Award Winning Album from Canada’s “new favourite band”
It’s November 2008. The four members of The DoneFors are sitting in the famous Toronto studio that belongs to mastering guru João Carvalho, about to put the finishing touches to their debut album How to have sex with Canadians. Carvalho is barely finished working on the first track when he turns to the DoneFors and says, “You guys are my new favourite band!” .
Nice praise coming from seasoned studio veteran Carvalho, who has worked with artists like The Tragically Hip, Sam Roberts, The Barenaked Ladies, Martha Wainwright, Joel Plaskett and Sloan. Then again, it’s easy to see why even the most established music industry professional would become enamoured with the DoneFors’ smart song-writing. The Globe & Mail has called them “one of the craftiest indie bands in Canada”.
On their new self-produced record, cheekily titled Award Winning Album, the Toronto-based quartet continue to be nomadic in their musical influences. Elements of indie rock, contemporary pop, progressive folk, jazz, world music and country merge to bolster The DoneFors’ signature multi-phonic sound which they’ve dubbed Canadiana Vanguard — a musical expression that spans genres, stretches boundaries, and stays rooted in an instrument’s organic sound.
While the entertaining live shows and the album titles reveal a band that doesn’t take itself too seriously, Janine Stoll’s lyrics bear the hallmarks of a keen observer and the mind of a poet. Pretty, naughty things, melancholy traveling, false heroes, small town woes, political cost, and memories lost are themes explored in this sophomore achievement.
While The DoneFors’ 2009 debut was a highly independent, low-budget affair, recorded by drummer Brian Lahaie in his basement, the follow-up is anything but. This time around, the band got a chance to work with a couple of Canadian recording giants in some of the country’s premiere studios. Recorded by Jeremy Darby (U2, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Lou Reed) and mixed by Michael Philip Wojewoda (Barenaked Ladies, Rheostatics, Luke Doucet), Award Winning Album is the work of a tight and confident foursome, brimming with ideas – and it captures The DoneFors as they are hitting their stride.
Another sign of the band’s momentum is the growing international recognition; the new record was released in Europe in May 2011 in conjunction with the band’s first European tour. Canadian fans, however, will have to wait until the fall for the North American release, which will be officially celebrated with a launch at The Dakota Tavern in Toronto, on September 22, 2011.
American audiences will get their first chance to hear the band in October, and the next year and a half is bound to bring about extensive touring. And rightly so. As one EXCLAIM reviewer put it: The DoneFors are “a band that, in spite of their name, deserve to have a long life”.