For Esme

5 Quick Questions with Honey Beard

As we get close to Canadian Music Week 2017 we’ve got some 5 Quick Questions entries for you. First up is Honey Beard. When I wrote my second round announcement post I gave this band a listen and loved them. The Irish-Canadian Dark Synth-Pop duo calls Toronto home and they can be seen at the Lisbon Lux & Ride The Tempo Showcase on Thursday, April 20th at Longboat Hall.

Let’s get right to it,  5 Quick Questions with Honey Beard.

Q1: What artist/band would you most love to have on a bill with you?

G&T: A big inspiration for what we do is Depeche Mode, to support them would be a dream come true. Locally, fellow synth-pop band For Esmé would be a band that we’d love to play a show with, very talented and wonderful live.

We love, that they chose For Esmé because we love them too!

Q2: What are you most looking forward to at CMW?

G&T: We’ve been going to CMW for a few years now and for us, the venue hopping aspect of the festival has always been our favourite thing. It’s all about discovering the lesser known band, that’s where the excitement is for us. There is very little that can match the discovery and surprise you get when a band you know little about blows your mind. CMW are experts at providing that to the music lover.

Q3: What is the first concert you remember going to?

Gaz: My first large concert was Metallica, Dublin in 1992. It was amazing!

Tom: My dad took me to see James Taylor for my first concert when I was about 9 years old. The first concert I went to “on my own” was a Warped Tour in Montreal. It was sweaty and muddy and dirty and amazing.

Q4: What Artist do you think we should be paying more attention to?

G&T: Impossible to pick one! There are 3 shows we would love to get to at CMW: Meet The Blue are playing at The Painted Lady at same night as us (unfortunately),an Irish Band called We, The Oceanographers are playing Stop Drop and Roll on Friday night at midnight –  but there is also a stacked bill playing at Longboat Hall on Friday night that is a ‘Women in Music‘ show with Kylo and Hey DW! We’ve seen these ladies live before and they are awesome!

Q5: What’s up next for you in 2017?

G&T: We Just released our Debut album ‘Dreamless Sleep‘ and it’s been getting a great reception so far. We are pretty hyper-critical of ourselves but we’re both very excited about what we created and right now we’re in the process of pushing the album out there to the opinion makers (which is not easy). We have a second launch show in Montreal (M-Bar) on April 29th, and then more Canadian shows over the summer before we go to Ireland to play a mini tour of festivals.

Thanks to Gaz and Tom for taking the time to answer our questions and if you’re looking for a show to fill up your Thursday night, we recommend checking out Honey Beard.

Honey Beard

Toronto Women in Music Showcase: For Esmé, Etiquette, REPARTEE & Hush Pup!

On a wintery spring night in April, a crowd of music fans came together at Adelaide Hall in Toronto to celebrate great music, dance, and generally just enjoy the hell out of a Thursday night.

The Toronto Women in Music showcase brought Hush Pup, REPARTEE, For Esmé, and Etiquette to the stage to show us all what they’ve got – and one at a time, they did exactly that… with pleasure.

Over and over we heard from the women leading the 4 bands talk about how awesome Toronto Women in Music (TWIM) has been for them. And looking through Facebook posts from those same artists, it’s clear to see that they love having a group of talented, supportive, badass women to collaborate with, and call friends. It’s a really cool thing to see and know is happening in a great city like ours. We really hope that women in other cities are getting the same opportunity.

Hush Pup at Adelaide Hall - TORONTO WOMEN IN MUSICFirst up on the Adelaide Hall stage Thursday night was Hush Pup, a synthy/groove/pop act that did an excellent job of warming up the crowd as they came through the doors and took their coats off. The combination of Ida’s soft, sweet vocals + keys, guitar, and bass gave us a sound that we’d gladly come in to listen to again. High fives to Ida, Fizzy, and Torrie for a job well done!

2nd on stage, and ready to dance, was REPARTEE – a 4 piece outfit fronted by Meg Warren – originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland.

