It's been said, “this world is but a canvas to our imagination”. Those words were taken to heart by award-winning songwriter and producer Chris Graham, as he set up in his home studio to write and record what would be the debut album for Toronto indie-rock band, CANVAS. After his former band went their separate ways, Graham immediately got to work writing over twenty songs in a matter of a couple of weeks. Working alone for the first time in years, he took the opportunity to record himself playing all the instruments on the new tracks, tracks that would become an integral part of his entrance back into the music scene, and experimentation with new sounds.
“I’m a huge fan of larger than life rock tunes that also blend in synths and electronica, and I’ve always wanted to try to play everything for once, just because I could", he affirms. “I began writing and recording, and the songs that came out were the logical next step from what I’ve been doing the last decade. There were no preconceptions, no attempts to mimic anything. It was a straight from the gut approach, throwing everything against the wall, or the CANVAS as it were, and seeing what would stick. “
This new sound blends futuristic synths - sometimes dark, sometimes playful - danceable grooves, hooky melodies, shimmering guitars and anthemic choruses into a post-synth-rock collage. The fusing of old and new caused one listener privy to the early demos to remark that the sound was like "Electro-Springsteen" - a perfect reference point for the songs.
As the album approached completion, Chris sought out the right talent from the local Toronto scene to help bring the songs to life on stage. That journey was full of twists and turns, from a chance encounter at a dive bar, to tracking down old friends and protégés, to cold-calls, all to find that perfect fit. Although the band achieved milestones and toured Canada in support of the first EP 'A Slow Dive', personal commitments saw the departure of the entire original lineup. For the 2nd release, Katie Du Temple was enlisted on keys, Carlos Coronado on Bass, and Jordan Michaelis on drums to complete the band. “Hearing the songs played live with full harmonies and a new energy is just exciting and motivating," says Graham.
In addition to writing and performing, Chris Graham is also a Juno award nominated producer and songwriter. He has worked with artists representing a variety of genres, from hard rock to children's music, from fledgling indie bands to Juno nominees, in his home studio, Sublime Media Works. He was also formerly the lead singer/guitarist for indie-rock band FIRExFIRE, and prior to that The Framework (Last Gang), both of whom reached Top 10 on campus radio and video charts across Canada. Chris has also written music for film and television, including scores for award-winning short films, Disney series and the FIFA World Cup.
"There were no limits creating this music,” he finishes. “We want people to feel that when they experience it as well. There are so many different styles you can draw from nowadays, but in the end it’s about creating something memorable and redemptive - even in its darkest moments. I want to move people with this music, both physically, and emotionally" he concludes.
The debut single "Keeping Score" was selected as a Top 3 Finalist in the Rock category for the 2014 John Lennon Songwriting Contest and is part of the soundtrack for the Netflix series 'Degrassi: Next Class'. The track was also the 8th most downloaded indie track on Canadian radio at the end of August 2014. The band was chosen as one of the Top 5 finalists in the Harbourfront SoundClash Contest in Toronto, and in September 2014, the band was chosen as the First Place Winner in the Hamilton Music and Film Festival. The band's first EP 'A Slow Dive' also won the 2015 Independent Music Award for Best Rock EP.
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Electro-Springsteen meets Grouplove.
A monster record.
At times slow and soothing, to other moments of pure passion and rock blitzing, they’re an auditory rollercoaster of musical euphoria.
Catchy as hell.
Can easily become an ear-worm after only a couple of listens.
A fine example of tight musicality and live energy...bound to be making some noise in 2014.
|January 23rd, 2016 - Junction City Music Hall, Toronto|
|November 21st, 2015 - the Gladstone Hotel, Toronto|
|October 29th, 2015 - the Gladstone Hotel, Toronto|
|August 14th, 2015 - the Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto|
|July 3, 2015 - RMG, Oshawa|
|June 27th, 2015 - the Gladstone Hotel, Toronto|
|May 29th, 2015 - the Great Hall, Toronto|
|May 8th, 2015 - Handlebar, Toronto (Canadian Music Week)|
|April 17th, 2015 - The Atria, Oshawa|
|April 9th, 2015 - APK Live, London|
|April 4th, 2015 - Villains, Windsor|
|April 2nd, 2015 - The Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto|
|March 28th, 2015 - The Toucan, Kingston|
|March 27th, 2015 - Avant Garde, Ottawa|
|March 25th, 2015 - DSTRCT, Guelph|
|March 21st, 2015 - Le Cagibi, Montreal|
|March 20th, 2015 - The Cellar (UNB), Fredericton|
|March 19th, 2015 - Jacob's Lounge, Dartmouth|
|March 18th, 2015 - Plan B, Moncton|
|March 17th, 2015 - Baba's Lounge, Charlottetown|
|March 16th, 2015 - Le Cercle, Quebec|
|January 30th, 2015 - The Drake Hotel, Toronto|
|December 13th, 2014 - Rivoli, Toronto|
|October 31st, 2014 - The Baltimore House, Hamilton|
|October 16th, 2014 - The Silver Dollar, Toronto (Indie Week)|
|September 27th, 2014 - This Ain't Hollywood (HMFF), Hamilton (1st Place Winner)|
|September 25th, 2014 - Black Shire Pub, London|
|August 29th, 2014 - Shiretown Publicans, Hampton (Saint John)|
|August 28th, 2014 - Michael's, Halifax|
|August 26th, 2014 - Plan B, Moncton|
|August 25th, 2014 - Baba's Lounge, Charlottetown|
|August 24th, 2014 - Cafe Campus, Montreal|
|August 23rd, 2014 - Cafe Dekcuf, Ottawa|
|August 22nd, 2014 - The Garrison, Toronto|
|July 26th, 2014 - Rivoli, Toronto|
|June 23rd, 2014 - Harbourfront (Soundclash Contest), Toronto|
|June 13th, 2014 - Rancho Relaxo, Toronto|
|May 8th, 2014 - Czehoski (CMW), Toronto|
|April 24th, 2014 - The Piston, Toronto|
|March 28th, 2014 - 3030 Dundas West, Toronto|
You know it’s not an honest age,
Living like we’re on a stage.
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