POPGURU SOUND AND VISION ANNOUNCES THE POPGURU REVUE: UNPLUGGED, A LIVESTREAM CONCERT SERIES
LAUNCHING SATURDAY, MAY 7 WITH PERFORMANCE
BY THE WILDERNESS OF MANITOBA
LINEUP FEATURES GHOST CARAVAN, THE ROLLING SKY
(GROUP PROJECT WITH CHLOE KAY, JULIANA EYE & SAM CASEY) LIVE OFF THE FLOOR FROM STUDIOS IN CANADA AND THE UK
TORONTO, ON - April 25, 2022 - Following the success of their original uplifting Saturday night sessions - The Popguru Revue: A Livestream Digital Concert Series - last fall, fully-integrated Toronto music company, Popguru Sound & Vision, shares a new project as we flow into spring with a new livestream concert series.
Titled The Popguru Revue: Unplugged, A Livestream Concert Series, everything will kick off on Saturday, May 7 via the Popguru Sound & Vision YouTube channel with an intimate performance with strings by Toronto band, The Wilderness of Manitoba. The band shared their acclaimed new album, Farewell To Cathedral, last fall. New fans and longtime listeners alike will be able to experience fresh tunes and old favourites. Mark your calendars and tune in here.
For this edition, of the Revue, audiences will be able to tune into the sounds of Brighton, UK singer-songwriter Chloe Kay, and Toronto pop artists, Sam Casey and Juliana Eye, in the form of their new group project, The Rolling Sky; JUNO nominated band, The Wilderness of Manitoba, and Toronto based anthemic pop group, Ghost Caravan. Performances were filmed at Crouch End Studios, London UK and Revolution Recording in Toronto. See below for a complete schedule.
It has been a busy 2022 for Popguru! On May 20, Popguru’s boutique label, The Confidence Emperors, will unveil Coverama - a compilation of creative, fun and innovative renditions of classic pop and indie rock songs. The tracks on Coverama include interpretations by Toronto artist/producer, Alex Exists; author/musical artist, JOHN ORPHEUS, UK-based pop singer-songwriter, Chloe Kay; Will Whitwham (leader of The Wilderness of Manitoba), Ghost Caravan, Canadian icons Martha and the Muffins, artist/producer Juliana Eye, indie pop duo, TANDM, and new signing, Sam Casey. Learn more about the project here.
The roster will celebrate with a live show at The Drake Underground in Toronto, on Saturday, May 21, where John Orpheus, Alex Exists, Sam Casey, Ghost Caravan, TANDM, and Juliana Eye will take to the stage to share their eclectic renditions with live energy. Find all info and tickets here.
In Fall of 2021, Popguru Sound & Vision delivered an engaging livestream concert series, the Popguru Revue. The fully integrated, Toronto-based music company shared an immersive high-production season of free programming, featuring performances from an array of the company’s diverse and dynamic artist roster. You can watch all of the sets on the Popguru video channel.
Learn more about Popguru Sound & Vision's extensive industry history and evolution to date below and stay tuned for more creative covers ahead of Coverama's spring release.
Popguru Revue Livestream Concert Series - Spring 2022
*Saturdays May 7 through 28 at 9:00 p.m. ET*
Saturday, May 7 - The Wilderness of Manitoba
Saturday, May 14 - Ghost Caravan
Saturday, May 21 - The Rolling Sky - part 1
Saturday, May 28 - The Rolling Sky - part 2
TUNE in on YouTube
DOWNLOAD - Popguru Revue: Unplugged Image Assets
About Popguru Sound & Vision:
Founded in 1998 by A&R maverick Graham Stairs, Popguru Sound & Vision is a fully integrated music company that makes a difference. Its core business is artist management, but, as a diversified company, Popguru is involved in music publishing, two record label imprints and providing music for film, television and other media.
Prior to starting his own company, Stairs was a partner in Intrepid management and did A&R for Intrepid Records, Latitude Records and EMI Music Canada. He was involved with such seminal Canadian artists as Martha and the Muffins, the Rheostatics, National Velvet, Chalk Circle, Damhnait Doyle and Sandbox. He was also behind the soundtrack album for the film, Highway 61, and the Bruce Cockburn tribute album that gave the Barenaked Ladies their first national hit with Lovers In A Dangerous Time. To this day, it is still one of the most played songs on Canadian radio. More recently, Stairs did A&R for True North Records where he signed Catherine MacLellan, Hunter Valentine and Australian band, the Audreys.
The strength of any company is its artists and repertoire. Popguru subscribes to the philosophy of building a community and long-term careers for its artists. The company’s mandate is to develop content for the Canadian and international marketplaces. The business model uses diversification as a strategy to create and monetize content for the existing and next generation uses of music. Since reactivating Popguru in 2009, Stairs has signed Martha and the Muffins, Odario, Grand Analog, the Wilderness of Manitoba, John Orpheus, Ghost Caravan, producer/songwriter, Mike Schlosser, and Sam Casey for management. Stairs’ vision of the interdependencies between record labels, music publishers, management companies and licensing agencies is the reason that Popguru organizes all of them within the same company. This is Popguru’s response to the needs of artists today and into the future.
