June 23

Come Home with Canada’s leading vocal group Cadence: Hear songs by Feist, K-OS, David Clayton-Thomas & more — all a cappella!

Come Home with Canada’s leading vocal group Cadence: Hear songs by Feist, K-OS, David Clayton-Thomas & more — all a cappella!
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Come Home with Cadence — All Canadian Songs, All a Cappella

Featuring Vocal-Only Versions of Songs by David Clayton-Thomas, K-OS, Feist, & More

YouTube — “The Watcher on the Rock”

A cappella collective Cadence have released their fifth studio album — and the first ever of its kind — a full-length release featuring all Canadian songs recorded using only the human voice.

All songs on Home are homages to Canada in their own right, coast to coast, artist to artist. Featuring rearrangements and vocal versions of classic songs by David Clayton-Thomas, K-OS, Feist, and more, Home also features original songs from the country’s premiere a cappella quartet.

This is what they do, and Home demonstrates it deftly.

Tenors Ross Lynde and Lucas Marchand along with the baritone and bass of David Lane and bass and vocal percussion of Kurt Sampson have long been known to hypnotize roomfuls with their deeply complex harmonies, intricate arrangements, and awe-inspiring vocal dexterity — not to mention their dashing and fun charm on stage.

Their studio albums are no different, and Home marks their fifth in a successful series of award-winning releases, including 2000’s Frost Free, 2005’s Twenty for One, 2010’s Speak Easy, and 2011’s Cool Yule.

“The first song on our first album was “Spinning Wheel” by Blood, Sweat and Tears,” say Cadence. “It was always a popular track for us, and made its way around the world over the years since its release.

“About five years ago, our friend and Jazz FM radio personality Heather Bambrick played the track for David Clayton-Thomas during an interview. He was hugely impressed in our vocal recreation of the horn parts and reached out to us to collaborate, including a live performances and recording a track, which turned out to be “Common Ground”, with him on his recent album.

“In return, he recorded the lead part for our arrangement of “Lucretia MacEvil” on Home.”

Dipping their toes in another genre pool comes the reinvention of K-OS’ “Crabbuckit”, which also proved to be a natural fit for a cappella styling. “When we settled on making an album entirely made up of Canadian content, this song was at the top of our list,” they recall. “We love the way K-OS mixes Canadian culture, hip-hop, and a classic retro flavour in this song.

“In our arrangement, we lean into the retro swing feel that is hinted at in the original, including a harmonized, Andrews Sisters’ style of his rap.”

In their version of Feist’s “Mushaboom”, the band uses two distinct musical settings to illustrate the contrast between two lives — one real, and one imagined. “The verses, about life in the city, have a ‘straight ahead, happy feel’ with a theatrical lead vocal that hints, in its exuberance, of something hiding beneath the surface,” Cadence explain. “As the song moves to the chorus, the feeling opens up into a washed out dreamscape as the words describe a future life in the country.

“The song finishes with a long fade on the sounds of a chaotic room where people are talking and playing short, repeating phrases on instruments. The listener slowly leaves the room and walks away from all the noise towards a new life.”

With each member born in a different province spanning British Columbia to Prince Edward Island, their first single, “The Watcher On The Rock” (Slhx̱í7lsh), became a beacon in its own right to feature — and celebrate — elements from each coast.

“There is a rock in Stanley Park at the entrance to Vancouver Harbour that lies on the traditional territory or the Squamish Nation,” says Cadence about the original track. “The words for this song were inspired by a legend that tells of a young warrior who defied The Creator in his mission to ensure a spotless life for his unborn son.

“Impressed by his commitment to future generations, The Creator’s agents transformed the young man into an indestructible monument to ‘Clean Fatherhood’ — the rock called Slhx̱í7lsh.”

The delicacies of “The Watcher On The Rock” expand beyond the song’s meaning. “The musical arrangement is in the style of an epic 6/8 ballad,” continue Cadence, noting that the video was shot at Irving Nature Park near St. John, New Brunswick. “It features elements often found in Maritime songs of this type with vocal parts that are stark, exposed, and broadly sung, leaving room for the story to take centre stage.”

Home is available June 22nd, 2018.

We would Ike to thank Eric Alper for the press release and artist profile.