Luna Li
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Luna Li

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Dream Pop

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Oct
06
Luna Li @ The Drake Underground

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Sep
28
Luna Li @ The Piston

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Sep
18
Luna Li @ Divan Orange

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Music

Press


"VEINS"

Classically trained violinist and garage rock princess aren’t titles that find themselves lined up side by side, generally. But Hannah Bussiere is both, and much more.

Named after a poem written in high school, VEINS was born out of a project to compile almost two years worth of songs that Hannah had written into one album: Moon Garden.

After a semester at McGill studying classical violin (Hannah has 14 years of training under her belt), she decided to return home and focus on her own music. In the four months that followed, she worked on the lyrics and music to Moon Garden, recording the songs alone in her bedroom with her guitar. With the exception of a few tracks, which her drummer Braden Sauder recorded live drums in a studio and helped mix to achieve a more “band-y” sound, Moon Garden was the product of Hannah’s relentless spirit, and devotion to her music.

“We were doing work like until midnight the day before.” she says, as she discusses the release of her first album. It went live on bandcamp at the beginning of May 2015, and did a few runs of pastel, rose and moon adorned CDs. It was well received- called “a dreamy romp through some beautiful melodies and heartbreaking lyrics” and “a great piece of art” by The Deli Magazine, and was reviewed without even approaching media.

“It was a good experience. For the next album we’re working in a studio and we’re going to go bigger with it. We’re trying to apply for grants. It was a good first release to experiment recording.”

She says “we” because while it started as a personal project, quite quickly, it grew to be a 6-piece live band to accompany Hannah on stage.

“We’re like a big family!” Hannah laughs as she names everyone in the band- boyfriend Jacob Switzer on the guitar, his sister Hallie and her friend Charise Aragoza as backup vocalists, bassist Fox Martindale, and drummer Braden Sauder. “I like to have the band for the live show. I’d rather have a bunch of people on stage and a full sound than just me.”

VEINS- although she warns me that they might be changing the name since it was intended for her solo project, not one suitable for the band as a whole- is affiliated with Fried Records, an independent record label and collective of artists that help promote and showcase the work of musicians.

It’s through them and other artists that VEINS books bills in the city, forging connections between Toronto-based musicians.

“Often it’s through other bands who are setting up their own show and maybe need a few other people on the bill or Fried Records. We’re trying to reach out and connect with promoters, but sometimes if we see that a band we like is playing we’ll message them to see if we can join the bill.”

They’re on stage once every two or three weeks Hannah tells me, in clubs like the Silver Dollar Room, all around Toronto. This weekend, the band will play outside of Toronto for the first time, in Montreal.

And although her hometown is known for its diversity, her experience playing in it has been one that she has been trying to create awareness about.

“There’s a lot of bias. People make assumptions about you. A lot of people just think Oh she’s probably just a singer, she can’t play, she must know what she’s doing…” she says. “There’s also the issue with booking diverse bands. I’ve been to so many bills that have no diversity at all, and we’re the only kind of diversity there. It’s upsetting. It’s a growing thing and I think more promoters in Toronto are trying to deal with that.”


Classically trained violinist and garage rock princess aren’t titles that find themselves lined up side by side, generally. But Hannah Bussiere is both, and much more.

Named after a poem written in high school, VEINS was born out of a project to compile almost two years worth of songs that Hannah had written into one album: Moon Garden.

After a semester at McGill studying classical violin (Hannah has 14 years of training under her belt), she decided to return home and focus on her own music. In the four months that followed, she worked on the lyrics and music to Moon Garden, recording the songs alone in her bedroom with her guitar. With the exception of a few tracks, which her drummer Braden Sauder recorded live drums in a studio and helped mix to achieve a more “band-y” sound, Moon Garden was the product of Hannah’s relentless spirit, and devotion to her music.

11212416_10152759634816820_1599478607_n“We were doing work like until midnight the day before.” she says, as she discusses the release of her first album. It went live on bandcamp at the beginning of May 2015, and did a few runs of pastel, rose and moon adorned CDs. It was well received- called “a dreamy romp through some beautiful melodies and heartbreaking lyrics” and “a great piece of art” by The Deli Magazine, and was reviewed without even approaching media.

“It was a good experience. For the next album we’re working in a studio and we’re going to go bigger with it. We’re trying to apply for grants. It was a good first release to experiment recording.”

