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Toronto, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | SELF

Toronto, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Alternative Indie


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

JAD @ Horseshoe Tavern

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

JAD @ l'escogriffe bar spactacle

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

JAD @ Secret House Show

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada



"Concert Review: JAD at Marvest"

Quirky, sophisticated, intense, poetic, and brave, are just a few of the terms I’d use to describe the music of singer-songwriter, JAD. Throughout his half-hour performance at Irene’s Pub on Saturday afternoon, he silenced the crowd several times with his array of emotionally charged songs. He showcased a few tracks from his debut solo album Still Life, released in July.

Armed with his acoustic guitar, JAD began with a three-quarter timed minor music box melody called “Apathy.” He would give us the first sample of his dramatic textural formula where he moved from tenderly sung verses to belting out the latter half of the song in a higher octave. He then looped a repeating progression both instrumentally and vocally, which created a thick whirl of choral sound before removing the layers one by one until there was nothing but dead silence in the room.

There were no two songs even remotely the same. “These Days” surprised me with its dreamlike quality and jazz chords, which he played on distortion-laced electric guitar. Another called “Knuckle Sandwich” had a very Beatlesque melody with lovely descending progressions and emotional vocal surges. This song’s dramatically contrasting flavours perfectly conveyed its dysfunctional theme. He ended on a single strong note that again hushed the room. One entitled “Lydia” moved me with its swaying waltz beat, his higher vocal register swoons, and looped counter melody creations.

The half hour had already ended, but the crowd pleaded for one more. In attendance was his mother who asked for “Don’t You Care About Me Now?” He strapped on his electric, threw on the distortion, and tore into a minor-chorded smouldering rock number that seared in his heavy vocals during the chorus. He worked the song into a frenzy before coming back down to finish in a quiet whisper. Hands down my favourite of the set.

JAD has a daring way of expressing himself as he moves from heart wrenching tones, breathy close-to-the-mic tenderness and strong falsettos, to leaving the audience hanging on a single belted note. He dished it out in spades… and we loved it all. - Terry Steeves (APT613)

"Gig Pick: JAD at Marvest"

JAD is one of those singer-songwriters that can be described as the classic troubadour, who writes songs from the heart, and sings them with a naked kind of truth that stabs you right in yours.

The first time I caught his performance was by pure luck. He was the opening act at a show I attended a few months back. I was swept away in the cadence of his songs which travelled through soft and strong intensities, both instrumentally and vocally. There were switches from gentler acoustic guitar melodies to distorted electric guitar progressions, complimented with an equally versatile vocal style.

After witnessing that first performance, I suspected he’d been a musician for quite sometime. Although only 22, he carried an air of old soul experience in his songwriting and confidence in his playing ability and vocal delivery. I spoke to JAD about his lifetime of musical discovery, interest, and study which would lead him to sprout early into becoming a musician with his first band at the age of 15 called Tall Trees. Now a solo artist, it’s not surprising to learn that the late great American singer-songwriter, Elliot Smith, has been one of his biggest musical influences. In fact, his description of Smith’s music is precisely the way I would describe JAD’s:
“It didn’t get serious until middle school where I realized I wanted to go to Canterbury to study music there. When I was a kid, I got into whatever was popular at the time, but it was my dad that opened my musical palette with bands like Led Zeppelin. In high school I began listening to different stuff and was struck by bands like The Black Keys. But my all-time artist I love listening to – that I’ve been listening to since I’ve been 14 – is Elliot Smith. I’m so overwhelmed and influenced by his music and the way he communicates through it. He inspires those very simple melodies that are also sophisticated that provide a lot of emotion.”

