Eastborough
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Eastborough

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Pop Indie

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Music

Press


"NXNE 2013 Review"

It was then time for me to finally start hitting the showcases. At 8 p.m. I walked just a few steps west to the Drake Hotel, where I saw a well-attended set by Eastborough. I recalled being charmed by her voice and ukulele on her record Your Place, but hearing some of those songs live made all the difference. I had almost forgotten the urgency of “Soft Step” but remembered it again through Stefani Guzman’s great rendition of it. Guzman and her band also played several new songs, the best of which is called “Summer Youth,” a song influenced by her Costa Rican heritage. What made the set all the more amazing was that Guzman had apparently recently had surgery but still decided to play, even if she had to sit through the whole set. - Grayowl Point Blog


"Showcase announcement: Eastborough"

No noise complaints at this hotel party. Pop into The Drake Hotel on Thursday for a tuneful start to your Thursday night. On the bill: one-woman powerhouse Eastborough, whose 2012 NXNE show made our “best of the fest” compilation. - NXNE


"NXNE 2012 Review"

On a hunt to catch the best of this second night of concerts, we squeezed in just in time watch Eastborough perform with her 5 piece-band. I became aware of this Ottawa-native singer-songwriter earlier this year when she called upon my heart with her genuine debut album Your Place, composed out of romantic sensitivity and undeniable gift for humble indie-pop arrangements. Lo-fi compositions were then turned into an energetic mellow-rock by her energetic delivery - she once “sang in a punk band” she said- and it shows. - Indecent Exposure.Com


"Eastborough NXNE 2012 @ The Piston"

Now who can honestly say they dislike the sound of a ukulele? Not many people – and I am certainly not among them. So when Stefani Guzman, the heart and mind behind Toronto’s EASTBOROUGH, whipped out a uke by the third song of the band’s NXNE set, it’s probably safe to say that everyone was totally digging it.

I’ve already proclaimed my love for EASTBOROUGH’s music, but this was my first time seeing them live. Surrounded by a bevy of excellent musicians – including the drummer from perennial iM love interest CAI.RO – I’m glad to say that Guzman did not disappoint, and her brand of quirky folk-power-pop clearly won over the crowd.

Her songs are just solid all-around (which is why one of them was included on the “Best of NXNE 2012" album), and they were executed very well live. The band was super tight, and the excellent sound at The Piston really complemented them. There was also a good variety of interesting instrumentation – xylophone, handclap/tambourine samples, and the aforementioned ukulele – that kept it feeling fresh throughout the set.

EASTBOROUGH doesn’t play super frequently in the TO area, but here’s hoping that will change soon. They’re certainly a great act to catch and the next time they’re back in the area, I strongly recommend that you be there! - The Indie Machine // Shawn Burgess


"NXNE 2012 Live Review"

"Eastborough had the unenviable task of being the first performance of the night, no mean feat with the sun blazing outside The Piston, turning its back room into an oven. But they won me over with a testament to the “less is more” school of performance art that saw their sound assume a more distinguished tone when they benched certain members and embrace those instruments (ukelele, mouth organ) rarely pushed into the spotlight. Such moves might come off as twee but in this case, ‘twee’ is not a four-letter word." - Shaw Connect- Music (Gavin Crisp)


"Indie Machine Album Review"

Every now and then a song will enter my brain, and I am completely unable to rid myself of it unless I listen to it 1,000,000 times. During a recent stint at Indie Pool, this is exactly what happened with EASTBOROUGH’s Soft Step; after one listen I knew I was doomed.

Fortunately I found the rest of the band’s excellent debut album Your Place, released this past September, to sate my poor ears. The record is full of fun, upbeat female-fronted indie-pop tracks, with a definite tendency towards the quirky (my favourite adjective). But don’t take my word for it, give a listen to standout single Soft Step and the xylophone, ukulele, and accordion-laced Shuffle and Slide below (and if you like it, be sure to pick up the whole album).

Like a surprisingly large number of good Toronto-based bands these days, EASTBOROUGH is an import from Ottawa, and lead singer and brains-behind-the-operation Stefani Guzman is doing a great job establishing the band in The Big Smoke. Don’t miss the band’s NXNE showcase at The Piston on June 14 - The Indie Machine


"Interview/Album review "Your Place""

Eastborough washes in with the wave of talented female artists making significantly good indie-pop music.

