Clea Roddick
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Clea Roddick

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | SELF

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | SELF
Band Folk Alternative


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"Looking To Be Heard"

Clea Roddick releases her new EP Songs of the Year: Vol. 1 with a show Sunday night (Jan. 16) at the Ironwood.

The old ways no longer work.
The new ways, well, they're there for you to discover.

That holds true in just about every field, just about every facet of life these days, with the music industry acting as something of a microcosm.

The way music is conceived, made, disseminated and consumed has altered so dramatically in the past few years that only those willing to adapt are those who will be heard.

Sitting in a Killarney coffee shop, Calgary songwriter Clea Roddick gives the impression she knows how to be heard - a good thing considering her art-soaked, pastoral folk pop deserves to be heard.
"Everything is changing, the whole landscape is shifting," Roddick says. "Kind of whatever we do now - everyone that's active in the industry - whatever we do is going to shape it really. It is exciting. It it's kind of scary, because it's unknown - there's no magic bullet. . . .
"But being more of an independent musician it's an exciting time because now I can get my music out there."

The artist's latest creations can be heard on a new five-track EP Songs of the Year: Vol. 1, which she'll release Sunday night with a show at the Ironwood. It's the first of four planned seasonally themed releases for 2011, with all of the tracks on the first one centred lyrically and mood-wise on the winter months.

But lest you think the disc is a one-note depressing downer, the tracks perfectly reflect the snow season in this part of the world, ranging from the crisp starlight-lit tundra sky opener Astronomy, to the bright, tinkly piano track Chickadee, which was inspired by the warmth chirp-filled respite of a chinooky day.

The four EP approach instead of the full-length release - as she did with her acclaimed 2010 solo release Rollerskate and with her previous band Palm & Sago- was done partly because she wanted to keep things fresh for herself, and work with self-imposed deadlines, allowing herself not to be as precious during the recording of the tracks, with her musical and life-partner Craig Newnes in the duo's home studio.

But it was also part of her understanding of the need for a new model in the way music finds its audience.

"Part of my plan is to go in small steps so that I can adjust as its adjusts," she says. "This EP idea is actually part of that plan. You could put all of your time and all of songs onto one big album - that's the older way of doing it. . . . What I'm trying to do is to give people a small group of songs that they can have for a few months and then more material soon after."

Another big part of Roddick's masterplan is to use the alternate methods of getting her music heard, which she had incredible success with during the promotion of Rollerskate. She hired a radio tracker in Minneapolis, who saw to it that one of the album's singles was added to more than 200 mainly campus stations around North America.

Roddick also focused on the increasingly symbiotic relationship between the TV and film industries and her own, getting songs licensed to a number of MTV shows including Cribs, The Hills and Real World - the latter of which actually placed one of her tracks during an episode.

It all adds up to exposure and, yes, income.

And as a mother of two who's reluctant to hit the road and tour extensively, she's proud that she's managed to maintain a personal life without sacrificing - in fact, probably enhancing - her career, and now she's doing her best to share to model with fellow local artists in hopes that they can all learn from one another and succeed together.

"I love Calgary - I think there's incredible talent. And I want it to be more about Calgary going out into the world," she says. "I think we have all the tools right now . . . and we do have the freedom now to have our music everywhere."

As for what's next for her, what other avenues she'll explore, Roddick says she's open to, well, virtually anything.

She even points to the newest trend in Japan, Hatsune Miku, a fabricated pop star that's been topping the charts and performing sold-out shows throughout the country as a 3-D hologram.
"I need one of those," she says laughing.

mbell@calgaryherald.comFollow me on twitter at mrbell_23
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- Calgary Herald

"Album Review: Clea Roddick-Songs of The Year: Vol 1 EP"

Calgary songstress Clea Roddick has the entrancing voice of a lark, the soul of a cheeky storyteller, and the heart of a passionate poet.

Her newest release entitled Songs of the Year: Volume 1 is the first in a series of four seasonal EPs which will be released this year. She has found a creative way to combine her affection for nature with her distinctive voice and cleverly composed lyrics. The release party for Songs of the Year: Volume 1 is at Calgary’s Ironwood Stage & Grill, on Sunday, January 16 at 8 p.m.

This series of EPs follows the indie hit that was her inaugural 2009 full-length album Rollerskate.

This compilation captures the inherent beauty of winter in five very lively and diverse songs. Roddick’s musical dexterity shines through in this album. Her folk and rock influences provide a powerful combustion for the listener’s ear. According to her website, Roddick worked on this album with a variety of talent from Calgary, her band mates, and even a pair of musician friends that stayed with her during their tour.

The first track Astronomy is a sweet and wondrous piano-infused ditty that talks about the mystical stars in the sky and how they compare to the love in our hearts. Sundog is a jazz-filled song that compares nature’s traits to those of humans. It also provides a lyrically brilliant description of the rainbow-like ring that surrounds the sun on very cold, yet sunny days.

