Limestone Chorus
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Limestone Chorus

St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Folk Indie




"Review - Limestone Chorus"

Album: Deer Friends
Release Date: July 29, 2016
Genre: Easy Feeling Southern Earth Rock

If the Steve Miller Band, and an anachronistic Blind Melon, moved to an anachronistic Tolstoyan commune in the 60s, then spent the few next decades rambling across Canada’s great varied topography of amazing forests, badlands, and tundra, playing every open stage, roots and folks festivals they came across, the four surviving members’ resulting studio album would be Limestone Chorus‘ Deer Friends.

St. Catharine’s, ON, based Limestone Chorus’ Jordan Nicolaides (voice, guitar), Wilson Hadfield (voice, guitar), Ben Goerzen (cello, voice) and Eric Rudling (drums, percussion) with their newest release, Deer Friends, have created an album that sounds like morning, glittering with the sheen of well-arranged, poignant sonic dew.

Deer Friends is firmly rooted in its devout love for Mother Nature and human connection exploring the theme of interconnectedness between all living things in a joyful, mellow celebration of positive, mature music. This album sparkles throughout, with joyful, embraceable, heart-felt lyrics.

The album opens with “Outside of Time” a Talking Heads Calypso influence, light groove with open, sparkling guitars. The single noted electric guitar lead is backed by a steady strummed acoustic guitar, a great juxtaposition of individual clarity with warm, chorded rhythm. Good unison playing throughout with breaks and fills. A hint of clever word play to appear throughout the album with the closing line “I’m not out of time just outside of time.”

“Some People” switches to a blues influence, rock groove, with an echoing, single note electric guitar riff, again shying away from big electric chords. The acoustic rhythm guitar continues to be a nice touch, good use of distinct sounds. Melodically it’s a folk rap vibe, straight ahead articulated rhythm with folk sensibilities, positive music without pandering, joyful but not silly. Cool instrumental horn line at end with a solid push, yet still keeping the laid back vibe, creating distinct sections while retaining their shimmering sound.

Track three, “Fight For Mother”, has the acoustic guitar front and centre, setting up the song before the electric guitar and vocals kick in. Change in vocal style and production, and addition of cello, nice touch for song diversity. This tune could be placed on an episode of the Degrassi High: the Next Generation where Drake’s character is having a heartfelt talk with his crush who, when he finally admits his feelings on the way home from prom, tells him they are “just the best friends ever” and he “will always have a special place in her heart”. He walks her to the door step, and, as he walks back to his car, he looks back at her house one last time longingly with a new sense of mature, relationship wisdom. It slowly begins to rain on him as he gets into the car and pulls away. Does this have anything to do with the lyrics? Not at all, but fits perfectly sonically.

“Into The Fire” gently pushes throughout the tune with a steady beat and solid grove, electric, acoustic, and bass guitar taking turns in the forefront of the mix as needed. To continue with the Degrassi references, “Into the Fire” would be playing when some character’s best friend is caught cheating on an exam, or being pressured into doing drugs, or a montage of fighting friends coming together to deal with another friend’s teenage alcoholism.

The sparkle and shine, as Econoline Crush would say, continues with “Winter Light”, a catchy light grove with wise production decisions of placing the bass more central on this track to let the walking notes and riffs stand out. The syncopated drum fills are meticulously placed, creative rhythmic variances without over playing. Rudling does a great job varying fills and adding subtle changes to his beats helping move the tune along.

Lyrically there is consistent desire to give adoration to, and return to, nature. “Woods and Water”, the leadoff single begins “I was born in a city in a garden / in a place I learned to call my own / There must be something / painted in my history / that makes me wanna crawl back to my home.” The narrator in “There I Find You” will “touch my lips to the ground below you / inhale all the rich soil and growth” and “I hear your gold / I feel your flow / you make me whole / yeah you make me whole”. There is this eased urgency of returned connection, to find the balance of the human spirit and the physical connection to the earth that connects all living beings. “Woods and Water” and “There I Find You” are the lost Steve Miller Southern rock hippy tracks no one knew were missing.

Closing the album with “Moon”, which comes out at the close of day, is the Blind Melon song they should have recorded. An ambient jam transcending into a gently pulsing folk rock tune. A great summary of the album encapsulated in one tune.

The production by Ian Romano and Limestone Chorus, with mastering by Dan Weston, creates a wonderful blend of clear sounds and highlighted instrumentation when needed to focus the audience’s ears. Extra points awarded considering the multiple recording and engineering credits in different locations to create an over-all well balanced album.

