Avery Island
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Avery Island

Port Perry, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Port Perry, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Alternative Rock


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Horsepucky: Kicking off with a catchy riff, lead track “Horsepucky” demonstrates the more melodic rock influences of Avery Island via its guitar work and transitions. An intriguing listen melodically. Lyrically, it’s a story of a relationship gone wrong and, more focally, self-destruction in its wake. “You’ll regret the day you ever laid eyes on me/Using excuses to fall apart…” A heavy Brand New influence on this one as shouted vocals layer over Lauren’s rich, soulful voice. “Take the stand and make my case/Play the victim...”

Lock Me Up: Again, kudos to the band for crafting ear-catching opening guitar riffs. This one’s as strong here as it is in its live incarnation. The use of vocal harmonies is intelligent and lovely on the ears; it’s a testament to a band with cohesion. A dark little tune suited to a brooding mood, it features clever metaphors delivered over a driving melody. “It’s the places you go when your soul needs hollowing/And a drunken lobotomy that keeps me from following…” My one critique is that Lauren’s a little too quiet in the mix at times, muddying her vocals beyond deciphering.

If You Want Me: One of the things I love about this one is the intro – just Lauren, with the band kicking in behind her. This one has a very danceable melody – it evokes the 80s, specifically Depeche Mode and New Order. Again, Lauren gets lost in the mix when quiet, and while it may be intentional to have her fall back, she’s too far back. “If You Want Me” is a sinisterly seductive number, beckoning forth the listener and begging for an end to romantic games: “Enough is enough/If you want me, come and get me/I’ll be waiting up…”

Final Comments: A demo EP should do two things: 1) showcase a band’s sound and range; and 2) show off its strongest songs, in order to hook listeners as new fans. In terms of these goals, this EP succeeds entirely in that first goal. Having seen the band perform twice now, I have a good sense of their sound and vibe, and it translates well here. In terms of the latter, while these are definitely strong songs I really enjoy, I can think of at least one tune that not only demonstrates further range, but is a strong work that garners positive reactions at gigs.

For a demo, the quality is solid: aside from a couple of quieter vocal moments being diluted in the mix, everything’s very balanced. In terms of quality of music, these are great, catchy songs that grow on you with each listen – and you will be compelled to listen again. Very well done for a band that’s continuing to rise.

Final Grade: A-

For a free download of “Lock Me Up”, cruise on over to Avery Island’s bandcamp page! - Amber Waves

Together, these four have undeniable chemistry and a beautiful sound that just cannot be ignored. Their brilliant mixes of rhythm, melodies and hooks have mesmerized audiences across the GTA for the past 12 months - and the fun has just begun!” - Canadian Music Week

One of my must-sees for the fest, Whitby band Avery Island demonstrated their professionalism and talent from moment one, with the show going on in spite of half the band not reaching the venue in time (Toronto traffic strikes again). No matter: it was a treat to hear vocalist Lauren Heenan with stripped-down accompaniment, and allowed her rich, powerful voice to shine. Of particular note was the duet between Lauren and Brandon Heenan on an emotional cover of Brand New’s “Degausser”.

In full band mode, Avery Island continued to impress with their melodic indie rock, peppered by wry comments from Heenan. The influence of artists like Brand New comes through in their song structure, although one is reminded more of the lyrical sensibility of Rilo Kiley marinated in Is This Desire?/Stories-era PJ Harvey. Speaking of the latter, I would love to hear Heenan’s take on “Meet Ze Monsta” but I digress. The synthesizer elements blended into the mix evoke Metric raging against their machines in a way Emily Haines wouldn’t dare.

Contemplative and dark, yet certainly not dreary, Avery Island are a treasure that a music fan ought to seek out. Highly recommended. - Amber Waves

If anyone likes jolting harmonies, perhaps Metric, and somewhat vulnerable vocals--Avery Island shouldn't disappoint. As finalists in the Toronto Independent Music Awards (Best Live), the ambitious band exude a humbleness with their far-reaching, sombre ballads and mesmerizing electric overlays. - blog TO

Great turn out at Rancho Relaxo. Merging jangly guitars with rock soundscapes complimented by vocals that can be both heartfelt and raw. Also great to see Jake doing sound
- Lonely Vagabond

Mr Holder is an industry insider. This was headline was offered upon hearing Avery Island perform live in February 2011. - Blair Holder

"Led by the equally commanding and cooing Lauren Heenan, Avery Island make Land of Talk style indie over jerky new wave punk rhythms and their just released first set of demos have been met with much praise". - Now Magazine

In music, there are moments that make you feel happy or excited, like listening to your favourite song, and then there are moments that raise that bar to a whole other level. For me, discovering a band with an original sound would fall into that category of lifting me to Cloud 9. In fact, I'm even more thrilled when I find out the band is Canadian. With all this said, these moments are usually far and few between for me but it's worth the wait. When I was first introduced to the stylings of Rush, I was instantly floored by this feeling. When I first discovered The New Pornographers when I popped their Mass Romantic CD into my computer, this feeling occurred. This occurrence has happened once again. Toronto Indie Music Award nominees, Avery Island, a band originating in Durham, Ontario and have been creating music since early 2009, brings a lot to the table offering audiences fresh and innovative writing and performances as well as a variety of different songs that are sure to be stuck in your head for ages.

