Caroline Keating
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Caroline Keating

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Abgehört: Die wichtigsten CDs der Woche"

We've waited an eternity for "Silver Heart" to appear. The only interesting acts to come along since have been Lana del Rey, and in between the inevitable Adele Adkins, as well as Montreal's somewhat less interesting Beatrice Martin (Coeur de Pirate)with two LPs. Caroline Keating's pale blue piano notes don't have much in common with the above, but can rather be compared with Regina Spektor (the posh, effusive vocals), Roy Orbison (the strings) and three or four pieces of early Tori Amos. Keating is still surprisingly young, but already it chirps like a corpse on vacation, not only about her city and false love, but also about Billy Joel ("Used to cry along to 'New York State Of Mind") making her automatically a good person. He who has the good fortune to know Keating's demos, will find on "Silver Heart" the wonderful "Ghosts" and "So Long, Solange" as well as new tracks such as the superhard "One": "She knows what freckle hides behind your left ear / She Knows what team you played in your college years / But I am the one. " We hear the over-sensitive, but also enjoyable debut and ask yourself: Sing now because Claude Jade and Kate Bush's illegitimate daughter? Search 'through the eyes of a target. There may be a pretext. (7.3) Jan Wigger - Der Spiegel Online (DE)

"Pop-Festival in Montreal: Kanadische Schönheiten"

"If record companies still have any interest in good music, this art history student sould soon receive worldwide fame." (Excerpt) - Der Spiegel Online (DE)

"Silver Heart Review"

Once hailed as the anglo Coeur de Pirate (or was it the other way around?), Caroline Keating took her sweet time putting together this debut LP, and it was well worth the wait. Here’s a record which instantly feels as warm and comfortable as an old sweater, as sweet and endearing as an old friend. While most of the songs are built around Keating’s wonderfully textured voice and her simple but effective piano melodies, she also gets assists on some tracks from such great local players as Miles Perkin (upright bass), Robbie Kuster (drums), Brad Barr (guitar), Chris Seligman (French horn), Sebastian Chow (violin) and Socalled (accordion). Lovely. - The Hour

"Rolling Stone (DE) Silver Heart Review"

People who have seen Caroline Keating live are infatuated and list Kate Bush or Edie Brickell as closest comparisons. Great names, but the singer/pianist has the kind of magic that could see her become something great as well. On her debut album, she sings sparsely arranged songwriter pop, at times fragile, at times experimental, but always committed to melody. - Rolling Stone (DE)

"Miracle Fortress + Young Galaxy + Caroline Keating et plus @ Il Motore"

...Caroline Keating en est aussi un bon exemple. Celle qu’on a souvent décrite comme étant le pendant anglophone de Cœur de pirate a lancé son premier album, Silver Heart, en avril dernier. On ne peut pas dire que cette sortie ait fait d’énormes vagues chez nous alors que l’artiste jouit d’une popularité grandissante en Europe. La voix douce et mélancolique de Keating a un petit je-ne-sais-quoi d’apaisant et de touchant à la fois. Vendredi soir, ce sera son dernier concert local avant une tournée qui la mènera en Autriche, en Allemagne et en Italie.
... - Journal Métro

"Caroline Keating: A square peg in a round hole"

It wouldn’t be the first time Canadians invaded Germany. From GrimSkunk to Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Rufus Wainwright to We Are Wolves, Montreal artists of many descriptions have enjoyed the amiability and approbation of German fans for the better part of the last two decades, availing themselves of the German music-consuming public’s customary open-mindedness.

And it seems the Teutonic tribes have taken an early shine to Montreal singer, songwriter and pianist Caroline Keating, who recently released her independently produced and distributed debut album, the polished and poised, thematically free-ranging Silver Heart. It is, as our German friends might say, wunderbar.

While yet to brave the vast and chilly – often in ways more than just meteorological – expanse that is Canada, Keating is readying herself for her fourth tour of Germany. For someone who humbly acknowledges modest-size hometown audiences so far (excluding her recent max-capacity album launch at the warmly gorgeous St. Louis Chapel in the historic St. Jean Baptiste Church on Rachel St.), Keating has cultivated a committed following over yonder.

Remarkably, it all began when widely read German current-affairs magazine Der Spiegel published a favourable review of a Keating performance at M for Montreal (a showcase of up-and-coming local bands for international media and music-industry types). In the wake of that, Keating says, she was flooded with inquiries.

“The next morning, my Gmail was overflowing with friend requests – remember those? – and they all had German names,” recalls Keating. “I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ And there were bookers who were saying, ‘Come tour! Come tour!’ And I had, like, 10 songs. I didn’t even have an album. And I’m thinking, ‘I don’t want to tour, I’m not ready.’ And finally this one booker really appealed to me, because he was 22 and he worked with independent promoters and venues, and it really worked out.

“The way they treat musicians is incredible. I’m going for a month and a half. My favourite thing about playing in Germany is feeling that connection with a crowd that doesn’t even share your first language – it’s crazy! To see a room full of people and they know the words to your songs … Germans seem to have more willingness to take a risk and go listen to something they’ve never heard of. And they listen – they’re very attentive audiences.”

That Keating has been the beneficiary of that embrace is, in many ways, not even remotely surprising. There’s something about the music that’s suggestive of early-20th-century German cabaret, in both the playfulness and the pathos of its sometimes darkly coloured thematic underpinnings. She has a flair for intimacy and sentimentality that would not be lost on the 1920s German psyche, while remaining utterly contemporary and unmistakably “indie,” for all that means.

“I had a kind of crush on Germany before any of this started. I tried to learn German in university, and I studied art history and I really loved German expressionism, so maybe there’s something there. They’re very introspective, definitely, if we’re going to stereotype a whole country!”

