Johnny Coull
Gig Seeker Pro

Johnny Coull

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Classic Rock




"Music Review of the Day: Johnny Coull - "That Cold Year""

Montreal's Coull packs his second full-length album with great big piano rock, each song brimming over with power and words. These are full-on epics, lots of words and even more music. Opener "A Taste Of Euphoria" goes past Springsteen, and verges on Meatloaf, but classier. He likes them long too, with several tracks in the five to eight minute range, which he has no trouble filling up.

There aren't any tricks here, no production wizardry, it's plain instruments, voices and basic recording, sounding ever so '70's. Coull's not channeling any one performer, he's channeling lots of them, all good ones, a bit of Elton here, some Stones there. The piano leads, but it's surrounded by gospel singers, trumpets, strings, big guitar solos, and that's just on "The Troubadour Returns", an epic at 7'56". "I'm Fine ('Cause The Girl Is Mine)" is a big ol' Bo Diddley beat mixed with a pop tune, something fun. "I Left My Baby Grand In New Orleans" is the song Billy Joel always wished he was good enough to write.

And the words, so many, these are stories that unfold over several verses, complex, rich, and marvelous to hear. He gives us full descriptions of his characters and all the places he visits, from calloused hands placed inside hair, to the stink of the swamp and empty beers in New Orleans. It's going to take me a few more listens to figure them all out, but it's all part of the journey he's on, and goodness me, it's an adventure for sure. - Bob Mersereau (Top Canadian 100)

"Review - Johnny Coull"

Montreal’s own Johnny Coull released his second full-length album That Cold Year earlier this month. The twelve track album has a something for everyone – from bluesy rock to melodic pieces, Coull hits the nail on the head every time. Completely encompassed by the exquisite vocals and intricacy of the album, That Cold Year will surely entice and excite listeners.

Kicking off the album is “A Taste of Euphoria” – an upbeat jazzy tune with catchy lyrics. Sure to have listeners swaying along. The excitement and energy behind this tune is undeniable. Vocally and lyrically dynamic – easily stuck in your head and in your heart… “A Taste of Euphoria” is a true gem.
‘The Memory Machine” has a solemn feeling to it, reminiscent of every hit rock ballad. Taken over by the breathtaking piano – Coull rocks our socks off in the most delicate of ways… pulling at the heartstrings of listener’s, leaving them craving more.

“I Left My Baby Grand in New Orleans” is a joy to have coursing through your speakers (or headphones). This toe-tapping tune is brilliantly composed and is the perfect contribution to your feeling good playlist. Soulful and cheery, from the lyrics to the composition and everything in between, “I Left My Baby Grand in New Orleans” is a sure-fire hit!

“That Cold Year”, the title track is undeniably beautiful. From the first note, Coull’s smooth vocals and brilliant piano will transport listeners to another dimension. Speaking from the soul, “That Cold Year” will have listeners in a trance – following the exquisite story it tells.

That Cold Year is an album that has it all – from tearjerkers to party-starters, Coull leaves listeners in awe of such a dynamic and talented performance. Be sure to check out the album if you find yourself in need of a mood booster, or if you find yourself seeking a new favourite artist. - Canadian Beats

"70's Piano Pop Magic from Johnny Coull"

Montreal-based Johnny Coull’s deals in the euphoric sounds of yesteryear. His cerebral piano pop feels akin to the early work of Elton John and Queen - nostalgic narratives laced with dexterous keys, cut directly to analog tape in the spirit of his favorite 70’s rockers. - The Huffington Post

"Montreal Artist, Johnny Coull, Releases New Album – ‘That Cold Year’"

Multi-talented Montreal Artist, Johnny Coull, is bringing back a dose of old school and emotionally-engaging soul as he modestly showcases that he has fine-tuned his expertise throughout his latest album release, ‘That Cold Year’.

Kicking off with the first track, “A Taste of Euphoria”, Johnny blasts off with a lively dose of piano and a touch of musical class that mimics the opening of a Billy Joel song while lyricism dabbles into maintaining grounded and not allowing outside influence shove you into muddy, uncharted waters. The second track, “The Memory Machine”, begins with the instrumental ambience of tranquility as Johnny dishes and reminisces on his past experiences with ease while staying true to viewing each experience exactly as they were. “The Love That You’ve Lost” is the third track that slows it down and creates the feeling of heartbreak as Johnny lyrically spills his soul from the rocky edges of a love that slipped away and ended up going wrong. The fourth track, “The Troubadour Returns Home”, hypnotizes listeners by an instrumental opening that transcends genres and leads into an ode to returning back to his roots and settling down after the constant stimulation of being on the road. “I’m Fine (‘Cause the Girl is Mine)” is the fifth track that lifts the spirits of drawn-in listeners with a dose of Swing over Johnny’s vocals that mimic Sting in an uncanny way. The sixth track, “I Left My Baby Grand in New Orleans”, picks up the pace with a joyful and engaging energy that is invigorating and fun as Johnny emits a flirtatious touch that leaves listeners hanging off his every word. “Going Under” is the seventh track that slows it down and showcases how the album purposely explores the dynamics of an experience of love lost with the manic highs and dark lows that come with the territory.