JAD recently released his first independent solo album Still Life in July of this year. Its 11 tracks feature a barebones-style recording that has captured his pure vocals and raw guitar work front and centre, with some musical and production help from friends Peter Klaasen and Jensen Grant (both of Old Man Grant). The melodies have a melancholy, sometimes haunting yet sophisticated quality, with lyrics that speak of love lost, depression, and a delving inside for answers… or as he states in his album’s subtitled description: “Thoughts, observations, musings, moments. The things I’ve said, and the things I haven’t.” JAD talks about the album:

“The songs really took on even more meaning and came together when we started recording them. The entire album was borne out of this past year which brought forth a lot of sudden and unplanned change in my life. I felt removed, like I was on the outside looking in. I had come out of a committed 5-year relationship, to finding myself, and into navigating certain social interactions and circles. Some of it’s just observational, reflecting on me, other people, and the human condition as a whole. The whole thing was sort of a catharsis for me.”

The newfound chemistry with Klaasen and Grant was just the thing that awoke him from the temporary slumber of depression and creative dormancy he was in. Songwriting juices were resurrected, new goals achieved with more on the horizon, and a growing number of opportunities have continued to present themselves with every step forward. Now with the new album, and a recent relocation to Toronto, the ball is in motion to further his career. And even though he has been immersed in music for most of his life, I think the beginning of his real creative bloom has only just begun. JAD opens up about the move, and the difference in the music scene:

“I moved to Toronto in early June to pursue music there, but I’m back and forth so often it’s almost like I never left. It ended up that as soon as I left, I started getting offers to do shows in Ottawa. As I get acquainted with venues, owners, and local acts in Toronto, it’s nice to be able to go back to Ottawa and have that connection here. I feel like Toronto is like what Ottawa is becoming – which is a good thing in my opinion. I find Ottawa has really been stepping up with new venues and what they’re doing… places like LIVE! on Elgin, Bar Robo, Pressed and others that are spearheading that sort of professionalism in supporting the local scene. As far as reception goes, I find the audiences are very similar, although its more of an individual thing…people will be different from one show to another… Toronto’s just a little bigger is all.” - Terry Steeves


"Still Life" (2017)



One voice can silence a room. The chaos and bedlam of the everyday dissolve. Catharsis. JAD has often been described as someone who's music you can't quite place -- Why give people more of what they already have? A verklempt and sweet voice that's been likened to Jeff Buckley and Freddie Mercury, JAD has spent the latter half of this past year crafting an album that is vulnerable, personal, honest, and unapologetic. In the months since the album’s inception, JAD has seen some big changes — most notably, relocating to Toronto from Ottawa to pursue music. Upon arrival, he independently released his debut record, “Still Life” to widespread positive reception, getting picked up by campus stations such as CKCU 93.1FM and CHUO 89.1FM. With an appreciation for both vintage and modern elements of music, JAD draws from many different, always expanding influences. "Still Life" calls upon many of these influences, namely Elliott Smith, The Beatles, Mac DeMarco, Mother Mother, Father John Misty, The Black Keys, Andy Shauf, and Frank Ocean. He proceeded to go on tour, playing venues such as Le Divan Orange and L'Escogriffe in Montréal to The Piston and the renown Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto (and everywhere in between). Drawing upon experience opening for artists such as Bend Sinister, John Wozniak, and JPNSGRLS, as well as having personal ties to artists like PUP, The Beaches, and Mother Mother, JAD is no stranger to hard work and artistry, and takes care to put the same amount of thought and love into his own . Following his first festival gig at Marvest by CityFolk (formerly Ottawa Folk Festival) upon invitation by Mark Monahan, the organizer of CityFolk and Ottawa Bluesfest, JAD is looking forward to touring, releasing new music, and lining up more festival dates. Known for the transportive and immersive energy of his live shows, JAD mixes the hushed quietude of an acoustic guitar with the fuzzy roar of an electric, and everything in between. Powerful vocals deliver thoughtful, emotional lyrics through sweet falsettos and unapologetic, in-your-face belts. Approaching art with authenticity, vulnerability, and honesty is the most important thing at the end of the day, and through this, JAD connects deeply with audiences, evoking emotions both comfortably familiar and strangely new. 

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