This week SongTalk welcomed Donna Linklater to our studio.
Soprano and composer/songwriter Donna Linklater studied opera with Sylvia Richardson at Brandon University. Toward the end of her studies, she began to focus on new music and was especially taken with the aleatoric music of John Cage which gave her greater freedom of creative expression.…
This week SongTalk welcomed our old friend Blair Packham to our studio.
The Toronto-based artist, first gained attention for his work with ’80’s power pop band The Jitters. He is now an acclaimed solo artist and musician. Blair released two strongly-reviewed solo albums before shifting his focus to composing music for TV and films, teaching songwriting at the post-secondary level and in numerous special event workshops, and co-hosting a long-running major market weekly radio show about music (“In the Studio” on the BellMedia talk radio network).…
This week SongTalk welcomed FEATURETTE to our studio.
The Toronto-based duo FEATURETTE, formed by singer Lexie Jay and drummer, Jon Fedorsen, makes emotionally-charged, heavy-hitting electro-pop music that has been met with international critical acclaim.
After receiving their first full recording grant from FACTOR Canada, the duo released their debut LP CRAVE in October, 2016.…
Juno-award winning recording artist Steve Strongman joined us to talk about his take on the blues. Steve is a multiple Maple Blues Award winner, 2019 International Blues Challenge Best Guitarist (solo/duo). He’s opened for BB King, Buddy Guy, Joe Cocker, Johnny Winter, and toured all over the world.…
Amanie Illfated is a South Sudanese born, Toronto based singer/songwriter working in a dynamic fusion of R&B, Reggae, Afrobeat and Trap. She was born in what is now known as South Sudan and immigrated to Saskatchewan with her family as refugees in 1992.…
Beige Shelter is an ambitious and eclectic five piece band from Toronto that brings fire, passion and a political conscience to their music. Through electrifying live performances, the band showcases both original songs and interesting twists on cover songs. Beige Shelter is currently working on their 2nd EP release.…
This week, professional singer/songwriter, voice actor & co-founder of Silverthorn Studios recording, Taylor Abrahamse joined us in the studio at SongTalk World Headquarters. Taylor was a Top 40 finalist on Canadian Idol, has performed on stages across Ontario, has also written & produced musicals, and music for animated series and viral internet music through Corus, DHX & Super Planet Dolan.…
This week SongTalk welcomed our pal Matthew Reid to our studio to talk about movie soundtracks.
We chose our favourites and talked about why they made the cut and what were the runners up.
We talked about:
- what are the criteria of soundtracks – are they a collection of songs from other sources, are they custom music made specifically for the film project or is there a grey area in between?
This week SongTalk welcomed Robert Cross to our studio.
Robert Cross was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He started playing guitar at 14, just so he could learn how to write songs. Cross is the singer and guitarist of the original rock band Satin, who released their first album Drop Dead Gorgeous in 2019.…
Audio Insurgency returned to the show to talk about a boat load of music stuff, as well as showcasing two of their pop songs. We talked about:
- Vox’s Earworm videos, in particular the one in support of fade-outs in recordings
- Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast episode about country music, The King of Tears
- writing and placing music for video games
- getting your songs into placement for TV or movies
- the role of the producer in the creation of songs for maximum impact
- writing a song completely in the digital realm (Abelton Live, in this case)
- why deadlines are a good thing
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Indie rockers One in the Chamber joined us following the release of their first studio EP, I’ve Got Something To Say…. We talked about:
- One in the Chamber’s first appearance on Song Talk Radio
- difference between their demo EP and their studio EP (hint: pre-production)
- writing as a band collaboration
- thwarting conventions around song structure
- guitar solos: a good thing or a bad thing?
On this program Bruce, Neel, and Phil, (and Linda) each brought a three-chord song to share. We looked at what each song needed to do (if anything) to compensate for the lack of chord diversity. We talked about:
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Download the chord/lyric sheets to follow along:
Teen-aged jazz/soul superstar Avery Raquel joined us to talk about moving from covers of jazz standards to her own blend of jazz and soul to better connect with her audience. We talked about:
- Jazz standards by Chet Baker, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra
- Listening to songs analytically
- Tension and release in a song (and how Avery is amazing at it)
- “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus” – or not?
We figured it was time to talk about rhyme; a cornerstone of songwriting. So we invited one of our favourite singer/songwriters – Blair Packham – to take a closer listen to songs with a plethora of rhymes and one with virtually none!…
For this special episode, each of the Song Talk Radio hosts shared one of their own songs for discussion. We talked about:
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Popular guest co-host and guest on Song Talk Radio, Patrick Ballantyne dropped by the studio to share two of his favourite Canadian songs. “Help Me” by Joni Mitchell is a great example of her unique combination of melody, structure, and lyrics to evoke a casual conversational tone.…
Ed Roman is an award-winning singer/songwriter, performer and multi-instrumentalist from Shelburne, Ontario, Canada.…
Singer/songwriter Nolan Hubbard, originally from Gananoque, Ontario, brought us some summer sunlight through his stories and two of his catchy, tuneful songs – “Today” and “Sandbanks”. In this informative and entertaining program we talked about:
- Douglas Romanow producer
- Recording in Nashville
- Organizing your own cross-Canada tour (with your Dad)
- Metalworks recording studio and school – performance program
- Covers on YouTube
- “Today” – a call to action, no chorus, whistling, G to G Augmented, C to Cminor
- Finding a publicist – Hype Music, Toronto
- Collaborating vs.
To celebrate Pride in Toronto this week, we brought in five LGBTQ-themed songs to play and talk about. The songs spanned from 1983 to 2017, and included a diverse range of songwriters and topics. Musical book writer Stephen Witkin joined us for the show.…
Singer-songwriter Stacey Dowswell joined us to talk about her literature-inspired and poetic take on songwriting with two original songs, Ties that Bind and Wax Wings. We talked about:
- Poetic vs. more straight forward lyrics
- How to add complexity to a simple 1-4-5 chord progression
- How to incorporate a cliche
- Contrast and space
- Using dynamics in your performance
- The benefits of noodling around to start a song
Check out Stacey’s EP release show at The Painted Lady in Toronto on June 15, 2017!…
Popular guest co-host and guest on Song Talk Radio, Patrick Ballantyne dropped by the studio to share two of his well-crafted songs. “Where Things Used to Be” is great example of the skillful combination of melody, structure, and lyrics to evoke a strong feeling of longing in the listener.…
Born in England, raised in The Netherlands, Paul Vos shared two of his songs with us at Song Talk Radio.
The first was “Lost Along the Way” a song about finding love when you least expect it. Listen for the awesome 80’s background vocals on the chorus!…
Singer/Songwriter Jordan Paul stopped by with a couple of brilliant songs. His sound has been described as “if Queen, Mimicking Birds, Radiohead, and Led Zeppelin all had a beautiful love-child.” A clever songwriter at only 24–his writing and musicality is well beyond his years and his voice is otherworldly.…
What can you say about the exceptionally talented poet, novelist, and prolific singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen.that hasn’t already been said? Well, the Song Talk Radio action team didn’t worry about that. Bruce, Neel, and Phil simply dove into their memories and had a close look at three of his many, many songs.…