‘That Cold Year’

The eighth track, “The Orpheum”, tells the tale of how Johnny really has an inclination to highlight the affection that he feels for the music that he creates as he lyrically creates the feeling of a human being walking down the road, strung-out and losing hope yet subconsciously knowing to keep going. “That Cold Year” is the ninth and title track in which Johnny lyrically validates to himself that he has nothing to prove to anyone but himself. The eleventh track, “The Land of Nod”, combines Moody Blues and Rock as Johnny lyrically explores an individual succumbing to what society believes is the right road to take while they fall into the trap of mediocrity. Closing out with “Cerrillos”, Johnny refuses to compromise the intensity of the album over an acoustic ode that ends in a warm and inviting piano piece.

Whether it’s Johnny’s mesmerizing chops or his bright spirit that reel you in, ‘That Cold Year’ is an outstanding example of artistic experimentation and evolvement. If you’re a fan of a mixture of fellow Artists/Musicians such as Queen, Billy Joel, The Police and Rod Stewart, then give Johnny Coulls discography a listen on Soundcloud. -

"Notes From Left of the Dial: Acid Dad and more"

Johnny Coull was raised in Montreal and surrounded by music at an early age. Among his notable accomplishments is the completion of the McGill Conservatory classical piano program when he was only 13. He had obtained his performer’s ARCT by the time he turned 20 and after attending the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music. He became the music director for one of the McGill a capella groups while pursuing a master’s degree in physics. He began to build his own career with his debut record, “City on the Hill,” in 2013 and would go on to achieve acclaim for performances at the Montreal Fringe Fest and Folk Alliance Region Midwest. He recently announced the release of a new album, “A Long Obituary,” due out Jan. 19.

On his new single, “The Orpheum,” Coull channels the glorious piano pop of Elton John and Billy Joel but manages to retain its rhythmic individuality. It’s familiar, to be sure, but there’s also a mysterious melodic veil that keeps you from seeing what lies around the next corner. Buoyant but also possessing some darker impulses, the song ranges across a wide musical landscape, collecting genres like memories. The track bounces along, revealing a deep awareness of classic pop tropes and using them in service to its own skewed creativity. “The Orpheum” is filled with persuasive nostalgia but isn’t weighed down by its well-worn themes and heartfelt influences. -

"Premiere - "The Orpheum""

From Montreal, Canada, Johnny Coull is today giving us the utmost pleasure of premiering his latest effort, ‘The Orpheum’. Like most of his music, his sound is centred around the piano, allowing for a near uplifting aesthetic – despite the subject matter of the track.

‘The Orpheum’ comes straight from his upcoming album A Long Obituary (due out January next year) and “is a tale about a man who becomes deeply obsessed with a movie character, so much so that he begins to lose touch with reality,” says Johnny. - Born Music

"Divide and Conquer - City on the Hill review"

Johnny Coull is a singer-songwriter and a first-rate storyteller with a sound somewhere between Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel. His album, City on the Hill, was released in November of 2013. It is Coull’s first studio album and is a time capsule bursting with joyous sounds. Coull takes the 70's Americana rock tradition and mixes in folksy-bluesy, piano centric music. Coull, a seasoned pianist, generates bright piano work that is a refreshing rumpus on the music scene.

Coull wrote the songs on City on the Hill in a three-month period in the fall of 2012 and then introduced the in-progress music to the band. Collaboration with his band enriched the creative process and contributed to the final product. Johnny Coull’s band is made up of Olivier Boyer-Masutti on guitar and Al McElcheran and Mike Hand on bass and drums. City on the Hill was recorded and mixed by Gaetan Pilon at Studio Victor in Montreal, QC.

“Addicted to Love” is a sunny sounding tune that is heavy on metaphor. Coull wraps a story of unreachable love and intimacy disputes in a beautiful package. “Losing” is also heaving in content but bright in sound. “Losing” tells the story of addiction and illness. There is no redemption or healing in this song. The song’s characters are forced to face the actuality of life. Coull sings that things are getting real and “it isn’t like in the movies.” He adds that they were losing from the start, possibly alluding to the cycles of poverty, addiction and abuse in our modern society.