REPARTEE at Adelaide Hall - TORONTO WOMEN IN MUSICThese 4 really did come to have a good time, kicking things off by telling the assembled music lovers that they were “gonna play some dance tunes” for us. And did they ever. With a super fun energy, REPARTEE gave us everything we could have hoped for… they’re the kind of band, playing the kind of music, that you’d be 100% hearing sometime between 12am and whenever you were too tired to stop dancing. In fact, you should probably look at their massive list of 2016 All Lit Up Tour dates so you can see for yourself… and check out the All Lit Up album on April 29th.

Etiquette at Adelaide Hall - TORONTO WOMEN IN MUSICThursday night’s headliner was Etiquette, another full sound, 4 piece (with bonus vocals from Hannah Georgas) bringing their brand of Dreamy Synth to the stage and entertaining the Toronto crowd. Lead singer Julie Fader owned the microphone, and her keyboard, as the band moved through their music. They’ll be back at Adelaide Hall on April 22 with Casper Skulls and Suuns… you might want to think about checking that out!

Then there’s the reason we hit the show… the 3rd act on stage, and one of our Canadian pop favourites, For Esmé!

For Esme-0942Led by the talented and lovely Martha Merideth, and freshly back from 3 shows at SXSW (where we hear they were a big hit, and Nathan told us they had an awesome time hanging with a heap of Canadians + the teams from Facebook and Spotify… plus other shenanigans) For Esmé did what they do, and owned the stage.

Just like REPARTEE before them, Martha invited the crowd to dance with her as she sang and moved. The crowd loved it… showing their appreciation with cheers and bouncing heads and shuffling feet. And when the trio played Make A Sound (which has a wicked video, click to check it out) we were all – all of us – in on the action with the band.

For Esmé will be back on stage in Toronto again as the city celebrates Canadian Music Week… check out The Silver Dollar on Saturday, May 7 at 11pm to check them out in person!

Much love to Toronto Women in Music for putting on a great show with 4 talented and engaging acts…we can’t wait for the next show.

Check out more pics from the night… and stay tuned for more awesome music coming soon.

Photos from Toronto Women in Music at Adelaide Hall

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Etiquette at Adelaide Hall - TORONTO WOMEN IN MUSIC


Hush Pup at Adelaide Hall - TORONTO WOMEN IN MUSIC

Hush Pup

Hush Pup at Adelaide Hall - TORONTO WOMEN IN MUSIC

Hush Pup

2 years ago

Sleeping Alone: Mieke EP Review and Q&A

Elissa Mielke is a world traveller by way of her modelling career – but an Ontario girl who grew up in the forest by her own admission.

Mieke EP CoverShe’s also a burgeoning musician, under the name Mieke with her debut EP dropping today (August 28, 2015) providing 4 songs that we’ve admittedly listened to more than a couple times each.

The first single, Sleeping Alone did exactly what it was supposed to do in catching our attention and making us want to hear more… so after listening to track #1 half a dozen times we took the plunge and downloaded tracks 2, 3, and 4.

The collection of songs will be self-titled and along with Sleeping Alone includes Magnolia, Move On, and Vulture – and each of them pulled us further down the rabbit hole. The combination of a sweet voice + self-written lyrics that peek just deep enough makes you want to know more about this girl/artist/performer/writer.

Written in bits and pieces in Tokyo, London, New York, LA, and wherever else she was – Mieke has presented herself and her music through these first 4 tracks… and we’re certainly hoping there are more to come, sooner rather than later. 

As she prepped to drop the EP to the world, Mieke was cool enough to answer some questions for us – thank you to her for that. And for giving us awesome answers! Check it out…

Mieke 2Q. Everything we’ve read says you’re from a small place in Ontario and that you grew up playing in the forest… can you give us more info about what part of the province, and what it was like growing up in your small town life?

