From Enfield, Nova Scotia, Corey now lives in Halifax of the same province. In the early years of university he dabbled in various musical ventures but mostly began honing his skills as a musician with fellow friend and songwriter Pat LePoidevin. His first full-length album entitled 'Young Squire' was recorded in the various studios of the Mount Allison University Fine Arts building and released in the fall of 2008. Scott Brown says it's his favourite.
After making friends with Sackville marsh prince Shotgun Jimmers, Corey made plans to record his next album and did so under the guidance of Jimmie within the old walls of Marshwinds Farm. Released in January 2010, 'Frost' received modest and well appreciated radio play throughout Canada and was supported with a Fall 2010 tour throughout Ontario & the Maritimes with Sackville badass rock legends The John Wayne Cover Band.
Following in true Corey fashion, he befriended the very friendly and talented Dave & Colleen of super duo Construction and Destruction and set out to record his third full-length album in the summer of 2011 at their home/studio in Port Greville, NS. Joined by buddies Liam Finney and Chris Meaney and additionally backed by Dave and Colleen with some later help from Matt Watson & Kevin Brasier, 'The Hunting Party' would turn out to be his freshest album to date.
He's been fortunate enough to play shows with the likes of Luke Doucet, Said the Whale, Two Hours Traffic, Boxer the Horse, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Rich Aucoin, Al Tuck, The Tom Fun Orchestra and of course Pat LePoidevin.
Corey has been lucky enough to play the many stages of many past Stereophonic Music Festivals, put on by the Sackville Campus & Community Radio Station CHMA 106.9FM. As well, in August 2010 he played Sackville's famous and beloved Sappyfest Music Festival followed by an appearance at the Galaxie Rising Star Showcase at the 2010 Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton, NB. Other festival performances have included the 2011 In The Dead of Winter Festival in Halifax, NS.
2006 - Love+Art+Country+Music - 6 Track EP
2008 - Young Squire - 9 Track LP
2010 - Frost - 10 Track LP
2011 - The Hunting Party - 9 Track LP
The Coast Review's - The Hunting Party
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Isenor’s third disc---the second in less than a year?---is an excellent showcase for his brand of in...Isenor’s third disc---the second in less than a year?---is an excellent showcase for his brand of indie-folk and storytelling skills. Especially on songs like the title track, an amusing take down of aimless high school bullies who are hanging around “thinking of ways to be cruel.” The jaunty “Bend in the River” and “Illusions” have that lilting slightly Celtic tone which makes them totally danceable in a slow, swaying kind of way. Standouts are the lovely and charming “Ballad of Emily” and “De Ja Vu,” what with his gently strained, slightly nasal delivery giving more than a few nods toward Ron Sexsmith’s brand of smooth nostalgia.
Review: Corey Isenor - The Hunting Party
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Each time we hear from Corey Isenor, we hear a new man. Whether it’s the recording methods or the su...Each time we hear from Corey Isenor, we hear a new man. Whether it’s the recording methods or the supporting players, Isenor seems to reinvent himself each time he traps himself in the studio.
On his last record, Frost, Isenor pulled in local legend Shotgun Jimmie in to add the cornstarch needed to thicken the sauce. This time around, it’s the husband and wife duo Construction and Destruction that provide the support (along with a collection of other talented players), but the biggest change seems to be from Corey himself.
There’s a new found confidence in his arrangements and his voice (one that will undoubtedly draw comparisons to Nils from The Rural Alberta Advantage and, I guess, by default Jeff Magnum). “Illusions” hints at the charisma and slow burn of “In The Summertime”, a song that helped The RAA get blog love, radio play and gain an international audience, but Corey’s just as comfortable navigating more stripped down arrangements like “The Ballad of Emily” and the lovely closer, “Wild Shores.”
Isenor never tries to replicate the pounding percussion and intensity, instead opts for harmonies and traditional instrumentation (banjos, organ, harmonica) to frame his indie folk compositions. Without question, Corey has matured as a song writer, knowing when to take risks and understanding how to deliver honest emotion. On “Deja Vu” and “Bend in the River”, Corey rides slowly surging progressions, but it’s the surprisingly soft touch he offers and the delicate vocal harmonies from Colleen Collins that really define the efforts and hook the listener.
I can honestly say that Isenor exceeded my expectations on The Hunting Party, and when it comes to a local song writer, that’s all you can ask. There are still a few stumbles, but they are a result of ambition not inexperience. The Hunting Party is out October 1st. Do yourself a favor and pick it up.