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The Wilderness of ManitobaThe Wilderness of Manitoba
After a three year hiatus, The Wilderness of Manitoba returned in 2021 with a new line-up and a new album entitled Farewell To Cathedral. Founding member and singer/multi-instrumentalist Will Whitwham was joined by Victoria Carr on vocals and acoustic guitar, Tavo Diez de Bonilla (Jenn Grant) on bass and vocals, and Adam Balsam (The Most Serene Republic) on drums and vocals for the recording of the album. The group prefers to characterize itself as an evolving entity. Whitwham says, “I've always been a believer in fresh collaborations because everyone you meet influences your creative process in some way. It's up to you to decide whether they fuel it or stagnate it. In this particular case, the four of us together was the best fit for the current batch of songs. Adam, Victoria and Tavo all brought something very unique to the table with their voices and playing styles.” From the band’s inception, it has redefined itself with every new release; from Hymns of Love and Spirits through When You Left The Fire, Island of Echoes, Between Colours, Across The Dark and various EPs. The evolution of their sound has run the gamut from four part harmonies and its initial chamber folk sound to duo lead vocals and an expanded sonic palette ranging from cinematic indie pop to anthemic folk rock.
When asked about his songwriting process and the title of the group’s current album, Whitwham replies, “At times, when you're working on a record, the songs get trapped in your head as you walk and carry them around. They then start to form various connections with your recurrent surroundings and, in this case, there was this beautiful Ukrainian cathedral I would always see from my window. The cathedral became a symbol to me of something I was leaving behind when I decided to move out of that house. It was the longest place I'd lived in my entire life and leaving was hard in some ways. The cathedral was a symbol of a safe place that I was constantly able to return to and I think that we all need some kind of version of that; whether it’s tangible, literal or metaphorical. Many of the album’s songs deal with loss through the eyes of hope and I've always believed in the hope one can find through melancholy. Farewell To Cathedral is about leaving your safe place in order to move forward and grow.” For this band, recording the whole album over a mere two days at Revolution Recording in Toronto was completely unprecedented. In the past, Whitwham feels he has laboured over a lot of the sonic details, adding overdub after overdub. For this album, the songs were captured at their most live and purest stage. The results show that, at the end of the day, the quality of the songs is not necessarily contingent on the recording process.
In its thirteen year existence, the Wilderness of Manitoba’s strengths come as a direct result of the wealth of traveling and playing the group has done. They have played the End of the Road Festival and Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD Festival in the UK and toured the UK, US, Netherlands, Canada and Germany with such artists as Aimee Mann, The Low Anthem, Lord Huron and Other Lives among others. “The live show,” says Whitwham, “is an in-the-moment portrait of the band and its efforts.” Those efforts were recognized when the Wilderness of Manitoba was nominated for a JUNO and two Canadian Folk Music Awards. Summing things up, Whitwham says, “My eventual hope is that we are able to embark on a proper live tour for the Farewell To Cathedral album.” Unfortunately, friend and bandmate, Adam Balsam, passed away before the band was able to play the songs live and the album has been dedicated to his memory.
DOWNLOAD - The Wilderness Of Manitoba Press Photos
About Ghost Caravan
Ghost Caravan is a group of collaborators lead by singer/actress Shaina Silver-Baird. On her debut album and various singles released since, Silver-Baird has collaborated with members of Martha and the Muffins, Grand Analog and the Weeknd. Silver-Baird says, “My music is about finding the light, the moment when you realize your own strength and ability to move forward. I want to be proud to share our songs with young women. There are so many voices in the world telling women how to think and feel about themselves. I want to be the voice that celebrates women. I want to empower and uplift people.”
The music itself is anthemic pop with a hint of electronica. The Ghost Caravan live show mixes electronic elements with live instruments creating a sound that is cinematic and invigorating. Silver-Baird elaborates, “I want to continue to push in the direction of upbeat lyrics coupled with musically compelling tracks. It’s such an exciting sound – very contemporary and yet derived from something deeper and older. I love how celebratory it is. It’s as if I get to see the world through glasses that make the colours a bit more vibrant and the moments a bit more joyous.”
Silver-Baird is currently collaborating on songs for her next EP to be released in 2022 with UK producer Joe Thompson and Canadian songwriters Sarah Boulton and Suzy Wilde. Ghost Caravan has also recorded a version of the Elvis Costello song Girl Talk for the Popguru covers album, Coverama, scheduled for a May 2022 release.
