Ghost Caravan
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Ghost Caravan

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2016
Solo Electronic Pop




"Interview: Ghost Caravan"

Ever since I discovered and reviewed the Canadian band Crooked House Road; I have been intrigued and fascinated by Shaina Silver-Baird. I ask her about the new venture, Ghost Caravan, and whether her poetic/personal lyrics/music would remain here. She talks about the Flume and Chet Faker cover, Drop the Game, and why she decided to tackle that song – and what it was like meeting Martha & the Muffins at a tribute concert. Curious about Crooked House Road and the Canadian music scene: Silver-Baird recommends a couple of artists to look out for and why Canada is producing such great music right now. She goes on to talk about tour dates and whether there is any new music brewing. I quiz her about the future of Ghost Caravan and whether we here in the U.K. will see her perform soon.

Hi, Shaina, how are you? How has your week been?

It’s been great! Been spending a lot of time in the studio working on new songs and releasing the new video has been exciting.

For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?

I’m a singer/songwriter and actor who started out in Folk music and I have recently moved into Indie, Electronic and Soul with the solo project, Ghost Caravan. I want to continue to push in that direction: personal/poetic lyrics coupled with grand, dramatic tracks. It’s such an exciting sound; very contemporary and yet derived from something deeper and older.

‘Ghost Caravan’ is an intriguing moniker and idea. What is the inspiration behind that name?

Partly, I love the images it inspires. It’s a very visceral phrase and lyrically that’s the kind of thing I’m drawn to.

It was also inspired by the fact that I write from a very personal place and I have lost a lot of people in my life.

My past experiences and my memories of these people feel like ghosts that constantly inform my creative life. My music is about understanding deep emotional experiences, but also about looking to the positive in life. I write from a personal place and find it relatively impossible not to give myself over completely to a song when I’m performing it. People can expect our shows to be intimate. However, the music is quite epic in scope so there will be that duality. Hopefully, we’ll have an experience together.

You started the project after a one-off song with Electronic artist Matt Fudge – at a Martha & the Muffins tribute concert. What was the reception like from that show in Toronto? Was it, literally, a case of that reaction told you there was a definite desire for your Pop style/Ghost Caravan?

I’ve always been drawn to Soul/Pop/Electronic music as a listener. But, I’d never worked electronically before – that was completely foreign to me. That initial collaboration with Matt Fudge was very exciting because it opened up a whole new way of working on music. I could dream it and we could create it: we didn’t need to source a cello player to test what strings would sound like. He could just program it.

I’d say that first one-off performance was definitely the catalyst. I’m very rarely nervous to perform but that day I was.

I was singing a Martha & the Muffins song and they were there! I was scared I wasn’t going to do their work justice but it ended up being the complete opposite. They loved the performance as did the rest of the audience. Without that performance, I’m sure this project never would have happened. I’ve actually gone on to co-write a few songs with Martha and Mark (from Martha & the Muffins)!

Graham Stairs approached you after that performance. How important has he and Popguru management been to you and launching Ghost Caravan?

He’s been absolutely integral. We’ve been focused on development and generating material over the past year and he’s been a support and guiding force through the whole thing. He’s been a successful staple of the music industry for years and I’m so lucky to be able to draw on his knowledge. He’s especially experienced in recognizing and developing talent and I feel lucky to have been picked out of the crowd.

In terms of the sound of Ghost Caravan; which new and legendary artists, if any, do you take inspiration from?

So many! Recently I’ve been very inspired by London Grammar, Ibeyi; Joy Williams, Ann Vriend; Lorde and, of course, Adele.

Heart was your first single – released last May. What was the inspiration behind that?

I’m both an actor and a musician, and while I love what I do, both industries can be emotionally taxing at times. I was going through a rough period and realising how lucky I was to have deep love in my life. It’s a universal story but it’s the love of my man, my family and friends that get me through the hard days. That’s what the song is about.

Drop the Game, the Flume and Chet Faker cover, is online – shot at Burdock Music Hall in Toronto. What has the reaction been to that video and what was the idea behind covering that song? Is it a track that resonates within you?

The feedback has been really positive and I’m so proud of the whole team for their work on this video. Graham actually introduced me to the song and I just found it so addictive. I listened to the original version on repeat for a week.

It’s a different format than I usually write: the arrangement is unconventional; using layering of different sections instead of the standard song structure to build the track.

