The 1975

Take My Hand: Picture This at WayHome 2017

In the early afternoon sun and heat, Picture This took to the WayBright stage at WayHome and introduced themselves to Canada for the first time.

The Irish hit makers, brought a ton of energy to their set, firing into their songs without hesitation, and charming the WayHome crowd with their music and accents. Bringing together a rock and roll sound, and pop/folk lyrics, they bend genres… and they know it. We sat down with Jimmy and Ryan after their set, and they explained that they’re perfectly happy to to worry about fitting into a single genre’s expectations. Their goal, they told me, is to create uplifting music, songs that people want to hear and smile and sing along with.

WayHome 2017 - Picture This

On stage, that desire shone through as they played their songs and the crowd clapped and danced along from one track to the next. To the band it was an unexpected reaction, to us, it seemed reasonable. Let’s Be Young, All For You, Never Change, and Take My Hand all connected with the audience in an organic and rather lovely way.

Back home, Picture This are getting used to those types of reactions. They’ve sold out historic venues, opened for The 1975, had their 2016 debut EP stay on the charts for a year – and just sold out a show in under five minutes, adding a second show for good measure.

That popularity started online. Before a record deal, before a record, before a single live show, the band started writing and releasing music to the masses and building their following. That DIY attitude continues now, with the band writing and playing their own songs, as well as conceiving and shooting their own music videos.

WayHome 2017 - Picture This

The WayHome crowd showed their appreciation one more time as the band finished their set, chanting Picture This as they left the stage. There wasn’t an encore, but the good news is that the boys will be in Toronto on September 14 at the Velvet Underground.

During our hangout I asked 2 more questions that I really wanted to know the answer to…

1: If you were putting your music on a playlist, what other bands would you put on that list?
Answers: Snow Patrol, The 1975, 30 Seconds to Mars, Oasis, Coldplay.

2: What Irish Whiskey would you recommend to this Canadian boy?
Answer: Midleton Very Rare Irish Whiskey (with the caveat that it’s expensive, and should be saved for a special occasion)

With songwriting skills and passion to spare, plus the talent and charm it takes to woo a crowd, we’re sure that we haven’t heard the last of Picture This… and we’d bet that you’ll be hearing them too.

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Cherry Bomb: River Town Saints at Boots & Hearts 2016!

“You can tell everyone that Timberlake is our favourite Justin.”

That’s just one of the tidbits that came from our hangout with River Town Saints after their Sunday set at Boots & Hearts 2016!

Earlier in the afternoon, in front of a raucous crowd of country music loving individuals, the boys went to work and put on a helluva show with the exclamation point coming during Cherry Bomb.

The crowd was 100% ready for the boys’ breakout hit, and when the time came, they sang louder than I think any of the 5 dudes on stage could have imagined or even hoped for. In fact, when we asked them about it later on they told us that it felt like it was the loudest of the summer circuit so far. They also told us that it was cool to look out and see people singing along to songs that haven’t even been released yet meaning that A) They’ve been to a lot of shows and have learned them, or B) They’re paying attention and picking them up as they go – and Chris, Chris, Dan, Jordan, and Jeremy seem to be cool with either of those options being the truth.

Note: It can be hard to stay on track in interviews, especially when it’s not the first time you’ve talked to someone. But this one was especially hard because we’d never done an official interview together, and these guys are way to funny to keep on a tight Q&A schedule!

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Between the talk about custom action figures, bobble heads, and Pez dispensers designed for the guys, we actually did find out some stuff we were looking for.

🍒 There’s an EP coming at the end of 2016!

🍒 There are plans for a full album early in 2017!

🍒 River Town Saints are working in the studio now to make those 2 things happen.

🍒 The band is super excited for their CCMA nomination for 2016 Rising Star Award…

🍒 and they’re excited to have real live passes to CCMA events this year so they don’t have to sneak in like they may or may not have done in 2015.

🍒 The guys are pumped for the 2016 One Horse Town concert in Truro, NS where they’ll open for Dean Brody and Chad Brownlee (we really wish we were going to be in Truro for that one.) on September 16.

