Occasionally, you can guess what a band is going to sound like simply by what they call themselves. If you guessed that The Consonance probably sounds pretty
good, you’d only be half right. Not only do the members of The Consonance agree on their creative vision, but it is the unique combination of six individuals that gives this band such an original sound.
Originally from various parts of Western Canada, the members of The Consonance met in the winter of 2008 in Edmonton, Alberta. There they embraced their disparate influences, recognized their common creative instincts, and agreed to explore music on their own terms.
The strength of The Consonance’s sound is their synergy: their music seems to be denser than only six voices. At the root of the music is Melissa Walker’s electric
bass, sometimes laying down a groove, sometimes playing a calculated melody in her low register. Rhythmically complementing her is Nich Davies on drums, who
draws on the traditions of soul, indie-rock, and everything in between.
Melodically, The Consonance draws upon an endless palette of musical colors. David Riddel and Vicky Berg often choose rich melodies instead of the cumbersome chords that most guitarists and keyboardists limit themselves to. In
the middle of the mix is Sophie Heppell’s subdued saxophone, often harmonizing with the other melodies. Soaring over this lush polyphony is Jesse Dollimont’s
crystalline voice, filling the air with imagery. The result is an inspired blend of impressionist harmonies and sublime grooves: a truly unique sound that defies classification.
In their most recent release, October, The Consonance shows they’re not afraid to articulate their opinions; the disc expresses a critique of society, contempt for mediocrity, and a cry for change. The recording is, as the name suggests, a sign of transition. Their previous releases reflected influences from hip-hop, soul and pop music, but showed some signs of exploration.
Now, after three independent releases, radio appearances across Western Canada, and countless performances spanning the breadth of North America, the exploring has yielded riches: they’ve defined their creative voice, and they’ve shown they’re not afraid to use it. As individuals, they are six talented musicians.
Together, they are Consonance incarnate, and they are much greater than the sum of their parts.
Vicky Berg - Keyboard/Vocals
Nich Davies - Drums
Jesse Dollimont - Lead Vocals
Sophie Heppell - Alto Saxophone
David Riddel - Guitar
Melissa Walker - Bass
More Alive (March 2009)
Come The Day (July 2010)
October (September 2011)
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PREVUE // INDIE JAZZ POP THE CONSONANCE Fri, Sep 9 (8pm) With Tiff Hall Haven Social Club, $10 ...PREVUE // INDIE JAZZ POP
Fri, Sep 9 (8pm)
With Tiff Hall
Haven Social Club, $10
Spring is often singled out as the season of change and rebirth, but autumn sees the world change again, settling down and gearing up fo the process that will lead to new life. The changes that Edmonton’s The Consonance went through prior to making the group’s latest EP are what’s behind the disc’s title: October. Gaining a new drummer and cementing the group’s sound, The Consonance is looking forward to something of a rebirth of it’s own.
“I think there were a lot of influences that would sometimes fight each other,” explains guitarist David Riddel of the group’s previous output. “The songwriting was a bit all over the place, but now the sound is more united.”
That united songwriting can be heard on October: It’s a mix of jazz and indie rock that is nearly virtuosic in its execution. The second EP for the group- it has also released one full-length album- the format appeals to The Consonance because it gives the group the ability to release its music in short bursts, unencumbered by the need to artificially bulk up a release to album length.
We just thought, “Let’s record [our songs] and release them just so they’re out there,” says Riddel. “If there is a period of time where we’re really productive and we do have a lot of original tunes then we would definitely put out a full-length, but I think when we have the songs and we don’t have time to write more we’ll just put out an EP.”
The EP’s official release comes on the heels of a six-week tour the band embarked on across the United States and Canada, which had its share of ups and downs. Toward the end, van trouble caught up with The Consonance, but, altogether, Riddel and his compatriots considered it a success.
“It’s hard to gauge response sometimes when you’re only playing to three people,” he laughs. “Some of the shows, like in Minneapolis and Seattle for example, had really good crowds and a really good response and we played with some great bands. There were definitely some slow shows but there were some great shows too.”