The title track, “City on the Hill,” is a tender love story. This ballad captures the value of youth and the power of adoration in both lyrics, piano and voice work. I can just picture two sweet, old people dancing slowly to this song.

Throughout the album, Coull tells a story. As a whole work of art, the album creates a setting, develops character and explores the concept of home, love and loss. Look for Johnny Coull on tour through eastern Canada this winter and listen to his album. - Divide and Conquer Music

"Jon Davis au Divan Orange"

"En première partie de ce spectacle s’est produit Johnny Coull, pianiste aguerri qui a bien réchauffé la salle pour la performance musicale de Jon Davis. Coull a joué quelques pièces avec Davis, ce qui a permis de mettre sa virtuosité et sa voix à l’avant-plan." - Boucle Magazine

"Piano Pop from Johnny Coull"

Johnny Coull is a singer and songwriter based in Montreal. He carries the same spirit that is also alive in artists such as Van Morrison and Elton John and has performed his retro style at Northern festivals such as Montreal Fringe Fest, Indie Week Canada, and Folk Alliance Region Midwest. His awakening soulful style on the piano and deep moving voice sounds as if his music is derived from a prior era. Coull has blessed us with a sneak peak of his upcoming record “A Long Obituary,” by sliding his new single “The Orpheum” across the table.

“The Orpheum” launches in with a Queen-like introduction. It incorporates a compelling set of notes on the piano leading into a swooning melody. One can just feel the passion in his fingertips as he plays. Coull takes an interesting approach to a romantic misfortune between two people and speaks of it from a third person point of view. While people regularly pay to view a film on a screen, “The Orpheum” instead narrows in on the tension between a man and woman taking place in the theater seats themselves. He speaks for the characters and sings “stays there until midnight, but only dreams in black and white, life becomes predictable, at least until the credits role.” Could this be Coull’s way of narrating an unscripted parallel story amongst the crowd? The tempo in the track is gradually built with suspense by his vintage piano rock artistry and slowly eases down before building it back up again. The anticipation played on by the instrumentals paired with the restless lyrics calls for a tastefully romantic tragedy. He sings that they were each “almost flesh and bones” by the end of the song. His use of metaphors and imagery are a key feature to the track. Johnny Coull uniquely took a twist on events and created a play out of a real-life situation. Without giving the characters he sings about any given characteristics, listeners are still able to imagine their feelings and feel the tension spreading amongst the theater for themselves. - Almost Real Things


Hagiographies and Hit Pieces (LP) - 2020 (upcoming)

That Cold Year (LP) - 2018

Songs to Control the Weather by (EP) - 2015 

City on the Hill (LP) - 2013



Hailing from Montreal, Canada, Johnny Coull is a rock troubadour from another era. Wielding a virtuosic style on the piano and a poignant narrative voice, Coull brings to life stories of ecstasy and heartbreak, set to a wild vintage sound. His second full-length album That Cold Year was released in early 2018, to critical praise:

“Coull packs his second full-length album with great big piano rock, each song brimming over with power and words.” - Bob Mersereau, Canadian Top 100

"Completely encompassed by the exquisite vocals and intricacy of the album, That Cold Year will surely entice and excite listeners.” - Canadian Beats

"Coull spouts out vivid lines of lyrics as fast as he tickles the ivory, wrapping the listener up in a storm of melody and verse.” - Huffington Post


Coull’s debut album City on the Hill was released in 2014, funded by a provincial songwriting grant and a successful crowdfunding campaign. This was followed by a cross-Canada tour and a subsequent 2015 EP, entitled Songs to Control the Weather by. In the summer of 2016, he was awarded a songwriting grant from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec to fund the composition and arrangement of a new twelve-song project. The album was recorded in Montreal, with post-production headed up by Canadian producer Terry Brown (Rush, Blue Rodeo).

Coull belongs to the vintage piano rock tradition. His lyrics probe the dark places in life: the loss of our innocence, the instability of our desires, and the frantic desperation that draws us on in a life that only sometimes delivers what it promises. He has been described as “a singer-songwriter and a first-rate storyteller with a sound somewhere between Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel […]” (Divide and Conquer Music), and in live performance has been lauded as “a veteran pianist, […] skilled at showing off his virtuosity and his voice.” (Boucle Magazine)

Most recently, Coull was awarded official showcases at Folk Alliance Region Midwest (2017), The Millennium Music Conference (2018), and The East Coast Music Conference (2018), and was a winner of the Road to Indie Week Montreal competition, which awarded him an official showcase spot at Indie Week Canada. He received a FACTOR Artist Development grant for the year 2018, and spent part of the year touring in Canada and the US. He is currently working on a new concept album entitled Hagiographies and Hit Pieces, set for release in 2020.

Band Members