A. I grew up near Guelph in a place called Flamborough- it’s only an hour outside of Toronto and in between Guelph and Hamilton. I went to high school in Dundas which is part of Hamilton. My dad planted thousands of trees on this 20 acre plot of land and it grew to be a forest as my sister and I grew up. We played outside a lot and created little worlds in the forest, I loved writing songs out there. We weren’t out in the country in an extreme way because Hamilton was close, but we definitely drove 20 minutes to go to the store and stuff like that, and had chickens and rabbits and other farmlike things. We’d go canoeing into the wilderness a lot, my parents really valued that which I think is really cool.

Q. If you were building a playlist with your music included, what other artists would you put on the list?

A. Well lately I am really excited about all the great music coming out of my current hometown of Toronto! My friend Elliot Vincent Jones is putting out an album that I sang a teensy bit on and it’s suuuper danceable and great. Lobby has upcoming releases too, and they’re awesome. Ben Stevenson has new material that is gloriously powerful, and No Warning is apparently making a new album! Also I have Daniel Caesar’s last album on repeat often. It’s really beautiful. LA timpa is rumoured to be releasing something pretty awesome soon. Toronto is full of all this good music and I love it! Prince Innocence, Twist, Stacey, For Esme, so much more. I’d make a Toronto playlist for you!

Mieke 1Q. You’ve said that you realized after these songs were written that it was you that needed to hear them. What was that discovery and process like for you?

A. When I came back to them months after recording them, I was floored by how the songs were full of predictions and little prophesies of what was to come next for me. Songwriting is really a spiritual thing for me- I really believe in intuition and also the importance of listening to your subconscious and trying to get in touch with that! I think these songs knew what I was hiding, and what I was afraid of, even before I knew it myself. I was excited about that. Maybe I’ll write more and they will teach me more things.

Q. Do you see your music and modelling careers continuing on a path together, or do you think you’ll have to make a choice soon?

A. I recently decided not to think of them as careers. I am just a human who has different ways of being creative and likes performing- so I’ll keep being creative and performing in different ways. Sometimes I’ll do more of one kind of performance, and at other times another. I think we’re in a time now where people aren’t defined by their careers, or at least they shouldn’t need to be. I will be me while doing those different things.

Q. Last one, tell us something about you that people aren’t easily going to find with a Google search 🙂

A. My first language was German. Swimming in a lake or ocean is my happy place, always. I love reading. I play the trombone really well. I have a herb garden that is flourishing. I used up all my money making this EP and it was worth it to me.

Huge thanks to Elissa for playing along with us today. The new EP is available right now – and we really can’t recommend it enough if you’re looking for new local Toronto music – or just new music in general.

Check out the stream of Sleeping Alone now and find Mieke online at these fine locations…

Facebook: miekemakesmusic
Twitter: @elissamielke
Instagram: @elissamielke
YouTube: Elissa Mielke
EP Available Here:

Mieke 3

2 years ago

And We’re Live: WayHome 2015 Day 1

WayHome 2015 officially kicked off Friday with a ton of sunshine, 4 active stages filled with music, and thousands of fans wandering the grounds of Burl’s Creek Event Park.

WayHome 2015 Day 1The layout is vast, covering acres and offering shaded refuge, great sightlines, and a ton to see and do. We did our best to take a bunch of it in, but thank God we’ve got 2 more days, because there’s a lot left for us.

Shout out to The Drake for having cold brewed coffee and fancy hot dogs and fries and baked potatoes and baked beans and jalapeno corn bread and more available in the VIP – we enjoyed every bite and sip.

And high five to WayHome for having water filling stations available in VIP and on the grounds. It was hot and we went through a whole lot of H2O.

Sadly we don’t have pictures and notes on all of the music from Friday (there was just too much). But we do have these shareables from Thousand Foot Krutch, Bear Mountain, and For Esmé. Check it out and stay tuned for more coming soon…

Hozier: Hozier at WayHome 2015: Take Me to Church
Neil Young: Rebel Content: Neil Young at WayHome 2015

Thousand Foot Krutch

Thousand Foot Krutch WayHome Art and Music Festival-8001In the hot afternoon sun, on the WayHome main stage, these boys from Peterborough put on a loud show that had no shortage of energy from second they plugged in.