Your Place is Eastborough’s very first LP, and is strictly constituted of beautifully crafted tunes. The 10 tracks on the album take turns swimming in and out of folk, dream-pop, and acoustic, while keeping a lo-fi quality, allowing Guzman’s vibrant and distinctive vocals to shine through. Comfort can also be found in these original songs, made of catchy melodies and uneasy lyrics, making them quite endearing. Indeed, all of this sounds very cute, but it is also driven and edgy. This album also includes beautiful arrangements of strings, guitar, ukulele, glockenspiel, and brass; all are very well-orchestrated and incorporated, enhancing the depth of the pieces and making none of them ever sound ditty.

.. this singer-songwriter has got herself a distinctive sound and good direction; nothing about her or her album seems feigned or forced. Let’s then simply hope for her thriving success.

- Indecent Xposure


""Your Place" Review"

Once again I have fallen prey to a ukelele and a pretty voice. So it goes for Stefani Guzman, otherwise known as Eastborough. Your Place is a solid collection of indie-pop songs that will be sure to stick around in your head for a while.

One of the most stellar songs on the album starts off the album- the playful “Shuffle & Slide.” I could easily see this song being marketed for the purpose of an advertisement- it’s lighthearted and fun, featuring the lovely ukulele and some xylophone key tapping.

“Soft Step” kicks up the energy a little bit, particularly in the chorus as Guzman sings “Where are we running to?” The synths also present in the chorus don’t feel at all gratuitous.”Absent President” even has a bit of a rock vibe.

“Stop” is a good song that showcases Guzman’s diversity. It would be a regular medium-tempo pop number were it not for the great horns (which are also forcefully present in the title track among other places) and the whispering background vocals of another band member.

“Having Fun Yet” has a lot going on- it starts with the strumming of a ukulele and adds in what sounds like an accordion and some background vocals before Guzman pitches her own vocals. Pretty soon, little touches like a shaker and finger snaps come in, and before you know it a full song has bloomed out of what sounded at first like something very sparse.

Of course, Your Place isn’t filled with just playful pop numbers. “When You Ask” is a heartfelt, sombre song featuring a line that has stuck in my mind: “This heart is burning but the flames aren’t showing.” As well, “You Call I Fold,” while slower-paced, may be the most album’s most powerful song. The vocal exclamations make the song sound like a rallying cry.

Your Place is the perfect album to play on a bright sunny day to get your mood even better. You’ll be charmed, to say the least.

Top Tracks: “Shuffle & Slide”; “When You Ask”; “You Call, I Fold”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) - Grayowl Point Blog


"..And the Hits Just Keep On Comin'"

"The musical landscape is dramatically changing and Stefani Guzman, and her musical project of Eastborough, are living proof of that truth...

‘Shuffle and Slide’ kicks off the record with a dancey, pluck-rhythmic melody that skips along sidewalks and careens along with a happy spirit. Guzman repeats the words ‘I don’t care/I don’t know because I’m letting go’ over and over with a cool, carefree tone. One of the strongest tracks of the record, though, is the third song ‘Absent President’ that bolsters the listener forward on a soundscape of strong-strumming acoustic guitars and a speeding drumbeat. The line ‘the sun always shines through the shadows of the ones we’ve lost’ seems to remind Guzman of a memory that keeps her going.

Guzman’s vocals are strong and often layered to perfection – not to the point of overkill but just on the threshold of making a listening audience sit up and stick their ears closer to the speaker. ‘Your Place’ has a good sonic variety, pumping out strong, break-neck electro-rock at times and hanging back with soulful folksiness at others (with mellow moments like the acoustic/cello-based ‘When You Ask’).

..‘Your Place’ is a record that will boost your spirits on a solemn Sunday afternoon. Eastborough are the watermark of a strong songwriter and a strong musical troupe who have not let years between projects weaken their attack. As only the third major release from Eastborough, it’s obvious that Guzman and crew are on to something promising, here...." - Matt Mckechnie


"Woah! Music Interview"

"Front lady, Stefani Guzman, molds lively pop songs with great lyrical depth, and a complimentary splash of electro for all the young at heart music enthusiasts." - Woah! Music Blog


"The Drake Hotel Tweets love for Eastborough"

Eastborough celebrates her CD launch @7PM // $7 + we love it. We've been tapping our toes to 'Soft Step' all morning. - The Drake Hotel


"Ottawa Sun EP Review"

Boasting a small-scale wall-of-sound feel, songs such as the pretty "You Call I Fold" and the upbeat "Instrumental" display a wealth of promise for such a tender band. And, the band members insist, they are only the beginning.