🍒 They do a lot of driving between shows (like a lot!) and van rules dictate that the driver gets to pick the music. So we asked what’s been played lately and the list is so varied that it’s hard to know where to start. There’s Maren Morris (who we love), The 1975, Justin Timberlake’s newest record, Metal, 2000’s pop punk, and an assortment of other musical genres and artists that we couldn’t even try to keep track of.

Note: This question is what brought us to the “Justin” conversation and the statement from the top of the post.

The guys also told us to tell you to keep an eye on and their social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for details on what’s coming up, behind-the-scenes fun stuff, and more.

The first time we saw River Town Saints was Canadian Music Week 2015… they’ve done a lot of work and come a long way since then – including to Boots & Hearts. We’re willing to bet we’ll see them back again, and we’re hoping to see them before that too!

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1 year ago

Shake It If Ya Got It – Kira Isabella Interview Feature

Kira Isabella 2014 CNE HeaderKira Isabella has been singing and performing since she was a little girl. And now, all grown up, at the age of 21, she’s feeling more in control of her career, and her music than ever before.

Isabella’s 2nd album, Caffeine & Big Dreams was released in mid-October and has already produced two Top 10 hits with Quarterback and Gone Enough making their way up the charts. The entire album is a fantastic listen and we wouldn’t be surprised to see songs like Shake It If Ya Got It and Make A Sinner Out Of Me make their way into the Top 10 or higher as well.

Kira Isabella and Josh at The Rockn Horse-3147We were lucky enough to see Kira twice this year, 1st at the CNE opening for Gord Bamford and again at the Rock ‘n’ Horse Saloon to celebrate the release of Caffeine & Big Dreams. Both times, in very different atmospheres, she was able to come off as personable, charming and engaged with the audience. She knows what she’s doing up on stage and it’s that talent that is going to carry her further and deeper into her career as a country musician in Canada and the United States.

Kira is also a sweetheart who once bailed me out of a jam when I blanked on a 3rd Dolly Parton song in a trivia contest at Rock ‘n’ Horse. Her help got me through and saved me some major embarrassment! So thank you (again) to her for that.

After the launch of the new album we reached out to Kira to ask a few questions about Caffeine & Big Dreams, the state of country music and what’s on her playlist. Check it out…

Q. The new album Caffeine & Big Dreams (love the title btw) has been a great release so far, and Gone Enough is getting a lot of love from radio and fans. Do you have any goals or expectations with this record?

A. Thank you! The only thing I hope and wish for is that people make a connection with my music.

Kira Isabella at The Rockn Horse full shot-3106Q. If we were able to get a look at your iTunes right now, what 3 artists would we find on your most played list?

A. Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line & The 1975.

Q. The Bro Country movement has been popular and received a lot of press in Canada and the US. But it seems like Canadian country has been able to stay more balanced, with more female artists on the radio in regular rotation. Do you think the Canadian country industry is ahead of the curve as Bro Country calms down?

A. I keep saying, I think there is always room for both sides in country music. Canada is more into story songs right now, and the states are all about bro country but I think it will always go back and forth.

Q. You played Boots & Hearts in 2012 & 2013, have you talked to the Republic Live team about coming back in 2015 to tour Caffeine & Big Dreams and put on a show on the main stage?

A. This is the time of year when we find out what the summer will look like, so we’ll be finding out soon!

Kira Isabella Band 2014 CNEQ. If you could record a duet with a male Canadian artist for your next record, who would you choose?

A. I’d love to write something with Brett Kissel or Dallas Smith!

Q. In 50 words or less, tell fans who haven’t picked up Caffeine & Big Dreams yet why they’re going to love it when they do!

A. I wanted Caffeine and Big Dreams to be relatable to everyone. I feel like there is a track on this record if you want to have a good time and party, if you’re going through a hard time and need some sympathy or if you just love a good story in a country song. It’s very honest, it’s a big part of me & I hope you enjoy it.

Big thanks to Ms. Isabella for taking the time to answer our questions – and another thank you because Kira is going to be part of our Holiday Special coming up in just a couple weeks, so look out for that!

If you haven’t picked up Caffeine & Big Dreams yet, do it now on iTunes: Kira Isabella – Caffeine & Big Dreams!

Kira Isabella 2014 CNE Bandshell


3 years ago
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