I wanted to play with that and see if we could make it our own. I think we achieved that. I get so excited whenever I get to incorporate strings into a song! So, on a personal level, introducing that element to the song was exciting. I do a happy-dance every time the cello comes out in rehearsal.

I know you from Crooked House Road. Are the band still operating and releasing new material? Are you concentrating on Ghost Caravan or balancing solo and band work?

Crooked House Road is still operating and playing gigs! All the members of that band though are focused on solo/other music projects at the moment; so we’re taking a break from developing new material. But, there may be some new songs coming in the near-future. For now, I’m focused on Ghost Caravan and developing this new sound.

Are there plans for an E.P. or more music later this year?

We have at least an album’s-worth of material at this point but we’re biding our time and trying to find the perfect match of tracks for the Ghost Caravan sound. There may be an E.P., there may be a couple singles or there may even be and exciting music video project (I can’t talk about yet). You’ll just have to watch our website and social media for updates!

I know you will be performing some dates, too. Where can people catch you? Any plans to come to the U.K. anytime soon?

We’re playing our first gig of the year at The Burdock Music Hall in Toronto on 1st June. No plans to come to the U.K. yet – but it’s definitely on the bucket list.

I’m actually working with producer/songwriter Joe Thompson (from Bristol) on a song right now so I’ll definitely have to find an excuse to come play the tune in the U.K.

As a busy Canadian musician, you must have dreams and aims for the coming years. How do you see your music growing and developing?

I’m always collaborating with new people and each voice involved has an effect on the sound. We’re still experimenting and with each new track we hone in more closely on the Ghost Caravan sound. It’s an exciting process. Several of the tracks are quite epic in scope and would lend themselves well to film. Bringing my industries together through providing music for film soundtracks is definitely a goal. Eventually I’d love the opportunity to bring the music to a larger live audience at major festivals. Live performance is where I thrive so that’s definitely a part of our plans.

I love investigating Canadian artists because they get overlooked by the international press. Do you feel Canada gets ignored in regards its music? What is the scene like in areas like Toronto at the moment?

I’m steeped in the Canadian market so I am constantly exposed to Canadian artists but I recognize there are many amazing Canadian acts the rest of the world is completely unaware of. I would definitely encourage music lovers the world over to look past Canada’s Pop stars to our independent acts.

We have a thriving community and I am constantly amazed by the talent that surrounds me.

Any night of the week you can find great concerts all over Toronto: sometimes the biggest challenge is choosing.

If you had to select the three albums that have meant most to you which would they be and why?

The Oh Wonder album – It seems to be the perfect soundtrack to my life over the past year. I find myself returning to it again and again. It’s just so damn catchy and yet calming at the same time.

Ella Fitzgerald – all of them. I was raised on her Jazz standards and she got me singing even when I was a tone deaf child.

Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars – they represent a totally different style from what I’m writing now – but that album taught me so much about story-telling through song.

Are there any new/upcoming artists you advise we keep an eye out for this year at all?

Mirian. She sings with me in Crooked House Road but has an amazing solo Urban/R&B project.

Grand Analog. I’d say Toronto’s funkiest, most-fun live Hip-Hop band. Not to be missed.

What advice would you give to any new artists coming through right now?

Biggest advice: don’t try to do this alone. Find other musicians and people in the industry who want to create with you.

A great song isn’t created through ego.

My best songs have been co-writes and I always want to use the best lyrics or melody line – if the other writer wrote a better hook than me, that’s the one we’ll use. Write music you WANT to listen to.

Finally, and for being a good sport, you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that)

Shift by Wilderness of Manitoba (Canadian Folk band that just released a new album. Can’t wait to listen to it straight through but this song has been ringing in my head since I heard it.) - MusicMusingsAndSuch

"Song of the Week: Ghost Caravan: Heart"

“Heart”’s thunderous bass overtakes your senses in the latest from Ghost Caravan. But as you’re falling deep into a trance, Shaina Silver-Barid’s stunning vocals rescue you and pull up into their lofty echo.

Don’t dismiss this track as another cathedral-reaching electro-pop song: Ghost Caravan’s “Heart” is nothing short of a real gem. - Razmataz Magazine

"Interview - Ghost Caravan"

Ghost Caravan, also known as Shaina Silver-Baird, combines elements of electronic, soul, and orchestral music to create her powerful, emotional songs. Using the feeling of loss that she has unfortunate amounts of experience with, she creates music that she feels, even though somewhat dark, is still uplifting. Her music can be used as a reminder from those that have passed on that life is still going forward, as should we. She recently released her single “Heart’ via The Confidence Emperors, a collaboration between herself, Matthew Fudge (Pyramid Tropic) and JUNO Award winning Martha Johnson (Martha and the Muffins). We had the chance to ask her a few questions about her music, inspirations, and much more.