-Alan Wigney - Ottawa Sun


"Eastborough in Chart Attack"

“Eastboroughs’ performances are energetic and engaging…they’ve stumbled upon a great thing”

- Chart Attack


"National Capital Rock Live Review"

As I walked into Zaphod's last night, Eastborough was already partly into their set. Frontwoman Stefani Guzman already has a slew of CDs to her credit; her latest outfit includes Nina Langfield and Aedan Helmer on guitar, Paul Mahar on bass and Justin Purvis on drums. This was my first time seeing them live, and I was immediately struck by how well-suited they were to share a stage with The Polytones. Both bands are born out of similar streams of melodic pop, indie rock and punk. I think they might also appeal to fans of Rebekah Higgs or Tegan and Sara..

-Andrew Carver - National Capital Rock


"Upfront Mag Live Review"

The first band up is five-piece Eastborough, led by front-girl Stefani Guzman, acoustic guitar in hand. The show kicks off, and the venue changes from relaxed to energetic, soulful indie rock slamming into the ears of the patrons. Stefani puts every part of herself into the performance, never missing a note on her crisp toned acoustic guitar or in her punky, yet angelic vocals...a sizeable audience is at the front, hooked and enthralled by Eastborough.

-PW - Upfront Magazine


"Indie Week Live Review"

Ottawa musician Stefani Guzman also performed solo sans backing band and was one of the highlights of the night. Alternating between playing the acoustic guitar and the ukulele, Guzman rocked both instruments, strumming with a bit of a punk authority to her singer-songwriter tunes. “Electricity” rocks with a full-band indie rock/punk sound on her album but worked just as well, maybe even better, during Guzman’s stripped-down set, focusing more on her fast playing guitar style and fine singing. There was a sizable crowd for her set too, filling the normally small venue. With her youthful, Tegan and/or Sara-like vocals, Guzman ran through as many songs as she could during her brief, 20 minute set. While a bit on the short side, Guzman made every song and minute worth hearing.
- Jon Brazeau/Indie Week Toronto


Discography

2015 "Winter Fire" single

2011 "Your Place" Full length CD 

(iTunes & CD Baby)
*Awarded The City of Ottawa's grant for Popular Music

*Charted (Earshot)
St.John's CHMR 93.5
Guelph CFRU 93.3
St.Catherines CFBU 103.7
Sydney, NS CAPR
Halifax CKDU 88.1
Ottawa CHUO 89.1
Lethbridge CKXU 88.3

#122 Earshot November Chart

2010 "Shuffle & Slide" single (iTunes & CDBaby)

2006 Self-Titled EP (iTunes & CDBaby)

Photos

Bio

Eastborough is the brainchild of Ottawa-native singer/songwriter Stefanie Guzman, who has been performing and releasing music in a variety of musical genres since her teens.

She debuted as an angsty folk singer, playing the main stage at the Ottawa Folk Festival after winning a spot through live audition. She then fronted The Hussies, a punk rock outfit, releasing a demo and EP before meeting the musicians who would help form the first incarnation of Eastborough. 

Eastborough was quick to release a self-titled EP which received local praise, but it was a move to Toronto in 2010, and a partnership with producer Adam King (Jill Barber, Jully Black, the Good Lovelies), that solidified Eastborough's sound. 

The 2011 full length "Your Place", charted nationally on campus radio, breaking into the top 10 in St.Johns, Ottawa, Sydney, St.Catherines, Halifax and Guelph as well as garnering a spot on Earshot's top 200. The band regularly performed the festival circuit (NXNE, Indie Week, Canadian Music Week etc).

The single "Winter Fire" was released in 2015 which introduced listeners to a more simplified, guitar heavy sound for the band prior to a hiatus. 

In 2020, Stefanie joined forces with producer/ drummer Guillermo Subauste to reignite Eastborough. Guillermo followed a similar path through sound engineering, writing and performing in a variety of musical genres working with Said the Whale, the Sadies, Whitehorse, & Sarah Harmer.

Eastborough is excited to be teaming up with Adam King again and are currently working on new tracks for an upcoming release.

Highlights

  • Full length debut "Your Place" awarded the City of Ottawa's Grant for Popular Music 
  • "Soft Step" (from "Your Place") released in partnership with TuneCore on NXNE 2012's 'Best of the Fest' compilation
  • "Shuffle & Slide" (from "Your Place") placement in City TV's "Out There w/ Melissa DiMarco"
  • "Messages" (from "Your Place") selected for the indie film "We Made This Movie" in partnership with Red Bull Soundstage
  • Red Bull Soundstage Top 10 finalist to play The David Letterman show
  • "Winter Fire" awarded Factor grant

Band Members