Chickadee is a light-hearted tribute to the winged creature who keeps singing all winter long. In many ways, Roddick’s voice and personality can be compared to that of a chickadee, because, as the lyrics in this song state, she doesn’t ‘let a moment go without rejoicing.’

Neighbour pokes fun at the current day and age when people seem to be wary to get to know even the people next door. The chorus of this song contains quite a cunning quip that articulates this fact perfectly. ‘I’ve been told not to talk to strangers, you’ve been told to watch your back. How will we make it through the ages, when we don’t even know the neighbours?’

The album concludes with the soft and romantic tune I Will Come Back. It is a song filled with tones of loving hope, and the sadness that comes from having to say good-bye, if even only for a while.

Clocking in at just under 20 minutes in length, this brief yet poignant CD is a perfect introduction to Roddick’s four-disc series showcasing each season of the year. Serene yet energetic, it will certainly warm the heart and soul on any winter’s day.

Songs of the Year: Volume 1 is available for purchase on iTunes and the store on Roddick’s website.

By: Kathy Gallant - NxEW

"Perfect Musical Specimen"

"A sound that cannot be captured with words...not one throwaway lyric to be heard"
- Mary-Lynn McEwen-

"Cheryl Catherine Smith Peer Reviews Clea Roddick’s Track Rollerskate"

As a female singer/songwriter I am a huge supporter of other gals in the biz and I was drawn to this review for this purpose – support! After listening to this song several times I am left believing that Clea doesn’t really need my support as I’m sure she has the support of many already! There’s a lovely quirky vulnerable quality to Clea Roddick’s voice, a voice that entices us gladly into a song entitled “Rollerskate”, that she “loves to ride on.” Her interesting lyrics bring a pondering – are they serving as double entendres, allusions to a longing for a peaceful world harmony or is this simply a song about how much she loves rollerskating? I believe that it is all of the above, which then lends to a further belief that this is a well crafted & thought out song, despite it’s low-fi and almost casual approach. The be-bopping beat leaves me feeling somehow refreshed & her endearing voice with the cool bends helps soothe the “savage beast” (?!) within. - Raised On Indie


Clea Roddick 'Songs of The Year' EP Series (2011)
Clea Roddick - "Rollerskate" (2009)
Beautiful Dreamers Compilation (2007)
Palm and Sago - s/t EP (2004)
Clea Roddick -"Rise Up" EP (2000)


2011 - 'Songs of the Year:Vol.1' Charting at #17 on Earshot
(Canada’s independent radio chart)

2011 - Finalist in Ship and Anchor/Calgary Folk Music Festival Songwriting Contest

2010/11 - ‘Songs of the Year: Vol. 1’ added to over 200 college/independent radio stations

2010 featured song "Rocks and Weeds" on MTV
(The Real World)

2010 - Feature artist on Alberta Music Industry Compilation

2010 - Showcase appearances at SXSW in Austin, Texas

2010 - Feature artist on Market Collective Compilation
2009/10 - Licensed by MTV, VH1 & E!TV
(shows include: My Life as Liz, Cribs, The Hills, The City, The Kardashians and Tough Love)

2009 - ‘Rollerskate’ Radio Airplay on over 220 North American College/Independent Radio Stations
(charting/heavy Rotation on over 30 stations including #1 in New York and #5 in Montreal)

2009 - Semi Finalist Fuel 90.3 FM Rockstar Contest

2009 Top - 10 Finalist Energy 101.5 FM JUNO Contest

2008/09 - Alberta Radio Airplay on CJSW, MIX97.7, X92, CKUA, Fuel 90.3

2009 - Semi Finalist in UK Songwriting Contest

2009 - Featured Artist on ‘Songwriters Dream’ Compilation

2007 - Finalist in Calgary Folk Fest Songwriter Contest

2007 - Featured Artist on ‘Beautiful Dreamers’ Compilation

2007 - Banff Centre / Prairie Fire Press Poetry Contest Winner

2006 - Finalist in Calgary Folk Fest Songwriter Contest



Dubbed “where street meets book," Clea Roddick grew up on an off-the-grid ranch in northern Alberta. Spending much of her time outdoors, she learned how to find scraps of song in ordinary things like the patterning of leaves, the rhythm of street sweepers or the scrunch of cold snow.

Clea records her piano based tracks (that range from live off the floor jams to gorgeous arrangements) with a cast of local talent, her band mates, touring musicians spending the night on her couch, and her family and neighbours.

Her recent EP, ‘Songs of the Year: Vol. 1’ was added to over 200 college and independent radio stations and reached #17 on Earshot in 2011. The ‘Songs of the Year’ EP series follows her 2009 debut release ‘Rollerskate,’ which charted at #1 on NYC’s M3 Radio for five weeks and was featured on MTV’s ‘The Real World’.