Fresh Pick

Devin Cuddy – Toronto, Ontario

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Thriving deep in the heart of the east coast music scene, Toronto is the place Devon Cuddy calls home. His roots run deep within the industry, with influences like Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Steve Earl and James Booker, he is making his own mark with a blues sound that fills you up with goodness and keeps you coming back for more. Get to know Canada’s own Devin Cuddy Band.

Name: Devin Cuddy
Where are you writing this: In the van on the way to a show

 Home is where your story begins please tell us about yours.

I was born and raised in Toronto and its been a good home to me, no plans to leave. Right now I live at the Cameron House in the apartments above the bar, great community feeling up there.
Its also a great spot to meet great artists of all sorts.

 Best describe your musical style.
We draw mostly from country and New Orleans Blues. Its been a challenge to blend the 2 into a cohesive sound and genre, the battle continues. Artists I like (love!) include Professor Longhair, James Booker, Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark.

 When did you ‘know’ music was going to be such a big part of your life?

When I started enjoying piano lessons around 15. I was not however, sold on being a performer, that came later around 22 or so, when I started playing shows. I first started at the Cameron House playing solo and it started from that.

 What would you like us to know about the album ‘Kitchen Knife’?
Its a continuation of our sound and my song writing style. The record has a bit more stuff on it then the last, Organ, wurlitzer, lots more percussion and more guitars. I think our style is a little more realised and I’m hoping that will come across to the listener.

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How have you grown musically since you started performing?

I think I’ve developed more confidence in my playing and singing. The more you perform the more it comes together, songwriting gets stronger and the band starts to sound pretty hot.

 Tell us about the creative process in the making of your new video ‘Kitchen Knife’.

We had done a show with the regent park school of music choir and really liked them and the sounds it added so we asked them if they would do a live video. It was really fun and they do great work at RPSM, music education for everyone is very important.

What is the best piece of advice your father has given to you as a musician?

Always be nice, its now our band motto.

 Shout out to your favorite band or artist at the moment.
Timber Timbre has been playing in my ears a lot these days.

 When not making music what might we find you doing?
I really like playing hockey. Probably my favourite pastime. You’ll find me at the odd Jays game too.

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Something your fans would be surprised to learn about you.
I was a trumpet player for 7 years in the middle school and high school symphonic bands. I thought for a while that I would be a trumpet player but it wasn’t in the cards.

 The greatest book ever written is…
Well I don’t know if its the greatest but I really liked In Cold Blood.

 My all time favorite movie is…
Annie Hall, watched it twice in a row the first time I saw it.

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 Your dream marquee would read…
Randy Newman featuring the Devin Cuddy Band

 Your most memorable musical moment thus far…

Backing up Fred Penner at a party, a guy I watched a lot as a child. Wonderful musician and guy, we were giddy.

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Devin Cuddy Band is hosting a dinner party!

      Whats on the menu?

Classic italian, salad, pasta, meat.

       Which album is on replay?

Oscar Peterson live in Stratford. Fantastic live record.

       Guests past or present that would make for stimulating conversation.

I think I’d want Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, that would be an interesting meal.

       When things get dull, how would you breathe life back into the party.


 Aside from communication what is the one thing you can not live without on the road?

A pillow for the van, very key item.


What is the glue that holds Devin Cuddy Band together?

Zach Sutton the drummer and old style Pilsner

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 Is there one quote or piece of advice that always goes with you?

I don’t really carry around a phrase that I live by but one that I use a lot is always be nice.

 True love is…
Hard to find, but out there, its a journey not a destination.


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 What can we look forward to with Devin Cuddy Band over the coming year?

We’ll be touring our record as far and wide as it will take us.


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Husband- Perth, Australia

“Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I want to do a job that I’m not going to want to retire from. It’d be kinda cool to be writing songs as an old man, hopefully my voice will be more gravelly. 

Husband promo1_Photo by Penny Lane

Photography by Penny Lane

Indie – Rock – Americana

Husband’s Michael Paolino captures the mystery and dark grit behind a weary traveller, tarnished soul, and mighty heart. His music is refreshing and unique in a toxic world. 

Home is where your story begins, tell us a bit about yours.

I was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia. Everyone is really friendly; there’s plenty of sunshine and over the past 10 years there’s been some awesome small bars opening, which is making the city a really great place to go to. My wife Sarah and I live near the ocean in a house I’ve almost finished renovating (it’s taken close to two years) with our loud obnoxious dog Luna and three-legged cat, Pirate. We love watching movies and TV series; every night we can’t wait to get on the couch and start watching something.