Change merely a natural progression for The Consonance
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EDMONTON - You might think that The Consonance have jumped the gun in putting out an EP CD titled Oc...EDMONTON - You might think that The Consonance have jumped the gun in putting out an EP CD titled October about a month early.
It turns out the title song is more a case of looking back, about being in a season of transition. That’s just where the Edmonton sextet has been actually, finding a new level of experience and expertise on the road during a six-week, 25-date tour that took them across Canada and further into the U.S. than they’ve been before.
Guitarist David Riddel reports that the tour has left the band in great shape and I believe him if the catchy EP — recorded beforehand — is any indication. You can hear for yourself when they celebrate the CD release Friday night at the Haven Social Club.
“We want to play as much as possible and we have a fairly accessible sound that can be appreciated by a pretty broad audience,” says guitarist Dave Riddell. “We practise a lot, too. The arrangements are very important to making our songs interesting and it takes a lot of work to perfect them.”
In the winter of 2008, The Consonance was an informal collective of six students from the music program at MacEwan University, an extracurricular rehearsal band whose influences and experience ran the gamut from Celtic and country to punk and metal. The school served them well and helped them find “our common ground.”
The Consonance features Jesse Dollimont’s lead vocal, Sophie Heppell’s sax, Vicky Berg’s keyboards, Riddell’s guitar, bassist Melissa Walker and drummer Nich Davies.
While most of the group is from Western Canada, Riddell is the only Edmonton native. He started guitar at 10 and grew up following grunge bands such as Nirvana and Green Day before his dad’s record collection steered him to check out British blues-rock. Jazz-based studies at MacEwan opened a whole new door.
“Even in the first few months, everyone learned to love a music that you didn’t love or maybe didn’t even know existed before. Your tastes change and grow. Some of us had plans to go to school elsewhere, but we decided to stay here and play together.”
Three and a half years later, they’re not a jazz band, but there are lingering echoes in the pop-rock unit’s jazzy overtones and grooves that edge on R&B and hip-hop, a sound that Riddell admits is “hard to pin down.” They still include a few bona fide jazz standards like ’Round Midnight and Summertime in their shows, but they also cover Doobie Brothers, the Rolling Stones’ Miss You and Tegan & Sara when they’re taking a break from their all-original, collectively written repertoire.
An early EP and the full-length CD Come the Day (2010) provide some of that material, along with the newer songs. One theme touched on in the new EP track Song For My City is a yearning for new horizons. Riddell offers the disclaimer that the lyrics — which he penned — are more for literary sake, less of a reflection on his real-life feelings.
“I think we will always have a certain sound just because of our instrumentation, but the ideas people bring to the songs are more mature and complex as we go on. We’ve really grown a lot.”
The Consonance play The Haven Social Club (15120A Stony Plain Rd.) after 8 p.m. Friday with opening guests Tiff Hall and Kusch. Tickets are $10 in advance online at yeglive.ca or from Blackbyrd Myoozik.
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By JMacDonald | Published August 21, 2011 The Consonance (with Freak Motif), put on a kille... By JMacDonald | Published August 21, 2011
The Consonance (with Freak Motif), put on a killer set at the Marquee Room! This Edmonton band has a really powerful sound with a unique jazzy feel. If you get the chance, make sure to see them live, they give it their all and it just sounds incredible.
Check out their very cool website –> The Consonance or facebook page here –> The Consonance Facebook
The Myspace page has a few tracks for you to check out here as well –> Myspace
Enjoy these photos from the set (click the pic below to see the rest of the shots), and keep your eyes peeled for the Freak Motif shots coming soon :)
Album Review: "October" EP (The Consonance)
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Edmonton sextuplet The Consonance are not the typical jazz band. At first it may sound like somethin...Edmonton sextuplet The Consonance are not the typical jazz band. At first it may sound like something you'd typically hear at a jazz club, but there's more than just the chill beats that make you want to have a cocktail while you listen to them. Within the six members of the group are six different musical backgrounds. Elements of jazz, funk, pop, rock, R&B and hip-hop are blended together like said cocktail and the result is the "October" EP. Introducing themselves across their native Canada and here in the United States, The Consonance is quickly establishing their identity and it's about time you got to know them.