Review: Corey Isenor - FROST
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Back in the winter of 2008, I humbled up and finally made mention of a young NB artist named Corey I...Back in the winter of 2008, I humbled up and finally made mention of a young NB artist named Corey Isenor. His debut record - Young Squire - was a solid collection of indie folk that felt like the work of an artist with a solid back catalog and years of gigging under his belt instead of a fresh face. It was also one of the best self-released records I stumbled on, but despite the talent crammed into that DIY disc, I never saw Corey's name on posters here in Halifax, so he kind of went out of sight, out of mind.
That was until a few weeks ago when his new record, Frost showed up in my mailbox. Long story short, I didn't think Corey had this type of record in him. Thanks to some spirited product, drums and bass courtesy of Sackville's Shotgun Jimmie, Corey's songs blossomed into indie-folk gems that fall more inline with the nasally indie sounds he explored on Chores in the Summertime than the traditional hushed confessionals you expect from today's indie folkers.
Isenor still offers his take on the traditional sounds, like the banjo heavy As a Ghost and the echo-y chords of Rainsong, but he seems to have found his stride experimenting with bigger and bolder sounds. The drone and drums of the opener, Riverwoman, jump starts the record and he continues the surge on Baby Don't Go. He start tracks as intimate stories, but slowly build them into indie folk anthems without you even noticing. It's not hard to imagine someone singing along to The Weather or feeling the surprising warmth he adds to the lovely, epic title track when each layer is slowly added to the mix.
Sackville's music community is tight knit, almost like the indie-folk secret society of Canada, so it will be interesting to see if Corey's songs are able to push the boundaries past the confines of the beautiful college town. I've often wondered the same thing for people like Jimmie, Julie and Fred so my hopes aren't high - especially considering Corey is doing this alone - but if playing fields were equal, Isenor would be getting love on CBC and blogs all across the country.
The start of the Olympics is today, so it’s Canadian content ONLY: Corey Isenor’s fantastic “Frost” album!
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It’s Friday and the start of the Olympics and what better way to show my love for the “the true nort...It’s Friday and the start of the Olympics and what better way to show my love for the “the true north strong and free” than a post on an upcoming Canadian artist? Friends, I will cheer my heart out for my Canadian athletes and Isenor’s album “Frost” just might be the perfect album to soundtrack the entire event for me.
The album “Frost” is pretty much the album that could. What I mean is that originally it was only 7 tracks and was going to be an EP of sorts, but that just wouldn’t do. Isenor found additional time with fellow East Coaster Shotgun Jimmie and low and behold another 4 tracks materialized out of their sessions at the Marshwinds Farm. What has surfaced is an indie folk-pop album that literally came out of nowhere for me. This album is one that truly wants you sit there and actually try to sing along to the songs as they are so well done (I try this often and realize I am a music blogger and not an artist in any way whatsoever). Right off the bat the title track “Frost” has such a harmony, builds perfectly through a few bridges and meets the chorus that evokes the singing by yours truly. When the banjo kicks in during the chorus, it absolutely turns this folk track into something more than its five and a half minutes can convey. It is possibly my “it song” for the year so far.
There is more than the title track to this album with additional favourites like the focused mid tempo “Release Your Crown” or the lush “Riverwoman” this album just has hooks that relentlessly draw you in. It is a more down tempo album at it’s core, but not in the “sad bastard” way you might be used to hearing around this blog. As a whole, the full album enjoys songs that bring hushed moments, well thought out song building and a maturity beyond this young Sackville, New Brunswick via Nova Scotia singer songwriter. Maybe this is what keeps catching me, until a few weeks ago, I didn’t know there was a Corey Isenor and now I can’t believe I missed him (even with a mention over on Herohill for his previous EP).
He is also not a one trick pony, no sir. I think he has the flexibility to go beyond my own personal musical niche and move into what I mentioned earlier as folk pop. With songs like “Force of Nature” and “Meteor Shower” you hear more indie influences with visions of spring creeping into your world, things seem brighter when those songs come on – definitely leading to a summer mix-tape option for many I think. I can also see a song like “Baby Don’t Go” being quite a great pub sing along that really gets the crowd into a frenzy – like those East Coast pubs are known for….I think…
Well that is what I got, a great album from a Canadian that I think is a winner. Take a listen to two tracks and tell me you don’t feel the same way. At this time I don’t have an actual link to get you to purchase the album – but please message him on MySpace and get him to sell you an album already!
There are no upcoming dates at this time.