Limestone itself is composed of skeletal fragments of marine organisms to create an organic sedimentary rock with multiple uses from building materials to paints to toothpaste. Limestone Chorus has done this musically with an organic based, gentle rock album with varying levels of intensity and space, meaningful depth and light-hearted groves. - Canadian Beats

"Weekend Music Break: Limestone Chorus, “Woods & Water”"

Let us consider, first, the name “Limestone Chorus.”

Limestone sounds rugged to me, rugged and roughcut. It suggests quarrying, of course, and it suggests caverns carved by underground rivers. It’s a sedimentary rock, so it crumbles and dissolves rather easily on its own — unlike (say) granite, basalt, and other igneous and metamorphic rocks… and it is everywhere. Wikipedia tells me that it makes up 10% of the volume of all sedimentary rocks. While it is inarguably rock, unlike (say) sandstone, limestone is curiously organic: “Most limestone is composed of skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral, forams and molluscs.”

Think about that a moment: limestone is a “living” rock — a common building and construction material comprising the remnants of a gazillion creatures. (Think about that the next time you’re inside a building of concrete: you might as well be undersea.)

So here we’ve got a band pursuing one of the longer threads — a sub-genre: folk, soul, and Americana — of (yes) rock history, a band named for this curiously-organic inorganic material. If the name had instead been constructed from the word “granite” or “quartzite,” the effect would have been totally different — calling to mind not the flowing of water and the whisper of grains, but hammers and chisels and bang-bang-bang.

And then there’s chorus: voices twined together, harmonizing…

Yeah. Now you’re getting the idea.

The name “Limestone Chorus” apparently represents a recent name change; the group (in a slightly reduced configuration) had previously been called “Shore Thing.” Okay, the latter was clever(ish), with the pun. But it was also easy, glib, and really wasted an entire word — thing — which communicated nothing at all. I have no idea how much thought and anxiety went into the name change, how much conscious vs. unconscious decision-making came into play, but as a band name, “Limestone Chorus” is leagues beyond “Shore Thing.”

So then there’s this song. Again, look first to the name: “Woods & Water.” When you hear a song title like that, do you imagine you’ll find headbanging within? Will the musicians assault their instruments and their amplifiers — and the audience’s ears — with an avalanche of sound? Will the lyrics preach, insult, rebuke?

When I opened the email announcing the upcoming debut of Limestone Chorus’s album Deer Friends*, and of “Woods & Water” in particular, I had no expectation of noise, electronica, trance. Indeed, I found almost exactly what I expected: luscious three-part harmonies overlaying and interleaved with acoustic instruments.

(With the obvious exception that Gordon Lightfoot sang solo, of course, the overall effect to me strongly recalls his “Did She Mention My Name.” Not a bad forerunner at all — again, no matter how conscious or unconscious the choice!)

The band is on record asserting that the song “describes the search for familiarity: the rediscovery of people and places who make us feel whole, safe and grounded. The song is driven through memory and nostalgia, pulling on emotional connections that shape a person.” This all comes through in the video, too, which I found oddly moving… Even though it’s not a “static” video, with a fixed image, pretty much nothing at all happens. And yet there is stuff happening, after all: the words (and their meanings and connotations) run over and through the music, and all of it runs over the visual, just like — well, just like water over and through limestone.

* Yes: Deer Friends. The album cover art even depicts the hallucinogenically colored head-and-shoulders of an antlered buck. Maybe they’re not quite over the punning impulse under which they first organized as “Shore Thing.” - Running After My Hat

"3 new Ontario songs you need to hear this week"

Ahhh, summer camping sessions — the smell of the campfire, the crisp air, the feeling of waking up in a sweltering 42 C tent with bugs in it.

For those of you who genuinely love sleeping on the ground, you'd be hard pressed to find a more earnest ode to life in the woods than Limestone Chorus' Woods and Water.

It is a pure love letter to the great outdoors, and one that would sound great at night sitting around the fire. - CBC Music

"Limestone Chorus Premier 'Woods & Water'"

Ontario-based folk ensemble Limestone Chorus are readying their Deer Friends LP for release later this month, but before the full-length arrives in its entirety, Exclaim! is giving you the first listen to the single "Woods & Water."

A lush, folk-pop ditty that would provide a beautiful soundtrack to any outdoorsy summer trip, "Woods & Water" refers back to the family, friends and familiar spaces that can provide guidance during difficult times.