Here is the tracklisting for the EP.
01. Jar The Sea
02. Surprise Reprise
03. Song For My City
Barely halfway into the first verse it automatically hits you that lead vocalist Jesse Dollimont has quite lyrical flow on her. The wordplay is there and the delivery is sharp. I'd be very curious to see how she'd do in a battle rap. That would be something to watch/listen. Amongst the other songs on the EP, I would say this is my favorite song. In it you have a song with lyrics that are something of a wake-up call that a lot of people could use (I love the line "Television as the nursery...") and blended with a great jazzy tune. Give the song a listen for yourself.
"SONG FOR MY CITY"
There's a set of lyrics in this song that I just love and here it is:
My favorite jazz club closed today Nobody listens to that shit anyway The schools they don’t get any funding But I can tell the church has a lot of money
The lines about schools not getting any funding meanwhile the church still rolling in the money is a scenario that I'm going to go out on a limb and say a lot of towns all over the world are in. Without it becoming a completely different conversation, you'd think it ought to be the other way around. Anyways, check out this great acoustic performance the band did for Balcony TV. Again, I sure could use a cocktail as I listen to them.
If there's one thing that can be taken as a bad thing about the "October" EP is that it's short. Just four songs. I wanted more. The Consonance have a sound that I enjoyed right out of the gate. Even with just four songs there's a lot to like from this ensemble and I hope it won't be long before a full length is released. Either "Surprise Reprise" or "Song For My City" is going to wind up in my songs of the year group without a doubt.
The Consonance Will Get Inside Your Head With Come The Day
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I've given this album a number of listens, but I was hooked on the first riff. The fluttered run ...I've given this album a number of listens, but I was hooked on the first riff.
The fluttered run of the sax that starts the jazzy introduction of the track October is permanently imprinted into my psyche. I sometimes notice the sound looping over and over in my brain, but it always takes a moment for me to realize it.
That, my friends, is what they call a hook.
This hook, along with many others, is what you'll experience when listening to The Consonance's latest offering Come the Day. This band has carved out a unique fusion of sound combining countless styles. The group – Vicky Berg, Nich Davies, Jesse Dollimont, Sophie Heppel, David Riddel and Melissa Walker – is a well balanced mix of accomplished musicians who met at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton.
Elements of jazz, funk, hip-hop, pop and R&B create a foundation for the group’s sound, while Jesse Dollimont's vocals forms the top layer.
She has a true command of her voice. Her styles and range vary as much as the influences of this group. The result is a real treat for the ears.
The opening track Tower is a true showcase of this band's wide breadth of talent. The song takes you on an aural journey of styles. It starts with a driving tick-tock beat that encourages your foot to start tapping. The chorus breaks into some smooth R&B and escalates into a nice groovy funk.
Second time around, look out -- The Consonance bust into an all-out jazz guitar metal breakdown followed by some great vocal chops that would likely make Christina Aguillera look over her shoulder.
Dollimont absolutely nails the vocals in this section. To see this group perform just this song would be worth the price of admission.
Each track written pays as much attention to lyrical content as it does arrangements. There's no fluff here.
Inspirational lines like "you'll be OK as long your breathing - don't bite off too much you're only teething … listen to the ocean - put your mind in motion" and "from that tower that your standing on - you better come down" are all penned with poise weight and meaning.
This is a must see performance in July for Thunder Bay audiophiles.
The Consonance will shake you from your musical complacency and make you remember why you love music.
The Constance will play at the Black Pirates Pub in Thunder Bay on Wednesday, July 13.
The Consonance- Come The Day
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The Consonance are a six-piece jazz band from Edmonton, with a whole lot of amazing synthesis to off...The Consonance are a six-piece jazz band from Edmonton, with a whole lot of amazing synthesis to offer listeners. Their second independent release, Come The Day, is an astounding album which infuses hip-hop and funk to create one of the grooviest contemporary jazz sounds around.