DOWNLOAD - Ghost Caravan Press Photos
About The Rolling Sky (Chloe Kay, Juliana Eye, Sam Casey)
Meanwhile, Sam Casey had been signed to Popguru Sound & Vision and was about to perform her first live show. She needed a band and one of the musicians that Popguru recommended was keyboardist Juliana Eye who was accompanying recording artists such as CARYS and AMAAL. Sam and Juliana hit it off and became a mutual admiration society. Popguru also managed John Orpheus and Mike had produced and co-written all of his albums and mixtapes to date. Mike was introduced to Sam and Sam flew out to Edmonton where Mike was now based after being kicked out of the Hive building when it was sold out from under him by the owner. In a creative burst of energy, Sam and Mike co-wrote seven songs including one with Chloe who, by now, was living in Brighton, England. At this point, work began on COVERAMA, an album of favourite cover songs recorded by various artists on the Popguru roster. Mike and Chloe collaborated on a version of When Doves Cry by Prince, and Juliana produced, recorded and performed a version of the Blondie song Dreaming that Mike mixed. The circle was now complete. Chloe, Juliana and Sam had now all worked together in one capacity or another. The next logical step was to work together as well as individually and they started writing songs together as The Rolling Sky.
Chloe Kay is a singer/songwriter with a unique capacity for crafting pop gems who is currently based in Brighton, UK. She first moved from her hometown in Surrey to Toronto with the goal of developing her music further. “I had just finished studying music in London and felt it would be helpful for my creative process to get out of my usual environment and be somewhere different.” As a member of electronic duo This Sound Will Save You, Chloe wrote songs that blended “unexpected electronic arrangements with epic pop adventures.” She has created toplines for producers worldwide including Dante Rose, Pure State, Day Din, Chrone & Bale, The Head, Clyde Rivers and Lucian among others. In 2021 alone, she collaborated on 12 singles. As a solo artist, she released the singles Let Me In and Fall Into U through UK label frtyfve records under her artist name of Chloe Kay. Both songs were featured on BBC Music Introducing. Chloe recently teamed up with producer/songwriter Mike Schlosser to create the single Fiction as well as her version of the Prince song When Doves Cry for the COVERAMA album. In addition, electronic artist NICOLAAS has remixed her track Beautiful Lie which will be included on The Confidence Emperors compilation album The International Sound System Party, Volume II in 2022.
JULIANA EYE is an alt-pop artist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based out of Toronto. Her obsession with pop melodies, 90s & early-00s guitar tones, paired with her mesmerizing voice has given EYE’s sound a unique blend of nostalgia and melancholy. Her latest single, “Dreaming” is a lush and evocative rendition of the 1970’s Blondie hit; fusing subtle hints of new wave synth textures, dreamy guitars, and alluring vocals.
Born and raised in the Toronto suburb of North York, JULIANA took to music obsessively at the early age of thirteen as an act of teenage rebellion and an outlet for finding herself. She spent the majority of her adolescence playing guitar and writing songs in her bedroom, jamming in basements with her friends’ obscure bands, and venturing to downtown clubs to watch local artists perform. While attending University for art & graphic design, EYE toured and recorded with indie-rock band, The Ruby Spirit, as a backup vocalist and self-taught keyboard player. JULIANA has since pursued a career as a live support musician and performed with a number of artists including CARYS (Warner Music/Atlantic Records), Juno-nominated AMAAL (Universal Canada), and LØLØ (APG) to name a few.
JULIANA EYE will be releasing more singles this year as well as an EP in late 2022.
When Toronto based artist Sam Casey was fifteen or sixteen years old, there were a bunch of guys that she didn’t know hesitating at the top of a super high rock face overlooking the lake near her cottage. Already a force of nature, she climbed up there, walked right past them and just jumped. It was probably a fifty feet drop. Nicknamed “The General” by her family, Sam established her girl boss credentials from that point forward.
"As a young female artist, I believe that many people expect certain social norms or points of view from me that I consistently disagree with or can’t provide.”
She was into music at a young age and took piano lessons like her older sisters, but never really liked it. So, she made a deal with her parents. They would let her switch to guitar if she would stay with the piano until grade six. This led her to a music school called Beyond The Beat which had great teachers, encouraged its students to produce original music and, unusually, emphasized artist development. Quintessentially Canadian, Sam played hockey for most of her life until music eventually took over. Her team used to play her songs in the dressing room to get pumped up for the game! She loves dancing because it instantly changes peoples’ moods.
Sam began her songwriting as journal entries. In high school, she was never truly on the inside nor an outcast. She felt like she was the only person around her who was being honest about what they were feeling. Later on in life, she realized that this lack of capacity to filter her ideas and “inside thoughts” in order to please others was a strength and how the universe wanted her to be. Her songs are about her experiences with toxic relationships, struggles with mental illness and the relatable feeling of things slipping in and out of control in your life that you always have to be ready to fight and push through.
Since being recommended to Popguru Sound & Vision by a friend of a friend in the music business, Sam has filmed and recorded a performance for the Popguru Revue livestream concert series and worked with UK producer Joe Thompson on a version of the Etta James song, I’d Rather Go Blind, for the soon to be released COVERAMA album. She has also co-written an EP of songs with Thompson and a second EP of songs with Canadian producer/songwriter Mike Schlosser (John Orpheus/IAmHill). If that wasn’t enough, she collaborated with Martha and the Muffins’ Martha Johnson and Mark Gane on a song for their Dazzlefield project. More recently, Sam has been writing with UK based Chloe Kay and fellow Torontonian Juliana Eye for a collective project they are calling The Rolling Sky.