings of midyear just right, from the joy of discovering something new, to the wonder if there couldn’t be something more.

The last time we featured Coronado here on our pages, the Toronto quintet were busy performing live and building off their last EP, Remain Calm, which was only released earlier this year (check out our review of that EP as well as our take on their live set at the Piston in April). At the time, our reviewer Jason Scharff stated “If the current formula for Coronado happens to be making a good record and then improving upon it with the followup, I’m more than excited for the next one.

While up to now Coronado has seemingly been the personal project of frontman and guitarist Carlos Coronado (as to be assumed when the band sports your name), Give Up Nothing Vol.1 marks a promising development in the band by pushing the other members to the fore. Lisa gets to “A Line We Never Drew” as her own, while Carlos completes the EP with three strong entries of his own. As heard in their live sets, Coronado’s best asset is their versatility: with Lorenz, Coronado and Amy Morris all able to contribute with their own voices, the result is a dynamic set-piece and their most complete-sounding effort yet.

 

Take the second track, “Burning Bright” (heard above in Coronado’s EP release party video), and you have your indication of Coronado’s desire and ability to get better and better. The song starts out in a manner that one may expect upon watching reruns of Miami Vice on VHS, but grows organically to be more than what could simply be ’80s pastiche. Layered vocals sing: “Don’t crush the fantasy / let’s just make believe it’s just a dream.” An arresting finale rests on a sweeping synth hook complete the track into something that could only be made in 2014. Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories may have brought Chic-style dance rock back to, uh, chic, last year, but the swiggity guitar style is served just as well here and in the exhilarating solo of “Clear To Me”.

EP closer “Congratulations”, which has also been used appropriately as a set ender for Coronado’s live shows, gets the very important task of convincing the listener to hit repeat once it is all over. The track does its job, and beautifully so: all the elements of music that Coronado can do well…well, they go perfectly. A steady, subtle crescendo does the job in bringing the listener over, and it almost seems cruel to end the song (and the EP) on a sudden cut.

Yet it should be so, in want for the next release. Given Coronado’s prolific nature, though, Vol. 2 is probably already in production. Don’t expect to have to wait for long!

You can listen to all four of the tracks off Give Up Nothing Vol.1 on the album’s Bandcamp. Also, don’t forget to check out the new video for “A Line We Never Drew”! Suitably, it takes the watcher for a little night walk all around the Toronto downtown core. Shiny!


Check out Coronado!

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Author: Nathan Christie