"Lacking understanding and a sense of personal direction, the tune describes the search for familiarity," the band tells Exclaim! "The rediscovery of people and places who make us feel whole, safe and grounded. The song is driven through memory and nostalgia, pulling on emotional connections that shape a person."

Find yourself amidst the subtly twangy guitars, gently rolling percussion and soft, sincere vocals of "Woods & Water" by hitting play below.

Deer Friends is due out on July 29 through IndoorShoes. - Exclaim!

"Introducing Shore Thing"

You know that whole ‘normcore’ movement from last year? People making a statement by being as basic and unexceptional as possible? It never made sense to me because, in subscribing to the very aesthetic of being average, normcore-ers were in fact elevating themselves; by working at looking normal, they became something more than average.

Where am I going with this? I’m not 100% sure, but the idea of ‘normcore’ sprang to mind when I listened to Outside Voices, the debut EP by St. Catharines/Guelph/Toronto-based Shore Thing. From the outside, Shore Thing would appear to be a very ‘normal’ band of high school friends who reconnected after graduating from post-secondary education, making music as a way to pass the time (their words, not mine). They stumble on a sound that blends folk, jazz, and little world beat rhythm with sweet-sounding male harmonies and a chilled out vibe. They are, for all intents and purposes, an ordinary band playing conventional sounding music.

It’s in this conventionality though, that Shore Thing distinguish themselves. Guitarists Jordan Nicolaides and Wilson Hadfield, alongside classically trained cellist and pianist Ben Goerzen and drummer Jarod Cardas, are not dazzling audiences with overtly complex and intricate arrangements, and Outside Voices isn’t loaded up with studio wizardry and experimentation. Theirs is an uncomplicated and sincere sound that’s unpretentious and natural. In the midst of all the cacophonous, raucous music samples sent my way, Shore Thing set themselves apart from the pack.

Norm to the core, sure, but very far from being any old ordinary thing. - Quick Before It Melts

"Shore Thing - Outside Voices"

Ontario, Canada’s Shore Thing are nature enthusiasts and fellow high school friends Wilson Hadfield, Jordan Nicolaides and Ben Goerzen who decided after meeting up after each of them had completed their undergraduate degrees that they could combine their different musical abilities to form a unique band. Both Hadfield and Nicolaides determined they could contribute their shared abilities of writing folksy songs with Goerzen coming into the band and adding a dimension as a classically trained musician and vocalist, with concentration on cello and piano. At first the three didn’t take the band too seriously.

Although as they played live shows in various coffee houses and local bars, they began to notice that people in the crowd really liked the original spin they were putting on the classic cover songs that they were performing. As time went on and Shore Thing began adding their own original songs into their set, the crowd then just wanted to hear more original material.

The first offering of new material is collected on their first five-song EP Outside Voices, which sees the addition of drummer Jarod Cardas to the band. The five songs on Outside Voices are at times folksy and others soulful and are all inspired in some way or another by nature. The album at once draws comparisons from latter day artists Crosby Stills and Nash, and Simon and Garfunkel, as well as to more recent artists like Beechwood Sparks. These comparisons are made based on the beautiful vocal harmonies employed.

These harmonies are best expressed on the folksy and alt country style of the rambling opener “Conversation.” It is an excellent example of song craftsmanship, but what stands out mostly is how these four guys don’t rush anything and politely dance in and out of the forefront doing their piece and not getting in the way of any of the other members. “There I Find You,” is another good example of this polite dance, as each of the four members help to weave the song to life from beginning to end.

In contrast the closer “Some People” a soul-inflected acoustic round seems quite out of place on the album and lacks the heart and ironically the soul of Outside Voices previous offerings. Though all in all Outside Voices is an overall really nice debut and I could see these guys really helping to jumpstart a DIY indie folk movement. - The Equal Ground

"Shore Thing - Cool Music, Alive and Well"

Indie is a live and well in Canada with Shore Thing spear-heading the way for a more of a funky, jazzy kind of music. And I love it!

When you think of “indie” what comes to mind? Whatever it is that you think of, add these guys to your list. These guys are about as indie as you can get! Everything from the over abundance of beanies and the beards on their faces all the way down to the music they make.

The first song i listened to of theirs was “Woods & Water”. My first thought was “ok they’re good… But it sounds very similar to lot of other stuff out there.” Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing bad about Woods & Water. I like the song, just not much to make these guys stand out. Just really chill indie music. These guys changed my mind about that when I heard their next song.