First of all, would you like to introduce yourself to our readers who may not be familiar with you?

I’m a Toronto based singer/songwriter and actor. Readers may previously know me as the lead singer of folk band Crooked House Road. Recently I’ve branched out and started a solo project: Ghost Caravan.

You harness the powerful emotions behind loss in your music, why is this such a strong inspiration for you?

It’s something I’ve gone through a lot and it’s very much shaped who I am. I don’t feel tied down by it, but when you lose someone at a young age it leaves a dramatic imprint on you. From big to small, there are losses in our everyday lives and I think the fight and triumph of overcoming them is something people relate to. I’m not interested in dwelling in grief. It’s the struggle and determination to keep moving forward that I find compelling.

How do you combine the elements of electronic, soul, and orchestral music to make your songs, when separately these genres are so different from each other?

I think the fact that they are so different makes them very complementary. Most of my favourite projects are genre bending. I love hearing jazz sax in hip hop, or electro beats behind string quartets. It’s surprising and it makes people sit up and listen. And I think that’s what people are interested in – something new. In today’s market we’re oversaturated with amazingly talented artists. So I want to write good songs that are surprising and break the mould a little.

You recently released your single, “Heart” a collaboration between you, Matthew Fudge and Martha Johnson. What was the writing and recording process like?

If I had to pick one word I’d say “organic.” “Heart” was actually my first collaboration with both Matt and Martha so there was something really special and exciting about the experience of finding two new collaborators who inspire and challenge me. I already had an early version of the lyrics and melody, so Matt and I met in the studio and just started playing with it. Arranging, orchestrating and mostly finding places to cut! Like most of my songs, I came in with far too many sections – I think 2 different choruses and 6 verses. He’s great at knowing how to streamline a song and how to push me to greater heights. Once we had a demo, Martha and I got together and rewrote the lyrics. She asked what the song was about, what my images were, what I was trying to say… every stone got turned over. It was great because it put me on the spot. I couldn’t let a line slide just because I thought it was a clever metaphor. Everything needed to link into the story and the poetry.

Do you prefer working with other artists when creating music or on your own? How do the processes differ?

I absolutely prefer working with other artists. I can’t think outside my own mind, I can’t see out of another’s eyes and I can’t hear outside my own head. Bringing other people into the process allows my music to grow and stretch in directions I never could have conceived of alone. They say “it takes a village to raise a baby…”, well I’d say it takes a village to create quality music.

Can your fans expect anymore new music from you in the near future?

Yes! I currently have an EP’s worth of music developed and in demo format and a bunch more tunes currently in the writing process. There will be another single coming out soon, but if they want to hear more than that in the next few months they’ll have to come out to a live show!

What’s coming up next for you?

Right now I’m very much in the writing phase. I find it’s a very different mindset going from writing to performing. So I’m focusing on building up new repertoire and being creative. That being said, I’m very excited to be partnering with The Confidence Emperors label (who released “Heart”). We might just be releasing some more music soon so keep an eye out! (

At Canadian Beats, we like to throw in a few fun questions so your fans and our readers can get to know you a little bit better:

Summer music festival season is already in full swing, which festivals are you attending or wish you could attend this summer?

I already went to Field Trip which was a blast. Hillside has always been my favourite and I’m very sad that I won’t be able to make it out this year. They bring in the most exciting projects. Last year I saw DakhaBrakha there (Ukrainian folk rock) and have been sauntering around Toronto with their album blasting in my ears, ever since.

If you could create your own festival, who would be on the lineup?

Grand Analog
Meg Mac
Coeur de Pirate
Birds of Bellwoods
Jessica Speziale
Crooked House Road
Brooklyn Doran
Jane’s Party
… and of course Ghost Caravan.

If you had the chance to interview someone you looked up to, who would it be and what would be your first question?

Adele. What are the challenges of your kind of success? What are the joys?

Who are some of your favourite Canadian bands and artists?

… See my dream festival line up!

What is your go to way of beating the heat of the summer?

Flowy dresses!! To be honest I don’t have trouble with the heat. I get so cold, the heat is welcome.

And finally, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?

