Ben Caplan’s tousled hair and beard are perhaps the most talked about parts of the Haligonian gypsy-folk and blues singer-songwriter’s mythos but likely only because he and his aptly titled backing band The Casual Smokers are sonically difficult to pin down. The band of jazz virtuousos expertly lays the groundwork for the songs with elegant bass, sharp string lines but it’s Caplan himself who masterfully commands audiences with his uncompromising stage presence and booming bar-room baritone. Switching from piano-waltzes to guitar sing-alongs, Ben Caplan and his sharply dressed band inject relentlessly contemporary thematic sensibilities to onerously reverent genre trappings and have a great time doing it.
Charlotte Cornfield is a multifarious indie songwriter and instrumentalist from Toronto who began releasing music in Montreal in the late 2000s while studying jazz drumming.
This Vancouver-based elfin duo alchemize a fresh kind of musical gold with their gorgeous vocals as they sing about heartbreak, joy and emotional arsonists.