Canadian Music Corner: Grimes & Lindsay Ell

Brendan Kergin, Arts & Entertainment Editor Ω

Grimes

Space pop powerhouse Grimes may have only been making music for the past two years, but she’s been impactful in that short period of time. Based in Montreal, though originally from Vancouver, she already had an interesting life before becoming a major player in Canadian indie, attempting a riverboat trip down the Mississippi River. When that met an early demise, she came back to Canada and started in on music.

Her influences are varied and she herself described the music as “ADD music” to W Magazine. A woman of the digital era, space pop is the easiest way to describe the futuristic instrumentation and layered vocals that go into a Grimes piece. Synths, and keyboards in general are common, with her vocals often providing additional melody. Rhythm is generally 80s-esque drum machine material and at times a dark and aggressive presence.

Successful in England and Belgium, she’s well regarded in Canada’s indie scene and by the more pretentious music fans. “Vowels = space + time” off of her Polaris Prize Short List achieving album Visions is an excellent introduction to melodious digital work.

Taylor Rocca, Copy/Web Editor Ω

Lindsay Ell

Lindsay Ell is a singer-songwriter from Calgary, Alta. Though not blatantly country, it could be argued that Ell’s recent sound falls into the country genre. On her 2006 release Consider This, Ell deployed a much more pop-rock-inspired sound.

“Seize the Moment” is lyrically inspiring and empowering song that opens up Consider This on a positive note. “Let Me Keep Fallin'” has more of a bluesy flavour to it, though still keeps aligned with the overall pop sound that the rest of the album carries.

2009’s Alone marked a departure from the pop sound featured on Consider This as Ell dabbled with an acoustic country influence.

Using an acoustic guitar to drive her songs, Ell has worked alongside Canadian rock legend Randy Bachman.

Apart from working with Bachman, Ell opened up a Keith Urban show in Halifax, N.S. on Aug. 19. While she might not be a household name on the Canadian music scene, she is certainly getting noticed by some heavy-hitters within the industry.

For those looking for an easy, soothing track list to sit quietly and read a good book to, Lindsay Ell is worth checking out. Her silky vocals allow listeners to slide into a comfortable chair and simply let go.

Other worthy tracks for a taste of what Ell offers include, “Might As Well,” “Fallen House,” “High Hopes” and her cover of Jann Arden’s “Good Mother.”