Band members Brandon Heenan, Jordan Plishewsky, Kyle Rawn, and Lauren Heenan know exactly what they're doing and know how to portray their image and sound across to multiple audiences. The band's main focus is to play with their audiences emotions which is portrayed effectively through the writing. By utilizing effective phrasing techniques, including holding notes for emotional, affecting results, and by using the weight of expression in Lauren's voice, Avery Island is able to capture heart strings and never let go. The songs vary from gradual melodies to fast paced, animated music. The moods and transitions between the different tracks never feel abrupt or uncomfortable which is very nice and the audience is never taken out of the audible experience. As for the other members of the band, Brandon Heenan offers great accompaniment with his talents on the guitar as well as offering background vocals. His vocals can be very subtle but they make a great difference in the overall tone displayed in the music. Pilshewsky offers a lot as well showing off his expertise on the bass guitar and Rawn's drumming talent is persistently marvellous. His ability to bang out creative beats is astounding. Also, it definitely helps that all these bright musicians seem like a great group of people that you'd want to hang around with.

It's great to know that another great Canadian band can move onto my queue of bands I am definitely going to recommend to people who are in the mood for inventive music by a young, smart band that offers original elements without being gimmicky. The tracks that show their strongest efforts are definitely Jive Talking and Grapes Study Me, I've Seen the Reports; both stellar tracks that would give a music lover instant first impressions as to the level of originality their in for.

Avery Island's music can be heard at www.myspace.com/averyislandmusic and their blog is located at averyislandblog.blogspot.com. Avery Island can be seen live at Lee's Palace in Toronto on September 23rd at 9pm. - Blog By: Addison Wylie

The surge of young, bright, and innovative acts mixing sugar rock with soul jams favourably continues to peak. It’s hard not to take notice to the hauntingly definitive voice of Lauren Heenan, one of the members of the ambitiously raw group, Avery Island. Picture blunt hints of Emily Haines meshed with rock pockets and shrieks of Vancouver’s Mother Mother and you can start to understand this band’s flair. Watching them live caught me off guard considering I had seen them waiting patiently for their time to take the stage for the final judging round of the TIMA’s (Toronto Independent Music Awards), and had not expected such a stage presence. A pleasant medley of head nods and smiles ensued. http://www.myspace.com averyislandmusic.

Must Hear Track; Jive Talking
- Toronto News 24-Kathryn Kyte, torontonews24.com

"Because you will know it when you hear it... its simple really this search for authenticity. It will find you. I found myself mesmerized by these four friends with an uncanny personal language. The playful use of synth and the switching of instruments for their Brit-pop influenced indie rock set showed this was a band that just knew that the most best-est, the most brilliant-est, the part that matters is that a band is a gang unto itself and within that gang folks are the free-est to be themselves. And the free-est to create whatever they wish knowing that the safety net is there. Avery Island took full advantage of being a gang and they wowed." (newsdurhamregion.com) on watching Avery Island play live. - Will McGuirk


The band’s first album is due for release in the fall of 2012, featuring 6 original tracks recorded by Scott Brown at Glenmore Records in Toronto, Ontario.

Listen to us on
Sirius Channel 86
CHRY 105.5 York University FM Radio
Ben in The Pen - Kingston , Queens Uni Radio




Led by equally commanding and cooing Lauren Heenan, Avery Island make Land of Talk style indie over jerky new wave punk rhythms and their just released first set of demos have been met with much praise. Now Magazine.

Together, these four have undeniable chemistry and a beautiful sound that just cannot be ignored. Their brilliant mixes of rhythm, melodies and hooks have mesmerized audiences across the GTA for the past 12 months - and the fun has just begun! - Canadian Music Week.

"Avery Island are a treasure that a music fan ought to seek out. Highly recommended." - Amber Waves

Picture blunt hints of Emily Haines meshed with rock pockets and shrieks of Vancouvers Mother Mother and you start to understand this bands flair. Kathryn Kyte (www.torontonews24.com).

I found myself mesmerized by Avery Islands live performance, their playful use of synthwas brilliant. Will McGuirk (www.newsdurhamregion.com).

Avery Islands notoriety is a result of their remarkable live show and unyielding determination. The band hit the road in 2010 with 75 self-booked gigs and quickly became indie darlings of the Ontario circuit. Avery Island has showcased at a diverse array of festivals and events including: NXNE, CMW and Indie Week. Within 3 months of the formation of the band, Avery Island achieved the prestigious Toronto Independent Music Award nomination for Best Live Electric, beating out hundreds of acts.

Lauren Heenan (vocals/guitar/synth) delivers each phrase with primal urgency, juxtaposed between melodic and roaring guitar riffs. Her brother Brandon Heenan (guitar/synth) creates beautifully interwoven and complex melodies. Jordan Plishewski (bass/backing vocals) thunders away, and then interposes Laurens vocals with dissonant moments. Mattie Larabie(drums) completes the line-up keeping a steady, spectre-like pace. Avery Island is a multidimensional audioscape.

In early 2011, Canadian film producer Christian Suarez approached Avery Island to contribute a song to the soundtrack of his film A Cry In The Dark. The film is scheduled for submission to the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.

With Metrics introspection, Neutral Milk Hotels catchy melodies, and Mother Mothers fearlessness, Avery Island is a band with their kick on the pulse of a new and dynamic music scene.

Band Members