Originally from Quebec City (“I left at 17 and that was that”), the 24-year-old – who plays piano and Wurlitzer on Silver Heart – has enjoyed much in the way of musical support from her present-day Montreal base. One need look no farther than the stellar list of contributors to the album: drummer extraordinaire Tony Albino, bassist Miles Perkin (Common Thread and Miles Perkin Quartet), Josh (Socalled) Dolgin on accordion, violinist Sebastian Chow (Islands), the Barr Brothers’ Brad Barr on guitar, Robbie Kuster (from Patrick Watson’s band), Chris Seligman of Stars on French horn, and cellist Kristina Koropecki (of Mark Berube and the Patriotic Few).

The support of her Montreal peers could be taken as testament to their faith in her musical permanence, though her geographical permanence is much more tenuous. Keating has pronounced itinerant tendencies, a quality that fortunately befits the semi-nomadic lifestyle of the committed indie musician.

“I lived in Halifax for four months last summer, I went to Switzerland as well for half a year, and I pick up and move apartments like crazy … I haven’t been a homebody in a long time,” says Keating, who is, true to form, about to embark on another move, this time from one Mile End lodging to another. “There’s something about moving, changing contexts, changing environments that really inspires me.”

This bouncing about finds her dropping in and out of the Montreal music scene – which, according to Keating, has apparently unlimited forgiveness when it comes to her sometimes protracted absences.

“I feel huge support. ‘Community’ is, I believe, the word. I can leave and come back and people haven’t forgotten. I think there’s a lot of respect between musicians, and from promoters to musicians, especially independent artists. People like Pop Montreal do so much for acts like me – they’ve really given me a chance.

“I don’t know why.”

Anyone who’s ever listened to her knows why. While certainly onside with Canadian woman-and-a-piano predecessors such as Sarah McLachlan and Chantal Kreviazuk, Keating brings a little more of the extra and unexpected to the table, regularly going off-road in her writing, calling to mind more refreshingly eccentric contemporaries such as New York’s idiosyncratically inclined Regina Spektor, of whom she is a fan. And in the current Montreal indie music context, she admits to feeling like something of a square peg in a round hole.

“It’s kind of odd because I feel like it’s very electro-poppy in Montreal right now, like Grimes and Mozart’s Sister – acts that I think are so awesome – but I can’t help but wonder where something a little more handmade fits in. I sometimes wonder if that’s being phased out in music in general.”

Not that Keating is worried. In fact, she projects a kind of low-key fearlessness, especially as it relates to both songwriting and setting sail solo-style. But there is one thing.

“I’m not afraid at all of performing, and I’m not afraid of going out there and touring by myself, but I’m not into photo shoots,” says Keating. Indeed. The tastefully rendered album artwork on Silver Heart features merely a silhouette of its (it might be noted) very photogenic subject. “Those things scare me – I’m very camera shy. And I don’t know why! I’m really trying to work on it. If there was a way, y’know, there are those bands that have masks … ”

Here’s to hoping there’s not a Slipknot-style photo accompanying the next story on Keating.

“Maybe I’ll send you a cartoon or something.”

Silver Heart is available now.

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette - The Montreal Gazette

"In the shadow of Leonard Cohen: Montreal's brightest new singer-songwriters"

There really isn’t much beyond pianist Caroline Keating’s MySpace page to recommend her (provided, that is, you haven’t caught the slightly and delightfully offbeat songstress at South By Southwest, North By Northeast, Canadian Music Week, Pop Montreal, in Europe or any of the other myriad places she’s been plying her trade since the late ’90s). That may change as Keating – the musical and philosophical nexus point of New York’s Regina Spektor and Canada’s own Feist – continues to put the polish on her debut album. In the meantime, Montrealers will continue to avail themselves of her regular low-key appearances at small venues, for now, around town. - CBC Music


Silver Heart (Full-length 2012) - Glitterhouse Records (GERMANY/Poland) - College Radio Charts

Songs for Birds and People (Self-released demo, 2007)



An anglophone originally from Quebec City, Caroline has been based in Montreal since 2004. There, she quickly caught the eyes and ears of POP Montreal and the music community by playing cafes and small venues around the city. Now a veteran of the POP Montreal International Music Festival, M for Montreal, SXSW, CMW, and NXNE, her poetic piano pop has also taken her on two highly successful tours in Europe.

In April of 2012, Caroline independently released her debut album, "Silver Heart", to much critical acclaim in the chapel of l'glise Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Recorded with producer Drew Malamud (Metric, Stars) at Studio Plateau in Montreal, Silver Heart explores the subjects of vulnerability and reflection with lyrics narrating tales of isolation, belonging, youthful hope and obsessive love. The album's handcrafted pop seamlessly transforms from the sparse and breathy piano and voice on the title track to the driving drums and lyrical strings of Ghosts. Silver Heart was supported in part by the FACTOR Independent Sound Recording grant.

Keatings musical collaborators on the album read like a Montreal All-Star rolodex and include Miles Perkins (Lhasa de Sela) on upright bass, Robbie Kuster (Patrick Watson) on drums, Brad Barr (Barr Brothers) on guitar, Chris Seligman (Stars) on French horn, Sebastian Chow (Islands) on violin and Josh Dolgin (Socalled) on accordion.

"Silver Heart" was picked up by Glitterhouse Records in the fall of 2013 and has received favourable reviews in major European prints including Rolling Stone and Der Spiegel while appearing on European college radio charts.

In concert, she is backed by Sebastian Chow (Islands) on violin, and Matthew Perrin on the upright bass. Keating is currently on her third European tour (Spring 2013).

Band Members