One of the region’s hardest working songwriters, Braden Lam, brings his band with him to headline a HUFF show at The Carleton on Wednesday, September 1st. Braden also curated an opening songwriters’ circle with Keeper E., Pillow Fite and Awolk. Show time is 7:00 PM and tickets are $30 + HST.
***If you want to sit with others who have purchased their tickets separately, please email email@example.com with the names***
Braden Lam takes listeners on a journey of growth and aspiration with Inside Four Walls, six songs that walk from adolescence and a wide-open future into the reality of adulthood and its sundry limitations, trying to find the ideal balance between art and responsibility. It’s a soundtrack to reconsidering your views of society, others, and yourself.
Recorded with Prince Edward Island’s pre-eminent pop producer Colin Buchanan (Paper Lions, Adyn Townes, Sorrey), the new album sees the young songwriter looking beyond the walls of the bedroom he made his debut Driftwood People in, and seeing a more complex world. Inspired by the honest storytelling and heart-pulling melodies of songwriters like Tim Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Maggie Rogers, Lam’s own craft is a study in the day-to-day, with a sharp, specific eye and a knack for expressing observations universally.
It’s music for driving and singing along to, for late night heart-to-hearts and Sunday morning papers, for growing up and letting go. It’s bearing witness to the death of your old self, and accepting and celebrating the person you have become.
Arriving fully formed with her debut EP, the bedroom pop artisan Keeper E. turns her classical music background into something that’s equal parts old-soul wisdom and contemporary performance: It searches. It questions. It laments. It hopes.
Born Adelle Elwood in Nova Scotia, she picked up the violin at three, and sat at the piano for the first time the following year. It was in the middle of her classical piano performance degree, at Mount Allison University in the tiny marsh-side arts haven of Sackville, New Brunswick, that she began composing diary-like folk songs about life and love. In school she practiced Bach, Debussy, and Bartok, and in her leisure time she sketched out her own melodies on acoustic guitar.
Her début album is a perfect introduction to Keeper E., a distillation of many moods in four minutes—the songs hop between wide-eyed optimism on the verses to thoughtful concern on the choruses, threading in snaps and oohs as the lyrics oscillate from delirium to fear. “I think that I’m the most serious woman to call herself a silly girl,” she sings, in amongst lines about climate change, capitalism, and love, so much love. Paired with natural imagery—sparrows, flowers, leaves, rivers—that evokes her home on the east coast of Canada, Elwood offers down-to-earth honesty and big, philosophical ideas in equal measure.
Even her stage name is rooted in a past viewed through a contemporary prism: After seeing the Robert Eggers’ 2019 black-and-white horror film The Lighthouse, about a pair of lighthouse keepers in the 1890s, Elwood pondered the job itself.
All the things it could mean: Somebody who takes care of things, someone people want to keep around, someone who keeps things nice. Keeper. It fits.
Pillow Fite is a folk-pop band from Halifax, formed by Art Ross (they/them) and Aaron Green (he/him) by texting voice memos band and forth in 2020. Influenced by Phoebe Bridgers and Snail Mail, Pillow Fite uses confessional, matter-of-fact lyrics over intricate arrangement and lush dynamics.
The duo’s differing musical approaches perfectly compliment each other, producing sweet, yet biting, songs about transitioning, queer love and mental health. Following the success of their first single, Playing the Fool (April 2021), the band is in producetion for their first full length due in 2022.
Fresh off two Music Nova Scotia nominations for “New Artist” and “Pop Record” of the year, Awolk’s debut record has garnered more than 300,000 Spotify streams. Roots Music Canada said of his self titled album, “Awolk digs into the deepest parts of you, pops the bubble between artist and listener, and makes you bleed in the most beautiful way possible.”
A more direct description of the sound is an eclectic list of singable tunes, journeying through alternative electrified folk rock. Produced by Colin Buchanan (Paper Lions, Sorrey) Awolk’s debut album has been featured on CBC radio’s East Coast Music Hour, and indie stations across Canada.
After an electric performance at 2019’s Nova Scotia Music Week, Tim Hardy of Halifax’s Sound Of Pop Publishing signed Awolk, joining him with a great team of wonderful east coast artists.