For the first time ever, Toronto-based Songwriting Duo Good Grief hosted THE INNER CIRCLE: A SONGWRITERS’ SHOWCASE at The Drake Underground. The intimate event brought together on-stage some of this highly-sought-after Duo’s collaborators, to perform acoustic versions of their songs in a Songwriters’ Circle. Good Grief is comprised of Singer-Songwriters Bryn McCutcheon (also known as Bryn) and Kirstyn Johnson (also known as Aryss). After meeting a fateful Songwriters’ Camp, they’ve joined forces and have worked with some of the biggest emerging names including one of our faves, Lilyisthatyou.
Appearing at the event, which hopefully will launch into a Series, were Universal Music Canada Artists Reve and Sofia Camara, plus the amazing Ralph, whom we adore. Telling the audience the stories behind the songs, we got two rounds of songs from each of the special guests and Good Grief, including one round where the Artists performed their collaborations with the Duo. This was followed by individual sets from each McCutcheon and Johnson.
The City definitely needs more platforms to showcase emerging talent, test new material and of course, create a space for female voices in a supportive environment. This was just wonderful and most amazing of all, we got a chance to interact with these amazing Singer-Songwriters. Definitely an experience worth checking-out.
Highlights and performances:
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I only recently discovered ELIO, but it has been nothing but love for this Welsh-born, Toronto-raised Singer/Songwriter who is on the tip of Pop greatness. For one, her management includes mentor Charli XCX who continues to thrive as a global sensation and coincidentally the star was just in town this week at Massey Hall. The two collaborated on Elio’s catchy track “Charger”, which actually is how I discovered her Music!
Elio played a packed house at intimate Velvet Underground on Queen West, the crowd which knew by heart many of her Bedroom Pop jams like Jackie Onassis, @elio.irl and latest single Vitamins. The twentysomething only during the Pandemic started putting-out Music and streams have tallied-in by the millions, stamping her a real force to be reckoned with. But more than that, her silky and emotive voice has an edge and she has a way of taking you away to another place as she sings about love, anxiety and escapism as a Gen-Z queen.
Playing for just under an hour, the Singer named after Timothée Chalamet‘s character in the Novel and Film CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, shows she’s still learning to connect with her audience after gaining her following online, but as the show progressed and she came into her own, she became one with the audience. Whether she has the Vocoder turned-on or is just singing with her guitar, Elio’s talent is undeniable.
Opening Act, Alexandra Porat, also from Toronto, warmed the crowd-up with her own brand of Pop sensibility. She premiered new Track Pity Party.
Spotted in the crowd was Porat‘s mentor and “sister”, Juno-nominated Singer/Songwriter Ralph whom we love and have been waiting to see live forever!
Some Snaps from the night:
Some of Elio’s top tracks:
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong)
Toronto Singer/Songwriter RALPH is doing big things, with an upcoming US Tour. While her hit “Gravity” earned her a Juno nomination, she actually has quite a bit of range with a Pop repertoire that ranges from up-tempo Dance Pop to heartfelt Balladry. Her latest single “Gasoline” is gorgeous and just what we need to guide us through this dreadful winter. Was so looking forward to a Toronto show but the most recent lockdown came, but hoping for a reschedule show soon!
(Photo/video credit: Rich Man Records)
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