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Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Pop




"Toronto's Canvas needed sticktoitiveness to make its Maritime tour dates"

When Toronto's Canvas picked the name sticktoitiveness for their new album, it was for one reason, but starting this current cross-Canada tour, it quickly became the rule of them for the road, too. Just the second date into the tour landed the group in P.E.I. this week, in the worst winter on record in some of the places they would be playing, and driving. It took a lot of work and a lot of luck just making the dates. "It looks like we just squeaked out of P.E.I. in time," says Canvas leader Chris Graham. "The girl at the booth said they'd closed the bridge the day before, and sure enough, just after we left, they closed it again."

Luckily they made the gig at Moncton's Plan B as well, and amazingly, the crowds have come out, too. "Surprisingly, there have been good crowds," says Graham. "It was capacity in Charlottetown, and a great crowd at Plan B. The last time I was here, a couple of years ago, the local musicians in P.E.I. were telling me how mild the winters are now compared to a few years back. I guess that's changed."

What hasn't changed is Graham's determination to get Canvas music to the masses. That sticktoitiveness has got him through a time that would have killed most bands. The highly-regarded producer put together the band a couple of years back, choosing the best musicians he could find. "The trouble with that is, they are highly sought-after, and are busy with their own projects too," he explains. "There's been a few people come and go in that time. On this tour I'm the only one remaining from the first shows a year ago. One keyboardist moved to Australia, others have had other things on the go."

That meant that Graham had no one to turn to when it came time to do the album. Working from his home studio, he created, played and recorded every sound on the new album. Surprisingly, it manages to convey the energy of a full group, instead of the laboratory feel of a studio boffin. "I did NOT want to play drums on the album, it was more of a necessity," he says. "I'm playing live with better musicians than me, I'd like to be able to record the next time with them."

One of the chief reasons Graham wouldn't give up on the Canvas band is his desire to get this particular sound recorded, and played live. An 80's child, Graham grew up a fan of sounds most people would find distinct and separate. He liked the sound of those early synth-pop bands, and he liked the big rockers too, such as Springsteen. But he wasn't about to just re-make that era. "For a lot of bands right now, there's a strait-up mimicking of, like, the sound of 1982," Graham feels. "But for me, I grew up with big arena music like U2 as well. There's such a big pallet, so much you can do with it. So much of what we do leans more towards the rock side since the synth. It's nice to be able to go towards both ways."

The Canvas tour of the Maritimes has dragged them back and forth across the snowiest sections these past few days. Thursday night (March 19) was Halifax, and Friday, March 20, sees the band heading west towards spring, with a stop in Fredericton at the Cellar Pub on the UNB campus before heading back to Quebec and Ontario. Despite the rocky start to the trip, and the overall uphill battle he's endured, he wants Canvas to continue a long time. "I still like being part of a collective, playing with other musicians, and it is fun being on the road with other people." He just might want to move the next Maritime tour to, say, July. - CBC

"Bring the West Coast, East"

Next up was an unexpected little surprise in the genre department. A band called CANVAS from Toronto, a sound self-defined as “Electro-Springsteen meets Grouplove.” Although that says a lot of the new indie-rock brainchild of frontman and guitarist Chris Graham, their sound leaves something to be discovered and admired by all. At times slow and soothing, to other moments of pure passion and rock blitzing, they’re an auditory rollercoaster of musical euphoria. There’s always a certain appeal that comes from girl-guy bands like this. The girls – Rachael Kennedy on strings and Loryn Taggart on keys – bring a smooth and sensitive touch to the ambiance they create, while Andrew Thomas on Bass and Mike Wood on drums drive home a rhythm that resonates for days. After CANVAS tore up the 3030 and tore down their set, they took a seat by the merch stand to make way for the main event, Kyprios. - Martyr Magazine

"Canvas, Keeping Score"

Why do some people make this music thing so hard? Not Toronto band Canvas, who describe themselves as "Electro-Springsteen meets Grouplove" and blend making nice sounds (sweet drum sound mate) with an ability to write a barnstorming, infectious chorus which I guarantee you'll remember. And love. M O N S T E R record. - Drums Eat Everything

"[Listen] Canvas, Keeping Score"

CANVAS is streaming their debut single ‘Keeping Score’ off a full length set to be released in 2014. The Toronto based band is a collective of who’s who in Canadian indie music scene like Chris Graham (The Framework) and Juno nominated Loryn Taggart to name a few. The band played a fantastic set at CMW showcase at Czehoski that was a fine example of tight musicality and live energy. They are bound to be making some noise in 2014. - Ride the Tempo

"Keeping Score on Canvas: Their New Single Reviewed"

Better add another electronic/indie rock band to the list of upcoming great Canadian musicians! CANVAS is a new Toronto band formed by award-winning producer-songwriter and lead singer Chris Graham. This group of talented individuals has successfully come together to form a band that is quickly making an impact on the Toronto music scene.

Their new, hit single “Keeping Score” is catchy as hell, and is sure to be stuck in your head after just one listen! The keys are an obvious and catchy component in the song with an electronic-type sound supported by a great indie-pop chorus. It’s playful and fun with blends of futuristic hooky melodies. It is certainly a song that reminds me of summer.

