Join us each week for songwriting tips and techniques, and the occasional gumbo recipe. But seriously, take a listen! You’ll have so much fun, you won’t know you’re learning stuff.

Fresh Content

Show date:  Sep. 22, 2021

Neel, Phil, Sean, and Mike

Sean Bertram returns to the show to talk about his new album.

In the past four years, Sean Bertram has released his debut album (The Right Place, 2018), graduated at the top of his class from Humber College’s prestigious Bachelor of Music program, released his first EP (Echo, 2020), and won “Best Pop Song in North America” in the Intercontinental Music Awards for his song “Against My Will”, all while performing countless shows across Toronto, both as a solo acoustic artist and a high-energy five-piece band. Sean has also released three new singles recently ahead of his new, self-titled sophomore album, which is being released on September 17th. A virtuosic guitarist and stunning lyricist well beyond his years, Sean’s musical potential is only exceeded by his passion for the craft.

We talked about:

Show date:  Sep. 14, 2021

Mike, Neel, and Phil

This week SongTalk tried something a little different. We brought in some our favourite songs sung in a different language than English.

They say music is the international language so we thought we would put that to the test. Phil, Neel and Mike each presented three songs in a language other than English and we talked about what it was that made them so appealing.

Topics that came up:

  • the first time we were aware of a song in another tongue
  • what you gain from listening to a song when you don’t understand the lyrics
  • how does the distinctive rhythm of a language affect the song
  • where do you best discover music from other places

Check out our Spotify playlist for this episode!

Some links to our featured songs:

Music Tales: Azam Ali’s magnificent vocal journeys through languages

Show date:  Aug. 29, 2021

Neel, Mike, Phil, and Jeremy

This week we welcomed the return of burned-out mathematician turned indie-soul artist, Jeremy Voltz with his new song, Like the Very First Time. Voltz’s music is inspired by thinking deeply about the people in his life and what he’d love to have the courage to say to them. Reminiscent of Jeff Buckley, Hozier, and Stevie Wonder, he has a voice that is powerful and haunting, delivering hook-heavy melodies with universal, heartfelt lyrics.

Voltz is readying the release of his upcoming Toronto Arts Council-supported full-length, Weekender. Created with multi-JUNO-winning producer, Michael Wojewoda (Barenaked Ladies, Buffy Sainte-Marie), the album is due out October 22, 2021. From Motown-inspired soul tracks backed by a full band, three-part harmonies, and horns, to quiet promises of hope declared acoustically, Weekender features uplifting, energized conversations with the people in Voltz’s life.

We talked about:

  • producing a band record during COVID-19
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (not joking, just listen to the show)
  • melodies first, not chords
  • clever ways to capture musical ideas in the shower
  • when to be complex and when to be simple in your writing

Download the lyrics to Like The Very First Time to follow along.

Show date:  Jul. 30, 2021

Mike, Neel, Phil, and Bradley

Bradley McCaw is an award-winning singer/songwriter. His career started with him singing classical music and touring internationally with the group THE TEN TENORS. A native of Australia, Bradley spent fifteen long years making good in every job a musician and writer could possibly have, ending his day with a stack of old vinyls by his bed and a dream to create music like his heroes.

During this time, he also performed lead roles in musicals like RENT, LES MISERABLES and won the INTERNATIONAL CABARET SHOWCASE with a one-man tour de force performance, featuring an original script and score, culminating in an Australian Tour and a sold-out performance on New York’s, 42nd Street.

Lately Bradley has made a major career change – from classical music and musicals to more personal music. Coming in October 2021, he will realize this dream and release his debut rock’n’roll album, WORRIED MINDS. The record features a wonderful combination of blue-eyed soul, Motown vibes, rock n roll energy, and catchy pop melodies. So Glad is the first single and that’s what we wanted to take a listen to and talk about.

We also talked with Bradley about:

  • what made him change musical direction so dramatically
  • how he approaches songwriting (hint: hard work and diligence help)
  • how he ended up working with a legendary producer
  • how to sing personal songs after a career of performing in musicals