My favorite song – that I have already downloaded – “Some People”. Man! I still can’t believe how much I like this song! OK, why is that “Some People” got me giddy as a school girl? It might me because its been much to long since I have had soul music added to my playlist. Or maybe its just because I like the oldies, and this song kind of combines my two music worlds into one.

In a word, this song is SMOOTH. The lyrics are what make me listen to this song on repeat. The way they fluctuate the different words to make it one continual stream of awesomeness. The song starts off kinda slow and the instruments stay that way for the most part. The lyrics come at you quick, but flow better than a river without rocks. It took me a few times listening to it to really pick up what the lyrics say. The message is great, but I’m going to let you download it and find out for yourself! - BAM

"A Well-Crafted Love Letter to Nature"

Coming from Ontario, Canada, Shore Thing are a unique and refreshing blend of folk, soul, and indie rock. With a rush of creative bands coming from the great north, Shore Thing stands out as a relevant mix of earnest but carefree talent. Their latest effort, the five song EP Outside Voices, shows a deep connection to nature as well as the human spirit. Band member Ben Goerzen describes the album this way; “we use three part vocal harmonies throughout our music to emphasize our lyrics about our relationship with the natural world around us.” With this approach and the unmistakable band chemistry that pours through Outside Voices, this band of bearded Canadians tread on the hallowed ground of acts such as The Avett Brothers, Fleet Foxes, Josh Ritter, and The Mountain Goats.

Opener “Conversation” is the perfect tune for a lazy summer day and stands in joyful defiance of the distractions and busyness of life in the 21st century. Sung with a sympathetic voice, it is a slow moving song that champions the connection between two people minus a glowing screen. This theme is continued with “Outside of Time”, which plays more upbeat and is damn catchy. It is a gentle call for the listener to reflect and engage with the world around them.

“Woods & Water” could be mistaken for an Avett Brothers track with its country infused simplicity. “Come on and take me home” sings the group while rekindling the same desire within the listener to go back to something more familiar. Home is a popular image in “There I Find You” which plays out as a love song to Mother Nature and its entire splendor. It is a beautiful thing to find a song that transports you into the narrative being sung, but the band does just that in this well crafted tune complete with soaring harmonies.

“Some People” is an unexpected bluesy jam that shows the sharp range of the band sung with sped up lyrics and a groovy guitar jam. This album closer has a G Love type vibe going for it and shows just how talented these guys are. They soar past the folksy label and into a legit multi-tooled band to be reckoned with. The end result of these five songs is a refreshing debut from a group of extraordinary musicians that do just enough to play their ways into you ears and hearts. - Ear To The Ground


Limestone Chorus - Deer Friends, | September 2016 | IndoorShoes Music

Shore Thing - Outside Voices | September 2014 | Self Released



Limestone Chorus is a new indie folk/soul group sharing soil between St. Catharines & Toronto. Limestone Chorus writes songs with roots in folk, soul and an emphasis on socially relevant words and catchy pop hooks. On top, weaving all of their songs with intricate three part harmonies the group started performing throughout Niagara as an acoustic trio in 2013. 

Growing into a full band; Jordan Nicolaides on Guitar, Wilson Hadfield on Guitar, Ben Goerzen on Cello and adding Eric Rudling on the Drumkit, 
Limestone Chorus took their act on the road across Ontario opening up for many well known acts including; Wilderness of Manitoba, Grey Lands and The Dinner Belles. 

Through the band members’ unique musical influences, they have created a distinctive, dynamic sound with big hooks. On September 30 2014, 
Limestone Chorus released their first EP 'Outside Voices'. Recorded at Wow Recording Studio in St. Catharines, the group worked hard to capture the excitement of a live performance as well as using the studio space to push the songs to new places, further cementing their unique sound. The EP has had a strong reception from fans and has helped the group expand into new areas.

Limestone Chorus toured across the Maritime Provinces and the East Coast in May. With the goal of playing as many shows as possible over 2015 to build a solid fanbase they have begun to have their name repeated by venue's, promoter's and more.  In conjunction with this Limestone Chorus has finished recording their debut album with producer Ian Romano (Attack in Black, Daniel Romano, City & Colour) at Catharine North Studios in Hamilton (Feist, Dallas Green, Arkells).  On July 29th they released Deer Friends - their debut LP via IndoorShoes Music.

Band Members