How did music find you?

When I was in year 4 or 5 at school my mum enrolled me in piano lessons. I hated them and used to skip them, pretending I’d forgotten to go which infuriated my mum. I’m not sure why, but I started begging for a guitar, which they finally gave me when I was 12. It was a little acoustic thing. Then it came down to my big brother who introduced me to Pearl Jam and Nirvana. I was a massive nerd in school. I found it almost impossible to rebel; I always did what I was told. But in my band it was like a world where I could make my own rules, and I think I was hooked playing music from about the age of 16.

‘The Money’ recorded in LA with Rick Parker. What influenced this journey?

Husband had been playing shows in Perth for about two years, getting to know what the band was about and getting the vibe right. While I was doing this I was feeling increasingly cut off from the wider music world. I wanted to get outside my comfort zone and show my songs to someone who had worked on great records. I suppose in a way, I wanted to see if they thought I was any good. Howl by BRMC is one of my favourite albums, so when my manager Rachel and I were wondering who to approach, his name came up and I thought, ‘as if that’ll happen’. But it turned out he was keen and everything miraculously fell into place.

Husband promo2_Photo by Penny Lane

Track three, ‘The Money’ written in Perth’s financial district: “One night I found myself walking through Perth’s financial district. It felt so dead… its sole purpose is to make money 9-5. The emptiness I felt inspired this song.” But did you feel the same sense on the streets of LA?

Yeah I suppose any financial district in any city in the world shuts its doors and becomes a bit of a shell. I find it sad how once the big banks shut their doors and the streets are quiet, some homeless guy will go and sleep on their steps. I suppose I have a pretty black and white way of thinking about it, but I don’t want to make money 9 to 5 so I can live 5 to 9. I haven’t found a career I love apart from writing music, so I suppose my gripe with money is just that - my gripe.

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Abraham- Victoria, Canada

The whole time that I was writing these songs I felt like I was screaming and trying to burst through this bubble that was holding me back from being who I was and accomplishing what I needed to. These songs have become a sort of relinquishing of the power that held me down.

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Fresh Independence is seeing a trend here. Victoria, Canada lay home to upcoming musicians set to make their mark long past our time.

May we introduce to you the strong and sweet Abraham. Her music relates to the heart and melts the soul. Let her words drip down your skin as you find comfort on a rainy winter eve. 


Aka Sydney Batters

Home is where your story begins, would you tell us a bit about yours?

Home is where I am happiest, some people say that you are only truly home when you feel at home wherever you are. But I don’t necessarily share that view. Home for me is a safe, warm, private, comfort and crucial to my survival as I am very easily drained from outside stimulus. I really need to retreat and be alone in my own space in order to regain energy. My home is where I can completely be myself, and it is where I spend most of my time. 

 How did music find you?

Music found me at a very very young age. Since I have been able to speak, I have sang and written songs. They have literally always poured out of me. I think it’s the only way I can survive life. If I can’t write, or play music, I get very depressed. 

How would you describe your musical style?

I would say indie folk, seeing me live is a bit of a different experience in comparison to listening to the EP. On the EP I have a full band behind me, as well as am doing harmonies over my own voice, so that brings out a swinging pop feel. But live, I mainly perform solo, and it resembles something more like Laura Marling or Angel Olsen. Same tree, different branch. 


 This Old Heart- Tell us everything. What/Who/When/Why/Where sparked your inspiration? 

This Old Heart was a few years in the making, but most of the songs came together in early 2014. A great portion of the inspiration came from a long depression, which hindered me in every way. The whole time that I was writing these songs I felt like I was screaming and trying to burst through this bubble that was holding me back from being who I was and accomplishing what I needed to. These songs have become a sort of relinquishing of the power that held me down. 

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Moddi – Senja Norway

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In  just a very few words…

- I’m a self-taught musician, playing the accordion, guitar and singing in English and Norwegian.

- I’m born in 1987, grew up in Senja in Norway playing the trumpet, piano and football. When I was 20 I started travelling around with my own songs. I haven’t stopped since.

- After a number of EPs and demos, my debut album ‘Floriography’ was released in 2010. In 2013 came two new albums, ‘Set the House on Fire’ and ‘Kæm va du?’. ‘Kæm va du?’ won the Spellemann award for best folk album of the year.

- I believe in a better world and that music can help us get there.

The whole story…

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