Thursday, May 10, 2012


Hello readers! (all 3 of you) This is the start to what I hope becomes a weekly feature (depending on how lazy I get) showcasing Canadian artists. I’m from Canada, and in case a lot of you didn't know, we have some pretty cool music up here. I guess I enjoy seeking out Canadian music because it’s what’s close to me and what I’ll likely get to go see. I live in a place where not a lot of bands from the US roll through. I just feel like I connect more with music from Canada because there is always that chance in the back of my head that they might be coming through town one of these days.

Anyway, on to the feature. I don’t really plan on gearing this toward any type of band. Big, small, old, new, popular or not, I just want to profile a band that I’m liking on any given week.

There are tons of bands with which I would have loved to start this feature off, but sadly, I can only choose one right now and get to the rest later. But I’m done with this overly long introduction; the band I’m choosing for this week is Sloan.

Sloan is unique in that they are a four-piece band consisting of four songwriters. Yep, that’s right; Chris Murphy, Jay Ferguson, Patrick Pentland and Andrew Scott all contribute what I’d call an equal amount of songs to every album and every live show. It’s just one of the things that makes Sloan so unique.

Perhaps more amazing than all four members being songwriters is the fact that they’ve been around for twenty years! Who would have thought that was possible for four guys who all met while attending school in Halifax, Nova Scotia? Considering that the lifespan of most bands these days is nowhere near that, it’s a testament to how well these four must work together.

Though Sloan’s career has spanned more than 20 years and 10 studio albums, I think that their biggest impact was the huge mark that they left on the Canadian music scene in the 90’s.

After releasing their first two albums Smeared and Twice Removed on Geffen Records, the band rejected Geffen’s offer for a third album, and Sloan was actually rumoured to have broken up in 1994. But they released their next album, One Chord to Another, in 1996 on their own label Murderecords.

Murderecords was originally founded by Sloan in 1992 with the intention of only releasing Sloan material. The label ended up releasing music from bands like Eric’s Trip, Thrush Hermit, Hardship Post, The Super Friendz, Al Tuck, The Inbreds and Stinkin’ Rich (aka Buck 65). Needless to say, by releasing music from so many great bands, Sloan left a mark on Canada with more than just their own music

The huge movement of bands coming out of Halifax and the east coast was affectionately dubbed the “Halifax Pop Explosion”. There is still a music festival that happens all over the city of Halifax every October that is actually called Halifax Pop Explosion.

So I could have pointed you toward Sloan’s music in this profile (I think you should go listen to Twice Removed), but I think it’s just as important to understand the impact that Sloan had on Canadian music by promoting other bands. They essentially created the Canadian alternative sound in the 90s, which is something that I’ll never forget.

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