All six members met as jazz students at Grant MacEwan University, which speaks well for their technical proficiency. Bassist Melissa Walker often sets the groove with a repetitive walking-line, which provides a basis for soloing and leads from saxophone player Sophie Heppell. Lead vocalist Jesse Dollimont is smooth and seductive, but is also very powerful and fun with her melodies. Keyboardist Vicky Berg and guitarist David Riddel exchange catchy chord progressions and solo segments to fill in the sound. Most impressive, is drummer Justin McDonough as he recreates hip-hop rhythms in a jazz style and also raps simultaneously at times. Each member clearly has their own style and influences, blending funk, pop, and R&B into their hip-hop/jazz fusion.
Come The Day is extremely catchy and captivating, and strikes the listener with originality from its first moment. The album begins with "Tower", a track that starts with keys and bass before jumping into a full-band dance jam that showcases Dollimont's incredible vocal range and variety. Other standout tracks include "Cost", with funky saxophone and bass themes mixed in with gang-chant refrains, and "Seeing Red" for its progressive keyboard riff and swift jazz drumming.
The Consonance has found a style that is completely unique, but also enjoyable to an eclectic audience. Each track is a refreshing take on contemporary jazz, which incorporates elements of hip-hop, funk, and other popular genres. These six young musicians display extraordinary talent, and are bound to do great things for the Canadian music scene in the future.
Eastwood Festival set for today
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When residents and retailers along 118th Avenue host their second Eastwood Festival and Street Dan...When residents and retailers along 118th Avenue host their
second Eastwood Festival and Street Dance today (between 85th
and 87th streets) one of the free events includes a performance
from the city’s newest hip-hop-jazz fusion outfit, a six-member
band called The Consonance.
The group are recent grads from the Grant MacEwan
University music program, where the band had its origins as a
jazz jam project. Their performace around 2:15 p.m. on the
outdoor stage follows a recent tour in Alberta and British
Columbia and the release of the group’s debut album Come the
Between four women and two men, they cover guitar, bass,
drums, keyboards and multiple vocal positions. All six members
contribute to the material and they have come up with some cool,
quirky stuff drawing on varied pop, funk and hip-hop elements,
sewing it all up into a tight groove jazz style.
For information, see myspace.com/theconsonancegroove.
The Consonance Featured Band of the Week
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Through the years, hip-hop has had more than a few dalliances with surprising musical mistresses. Fl...Through the years, hip-hop has had more than a few dalliances with surprising musical mistresses. Flirtations with Coltrane and dusty Jazz 45s were the norm in Shaolin, while P Funk party starting reigned supreme on the American West Coast in the 90s. Zeppelin-assisted grandiloquence and Benjamins-obsessed rockers rang in the new millennium, while Will Smith made the Top 40 dial a safe place for squeaky clean boom bap as Y2K loomed. Somehow, in 2010, six jazz students from Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton have managed to assemble all these references, nods and inspirations under one banner: The Consonance.
Formed in 2009, the group offered up the short-order More Alive EP, which melded clarinets with consciousness and keys with concrete. But on the six-pieceâ€™s full-length follow up, Come The Day, The Consonance further hone their vibrant brand of soulful jazz-flecked hip hop to make a sound all their own. Later this month, the group takes that sound on the road, gigging through cities all across Western Canada in support of the LP.
Over one hour of original material:
Tower- The Consonance
Come The Day- The Consonance
Take Your Thyme- The Consonance
Thoughts In Black And White- The Consonance
More Alive Than Life Itself- The Consonance
Cost- The Consonance
Hotel- The Consonance
Seeing Red- The Consonance
Message In The Ceiling- The Consonance
This Hour- The Consonance
Mind In Motion- The Consonance
Jar The Sea- The Consonance
Surprise Reprise- The Consonance
Song For My City- The Consonance
October- The Consonance
Brother- The Consonance
Far From Home- The Consonance
PDF RiderThe Consonance Festival Rider
There are no upcoming dates at this time.