With tracks like Give It To Me the 5 time Juno nominees (Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the year) urged the crowd to get into the fun, dancing and jumping and screaming along.

Note: I love that this is a Christian rock band and the lead singer was wearing a Born This Way t-shirt. That works for me.

Bear Mountain

Bear Moutain WayHome Art and Music Festival-8111On the WayAway stage, tucked in behind the trees, where circles of like-minded folks sat to share a joint or two, Bear Mountain took the stage at 3:30ish and were an instant party starter.

The Vancouver electric pop rock band were a lot of fun, with hand claps for the crowd, very danceable songs, and they really looked like they were having fun – which is always a bonus to see.

Note: The lead singer has an awesome beard. And a voice that I wasn’t expecting. Check them out to see what I mean.

This was a quality dance party Friday set. Bear Mountain should be very happy with themselves, and the fans should be very happy they got to play along with the band.

For Esmé

For Esme-8214From down the highway in Toronto, these 3 musicians took the WayBold stage in the late afternoon and put on a show. With the shade of the tented stage providing a comfortable environment, Martha Meredith, Dave Thiel, and Nathan Crook brought their “artpop adventure” to life.

The trio received a nice pop from the crowd when they took the stage, and they earned that and more with their set. With tracks like You (keep and eye on Much Music for the new video) the band played to both current fans, and the ones who were meeting them for the first time.

Note: High Five to Martha Meredith for having a lot of fun up on stage in her adorable 1 piece outfit. She dances like she’s living the music every single moment of the show. We dig it!

Thousand Foot Krutch WayHome Art and Music Festival-7972Thousand Foot Crutch WayHome Art and Music Festival-7982Thousand Foot Krutch WayHome Art and Music Festival-7937Bear Moutain WayHome Art and Music Festival-8098Bear Moutain WayHome Art and Music Festival-8094Bear Moutain WayHome Art and Music Festival-8081For Esme Martha Meredith WayHome Art and Music Festival-8261For Esme Nathan Crook WayHome Art and Music Festival-8244For Esme-8220

2 years ago

10 Reasons We’re Excited for WayHome 2015

The wait is virtually over. People are packing bags. Double checking their camping supplies. Planning their days. And generally getting ready to check out the WayHome Music and Arts Festival.

As we all prep for Friday, we’re building one last preview list with 10 of the reasons that we’re headed to the festival – and excited about it.

It would have been really easy to just pick 10 acts and call it a day, but we tried our best to do better than that.

Why are you excited?

10 Reasons We’re Excited for WayHome 2015

It’s Brand New

WayHome 2015 Year 1There’s something exciting about things that are brand new… and WayHome fits that description.

This is a multi-genre festival with dozens of fantastic acts on the 3 day bill, there will be art displayed throughout the grounds, and we won’t be surprised to find that 30,000 people have been in attendance for year 1 of the WayHome Music & Arts Festival at Burl’s Creek Event Grounds.

The Venue

WayHome 2015 Map

Click to see full pdf map in new tab/window.

Speaking of Burl’s Creek Event Grounds, this place has been overhauled piece by piece to get ready for the festival. We’ve seen the site maps, we’ve seen the flyovers, we’ve seen the behind the scenes videos of the park – and now we’re ready to get there and see it live and in person.

The park is huge, the grass is green, the trees are beautiful – and we hope it stays that way, so please clean up after yourselves all weekend long.

Neil Young WayHome 2015 PreviewNeil Young

With a career that spans more than 5 decades, Neil Young is a living legend. And for the first time, we’ll be seeing him live and in concert.

Young has already announced that his tour dates with Promise of the Real (WayHome included) will start with a solo acoustic set and then become a full electric set with the band. Both sets will include new music and classic hits.

We. Can. Not. Wait.