What are you favourite songs/ artists right now? I always want new inspiration! Find Ghost Caravan on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and let me know. Let’s talk! - Canadian Beats

"Premiere - Ghost Caravan Single Heart"

Today we’re premiering “Heart” the first single from Toronto artist Ghost Caravan, the project of Shaina Silver-Baird. She collaborated with Pyramid Topic & Grand Analog’s Matthew Fudge for the haunting orchestral pop tune “Heart”. The song will be released on the digital label imprint The Confidence Emperors. - Ride The Tempo

"Ghost Caravan: Heart"

Toronto's Ghost Caravan released her debut single through the Confidence Emperors. The digitally focused label is a prime place for a new artist to reveal such a bold, vulnerable single. The track is influenced by the loss of loved ones at a young age, and that passion can be felt from the first to the last. - Fingers On Blast

"Ghost Caravan Releases First Single Heart"

Ghost Caravan​, a Toronto­-based singer­-songwriter, released her first single “Heart” via Ride the Tempo, and on iTunes on May 27 last month. As a collaboration with Matthew Fudge (Grand Analog/Pyramid Tropic) and JUNO award winning artist Martha Johnson (Martha and the Muffins), “Heart” displays haunting, dramatic vocals from Ghost Caravan’s Shaina Silver­-Baird, and acknowledges depth and darkness in both lyrics and sound.

Drawing influence from the amount of people she lost in her life at a young age, specifically her father, Silver-­Baird’s music is orchestral, electronic soul. “I write from a personal place and find it relatively impossible not to give myself over completely to a song,” states Silver­-Baird. “I want to continue to push in that direction – personal/poetic lyrics, coupled with grand dramatic tracks. It’s such an exciting sound.” - GoodMoMusic

"How to Deliver Lyrics - by Shaina Silver-Baird"

The performance of lyrics is often one of the most overlooked aspects of a singer’s trade. But as both a performer and a writer, I often feel that it is also one of the most important. We coach and train and practice, focusing on breath and tone, belting and falsetto – in other words “how it sounds” - and then we often fail to take into account WHAT we are saying.

Granted, sound is very important. Let’s call the sound or tone step one. You need the sound to be made physically and translated to an audience to be a singer. But we cannot stop there.

I think what people really connect to is the person on stage or on the recording. The more present you can be, the more you can connect to the subject of what you are saying, the more your listeners will be moved. In other words, if you can deliver lyrics with presence and personality, people will want to listen.

How else can you attest for the success and entrancing power of singers like Bob Dylan and Neil Young who (dare I say) are not singers so much as masters of delivering lyrics. What if we can combine both vocal technique AND storytelling?

1 – Personalize

Whether you’re covering a song or singing an original, you need to personalize the lyrics. This is probably easiest with songs you’ve written recently based on strong feelings or experiences, because the subject of your words is fresh in your mind and heart. But as time goes on, you may become more removed from that initial inspiration and the emotion dulls. Most singers simply allow this to happen and the words become a conduit for the melody. But really great performers find a way to make the lyrics potent every time they sing them.

Find a relationship or situation in your life RIGHT NOW that makes you feel the way song demands. It doesn’t have to be a perfect match. For example, I have a song I wrote in the midst of a heart-wrenching breakup (don’t we all), but that heartbreak has since healed. I will now use those same lyrics, to describe whatever is hurting me at the moment: it might be an interaction I had with a friend, impatience with my career or a story on the news. I think about that person or experience before I launch into the song and it gives me an inner emotional boost. I am now fully present. I am telling a story.

2 – Find images for the words

Have you ever noticed that when you watch someone tell a story their eyes move minutely as if they are seeing what they are describing? When we tell a story to someone, we see what we are describing in our mind’s eye. Think of yourself as a storyteller. Even though you are singing, you are sharing a story with your audience. If you see the images of the story as you’re saying them, the audience will too. As part of your rehearsal, imagine images that correspond with the words. Once you’ve dreamed them up, they’ll cycle through your head as you sing the lyrics and it’ll be like you’re watching your own personal movie. Place those images beyond the microphone so you’re sharing them with your audience.

For example these lyrics appear in my song “Heart”:

The weight drags me down
The spotlight can’t find me
But you’re still here with me

For me this image has me standing in the middle of a huge, empty, dark theatre. A man (the one I’m in love with… go figure) steps up from behind me to hold my hand.

3 – Now stop thinking about it

You’ve done the prep, you’ve decided what the lyrics mean, you’ve personalized them, you’ve dreamed up images. Now just sing the song. Sounds so easy right? Not necessarily. But if you’ve dreamed and personalized those images and emotions, it will all be there. I like to “drop in” (an acting term, but in a way singers are much like actors), before a song. Think of that person or situation that is important to you right now and then launch into the tune.