The album has been written, produced, recorded, mixed and performed by Graham, though it’s the talent brought from the other members which make this band complete. The band is composed of Juno-nominated Loryn Taggart on keys, Rachael Kennedy on guitar, Andrew Thomas on bass, and Mike Wood on drums. With direction from Graham, CANVAS has worked together to create some pretty kickass songs, along with a great onstage presence.

CANVAS is expected to play at Canadian Music Week in Toronto on Thursday, May 8th at 9pm, at the Czehoski Bar. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for this group. You may just hear them on the radio soon! - Canadian Content Machine

"New Music: Canvas"

If the name Chris Graham sounds familiar, it’s because this award winning producer and songwriter had been involved in the Toronto music scene for over a decade. A former member of FIRExFIRE and The Framework (Last Gang), Chris has a new project on his hands; CANVAS. Inspiration for the name came from the blank canvas he found himself facing when FIRExFIRE went their separate ways last spring. Turning frustration into inspiration, Chris sat down in his home studio and wrote over 20 songs in a period of two weeks. He took the opportunity to experiment with new sounds and styles combining futuristic synths, danceable grooves, hooky melodies, shimmering guitars and anthemic choruses into a “post-synth-rock collage”. Band members include Juno-nominated singer-songwriter Loryn Taggart on keys, CBC Searchlight semi-finalist Rachael Kennedy on guitar, Andrew Thomas (Aukland) on bass and Mike Wood on drums.

Canvas made their debut appearance at 3030 Dundas West in Toronto last month to some great reviews and are officially releasing their single “Keeping Score” today. It has a strong beat and an easy-to-absorb melody and a nice hooky chorus. Much like Chris’s previous work, it’s a song that can easily become an ear-worm after only a couple of listens. We look forward to hearing the rest of the album set to be released later in 2014. CANVAS is also set to play Canadian Music Week in Toronto this year. You’ll be able to catch them May 8th at 9pm, at Czehoski.

Check out their new single “Keeping Score”. - GottaBScene


Sticktoitiveness (album) - March 3, 2015

A Slow Dive (EP) - August 19, 2014

Keeping Score (single) - April 29, 2014



It's been said, this world is but a canvas to our imagination. Those words were taken to heart by award-winning songwriter and producer Chris Graham, as he set up in his home studio to write and record what would be the debut album for Toronto indie-rock band, CANVAS. After his former band went their separate ways last spring, Graham immediately got to work writing over twenty songs in a matter of a couple of weeks. Working alone for the first time in years, he took the opportunity to record himself playing all the instruments on the new tracks, tracks that would become an integral part of his entrance back into the music scene, and experimentation with new sounds. 

Im a huge fan of larger than life rock tunes that also blend in synths and electronica, and I've always wanted to try to play everything for once, just because I could", he affirms. I began writing and recording, and the songs that came out were the logical next step from what Ive been doing the last decade. There were no preconceptions, no attempts to mimic anything. It was a straight from the gut approach, throwing everything against the wall, or the CANVAS as it were, and seeing what would stick.  

This new sound blends futuristic synths - sometimes dark, sometimes playful - danceable grooves, hooky melodies, shimmering guitars and anthemic choruses into a post-synth-rock collage. The fusing of old and new caused one listener privy to the early demos to remark that the sound was like "Electro-Springsteen" - a perfect reference point for the songs. 

As the album approached completion, Chris sought out the right talent from the local Toronto scene to help bring the songs to life on stage. That journey was full of twists and turns, from a chance encounter at a dive bar, to tracking down old friends and protgs, to cold-calls, all to find that perfect fit. In the end, Juno-nominated Loryn Taggart was enlisted on keys, Carlos Coronado on bass, and Jordan Michaelis on drums to complete the band, and they started meeting and rehearsing to tackle the complex arrangements laid out in the studio. We started rehearsing and there was a spark there, like we had always been playing together adds Graham. Hearing the songs played live with full harmonies and a new energy was just exciting and motivating." 

The first song the band played together was "Gold", a tune that combines both a classic Canadiana rock vibe, and new-wave pop. It's both a warning and a self-examination about living to excess. Lyrics aside, it's a rocking tune whose simple opening riff is undeniably powerful and catchy as it carries through to the climactic solos at the end. "Sometimes you just pick up the guitar and the first thing you play is what you were looking for. That was the case with that tune." 

Elsewhere, "Everything Isn't Right For Your Heart" is a straight up dance-rock anthem that is sure to get everyone out of their seats and moving, while "Shout It Loud" is a brooding synth-pop-blues number. "I'm often trying to find that light in the darkness, either in my lyrics or in the song arrangement. This album came from that place - there's a peace to be found, but it takes some wallowing in the muck to get there." 

In addition to writing and performing, Chris Graham is also an award-winning producer and songwriter. He has worked with artists representing a variety of genres, from hard rock to children's music, from fledgling indie bands to Juno nominees, in his home studio, Sublime Media Works. He was also formerly the lead singer/guitarist for indie-rock band FIRExFIRE, and prior to that The Framework (Last Gang), both of whom reached Top 10 on campus radio and video charts across Canada. Chris has also written music for film and television, including scores for award-winning short films, Disney series and the FIFA World Cup. 

"There were no limits creating this music, he finishes. We want people to feel that when they experience it as well. There are so many different styles you can draw from nowadays, but in the end its about creating something memorable and redemptive - even in its darkest moments. I want to move people with this music, both physically, and emotionally" he concludes. 

Band Members