The Late Night Parties

Dwayne Gretzky WayHome Late Night PartyOn Friday and Satuday night, when the headliners leave the main stage, the party doesn’t end.

One of the coolest things about this festival is what’s scheduled to go on late into the night. The WayBold, WayBright, and WayAway stages all have acts scheduled with Kaytranada, Future Islands, Com Truise, Girl Talk, Fucked Up, and Dwayne Gretzky on Friday and How To Dress Well, ODESZA, Big K.R.I.T, Bassnectar, Timber Timbre, and The Growlers on Saturday.

So when Neil Young is done his set on Friday night- you can still hear live music and party. And when Kendrick Lamar is done his set on Saturday night – you can still hear live music and party.

WayHome CampingCamping

This is a camping festival, and we highly encourage you to pitch a tent and sleep at the venue. There will be food and drink vendors there. There are shower passes available. And there will be thousands of new friends and party mates there waiting to meet you.

Bring a sleeping bag, some clothes, and your sense of adventure.

Canadian Content

The Sheepdogs WayHome 2015Republic Live has done a fantastic job of booking Canadian talent at WayHome 2015. With Neil Young at the top of the list, and heap of other Canucks like For Esmé, Fucked Up, Dwayne Gretzky, Dear Rouge, Alvvays, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Sloan, and The Sheepdogs also on the bill, this thing is not light on Can-Con.

As Canadians we often get really excited when our favourite bands from the US or Europe show up to play near us – and sometimes we take for granted the talent that’s right here in front of us. WayHome is showing that the Canadian talent belongs right along side the talent from around the world, and we’ll be able to see it all in one place over one weekend.

The Art

Added to the WayHome art experienceWayHome is a music and art festival. And there will be plenty of art on the scene as the music plays late into the night.

From… “Curated under the watchful eye of prominent Toronto-based painter Charles Bierk, WayArt will showcase a diverse range of large-scale installations giving you a titillating and inspiring experience.”

With installations and presentations from Aaron Li-Hill x Trevor Wheatley, Philippe Blanchard, Nathan Whitford, VSVSVS, Team Blockhead, and maybe more, WayHome is sure to be as visually stimulating as it is aurally.

The Organizers

WayHome-Festival-OrganizersTo collaboration of Republic Live (Boots & Hearts) and Ashely Capps of AC Entertainment (Bonnaroo) is one of heavy hitters.

Bonnaroo is one of the premiere music festivals in the US, and since 2002 they’ve been bring heavyweight acts and entertainment to the fans in Manchester, Tennessee. Adding that experience to the team that has successfully built Boots & Hearts into a massive, profitable, country music festival in just 3 years gives us big hope for WayHome and what we’re all getting into with year 1.

The People

WayHomiesThere’s a chance we’re going to be looking at 30,000 to 40,000 people at WayHome over the weekend – that’s a big number even when split over 4 stages. And we know that everyone will be packed around the WayHome main stage for acts like Neil Young, Kendrick Lamar, and Sam Smith. Last year at Boots & Hearts we saw what 30,000 looks like at the main stage, and we can’t wait to see what another 10,000 looks like added to that crowd.

We’re also looking forward to seeing the mix of radio rock, indie rock, rap, and electronic music fans together in 1 space. WayHome is offering a wide variety of music, and they’re looking to bring in a diverse audience to see it.

The Hype

WayHome cryptic signsSince the first cryptic messages started popping up in Toronto this February there has been hype for WayHome. And in the months that have followed, it’s only grown. The big name acts, the late night parties, the total experience has people actively fighting FOMO to buy tickets and make it this festival.

Now, we know that sometimes too much hype can be a bad thing for expectations. And we need to keep in mind that this is first year festival – but with the experience that the people in charge are bringing to the table, we have faith that it’s all going to be worth the wait and worthy of the hype that’s been building up.

We can’t wait to see everyone at Burl’s Creek.

It’s almost time. Hope you’re ready.

Be Awesome!

2 years ago
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