But most importantly don’t be tied to anything that you prepared. When you are truly present and personal, images and emotions will change, your thoughts will weave between lyrics and audience, memory and discovery. Let it happen, because as you tell a story the lyrics themselves may not change, but the meaning can. You will always have your inner movie to fall back on. Just remember, you are telling a story, the audience is your listener and the song is your medium.

Finally, these are suggestions, not rules. This is what works for me. Try it and then develop your own technique. We are all different and our instruments work in different ways. Learn yours intimately because as singers our instruments are ourselves: physically, emotionally and mentally. - Canadian Musician

"The Confidence Emperors Imprint Launches with New Releases from Grand Analog, Pyramid Tropic, Martha and the Muffins"

Toronto hip-hop group Grand Analog were treated to the career-spanning Roll Dub Soul Rap (A Collection) compilation last year, and now a new remixed track of theirs is ushering in a brand new Toronto-based label called the Confidence Emperors.

The imprint will deliver digital singles, EPs and remixes as a means for listeners to discover the work of Canadian acts, while allowing the artists to maintain creative freedom.

"I've always believed that great artists should be able to encapsulate everything they do into a three-and-a-half-minute single," label founder Graham Stairs said in a statement. "The Confidence Emperors is not only going to be a digital singles/EPs/remixes label, but also a discovery platform that curates and channels that excitement into its releases. The artists I work with are prolific and have their own studios. So, now they have an outlet for their creative urges!"

Grand Analog, Chemical Dreams, Martha and the Muffins, and Ghost Caravan are all slated to release material in the near future. A side-project dubbed Pyramid Tropic featuring the Wilderness of Manitoba's Will Whitwham and Grand Analog producer Matthew Fudge will also make their debut through the Confidence Emperors.

The imprint will host with a launch party on May 6 at the Monarch Tavern in Toronto, where Pyramid Tropic are scheduled to perform as part of Canadian Music Week with Ghost Caravan and Tiny Danza. Grand Analog will also be doing DJ sets throughout the night. You can RSVP on the events page here.

Before marking the label's launch by taking in the live show, though, you can check out the video premiere for a brand new remix of Grand Analog's "Let Disco." The inaugural release for the imprint hears Muneshine putting his own positive spin on the less than cheerful song.

"'Let Disco' allows you to dance during heartbreak," Grand Analog frontman Odario Williams explains. "Muneshine's remix brought hope and sunshine to a track I wrote about breaking up." - Exclaim


Heart - single 
released 2016 The Confidence Emperors 

T.O. Confidential - 8 song EP

to be released September 2018 The Confidence Emperors 



Ghost Caravan’s music is orchestral, electronic soul. On her forthcoming record T.O. Confidential, Shaina Silver-Baird collaborated with members of Grand Analog, the Weeknd, Hill Kourkoutis of the Launch, Martha and the Muffins and the Four On The Floor String Quartet. She acknowledges the depth and darkness of the lyrics. “I want to continue to push in that direction: personal/poetic lyrics coupled with grand, dramatic tracks. I want to develop the soulful element along with the orchestral. It’s such an exciting sound; very contemporary and yet derived from something deeper and older.”

Despite the fact that the music can be dark, Silver-Baird feels that Ghost Caravan is uplifting. It’s about understanding deep emotional experiences, but also about looking to the positive in life. I write from a personal perspective and find it relatively impossible not to give myself over completely to a song when I’m performing live. People can expect our shows to be intimate. However, the music is quite epic in scope so there is that duality. If everything works, the performers and the audience have an experience together.” 

“Haunting orchestral pop tune.” – Ride The Tempo

“Ghost Caravan, also known as Shaina Silver-Baird, combines elements of electronic, soul, and orchestral music to create her powerful, emotional songs.” – Canadian Beats

“A bold, vulnerable single.” – FingersOnBlast

“Song-of-the-week: Heart’s thunderous bass overtakes your senses in the latest from Ghost Caravan. But as you’re falling deep into a trance, Shaina Silver-Baird’s stunning vocals rescue you and pull you up into their lofty echo. Don’t dismiss this track as another cathedral-reaching electro-pop song: Ghost Caravan’s Heart is nothing short of a real gem.” RazMatazMagazine 

“Haunting, dramatic vocals.” GoodMoMusic

Band Members