She says “we” because while it started as a personal project, quite quickly, it grew to be a 6-piece live band to accompany Hannah on stage.

tumblr_o93bwhGQgn1rub196o1_1280.jpg

Photo by Andre Varty

“We’re like a big family!” Hannah laughs as she names everyone in the band- boyfriend Jacob Switzer on the guitar, his sister Hallie and her friend Charise Aragoza as backup vocalists, bassist Fox Martindale, and drummer Braden Sauder. “I like to have the band for the live show. I’d rather have a bunch of people on stage and a full sound than just me.”

VEINS- although she warns me that they might be changing the name since it was intended for her solo project, not one suitable for the band as a whole- is affiliated with Fried Records, an independent record label and collective of artists that help promote and showcase the work of musicians.

It’s through them and other artists that VEINS books bills in the city, forging connections between Toronto-based musicians.

“Often it’s through other bands who are setting up their own show and maybe need a few other people on the bill or Fried Records. We’re trying to reach out and connect with promoters, but sometimes if we see that a band we like is playing we’ll message them to see if we can join the bill.”

They’re on stage once every two or three weeks Hannah tells me, in clubs like the Silver Dollar Room, all around Toronto. This weekend, the band will play outside of Toronto for the first time, in Montreal.

And although her hometown is known for its diversity, her experience playing in it has been one that she has been trying to create awareness about.

“There’s a lot of bias. People make assumptions about you. A lot of people just think Oh she’s probably just a singer, she can’t play, she must know what she’s doing…” she says. “There’s also the issue with booking diverse bands. I’ve been to so many bills that have no diversity at all, and we’re the only kind of diversity there. It’s upsetting. It’s a growing thing and I think more promoters in Toronto are trying to deal with that.”

IMG_0791.jpg

For now, VEINS is in the studio, working on a second album and a tour. When I ask how her writing on the new album has evolved with one album under her sleeve and a year studying music at Seneca, she admits it’s changed.

“In my program this year we had songwriting class so I had to write a new song every week. Originally I would sit down and figure things out on the guitar, sometimes the music would come first and sometimes the lyrics would but it was always just me and the guitar. But having to write a new song every week makes it hard to come up with new ideas, so it changed a bit. Now I’m in a phase of writing when I record. I start with a basic idea and record it. Then I’ll build off that, change the sound…”

The music itself, too, is changing. Of course, there’s the influence of the band, the moving parts, and the natural maturation of sound. But there’s more experimentation, more contradiction. Initially hesitant to bring her violin training to the band- “violin generally is very folky or country, and hard to make cool” she laughs- with the help of a loop pedal and imagination, she was able to capture the perfect sound to have accompany a piece wherein she recites her poem, VEINS. “I’m definitely going to try to incorporate that into some other songs as well.”

And just like that, the classically trained violinist and garage rock princess align. - Mick Magazine


"North By North Easy ~ Through the Lens Tuesday and Wednesday Nights"

Veins' goddess-powered pulsations of heartsong and guitar wound the crowd up in vortexes of silk and sulphur. - Corby's Orbit


"VEINS on CJRU Ryerson Radio"

October 7th, 2016 - Hannah on Ryerson Radio - CJRU Ryerson Radio


"Ten (ish) Young, Up-and-Coming Toronto Bands to be Listening to Right Now"

Another band under the Fried umbrella to watch for is Veins. Take the energy and power-pop hooks of Goodbye Honolulu and then plunge them underneath ten feet of tropical ocean water and you have Veins. The angelic floating stage-presence of frontgal Hannah Bussierie coupled with the harmonies of her swaying backup singers suit the music perfectly. Their album Moon Garden (Spotify // Bandcamp) is a true-to-form Fried triumph. - Revibe


"SHE HAS CONFIDENCE: AN INTERVIEW WITH HANNAH BUSSIERE OF VEINS"

Hannah Bussière is a Toronto based artist and the lead singer of the band VEINS. Her passion for music is reflected in the dreamy euphoria that effortlessly flows from her mouth in a plethora of good vibes and jazzy tunes. With such a vast range of skills it is no shock as to how exceptionally charming she is. Within the past year Hannah has played several venues, notably an event to end rape culture and victim blaming called No Skirting Around. She recently released her first album with the band called Moon Garden which can be streamed or bought on their Bandcamp page.

SHE HAS CONFIDENCE: AN INTERVIEW WITH HANNAH BUSSIERE OF VEINS

February 9, 2016 Nadia Miko
Hannah Bussière is a Toronto based artist and the lead singer of the band VEINS. Her passion for music is reflected in the dreamy euphoria that effortlessly flows from her mouth in a plethora of good vibes and jazzy tunes. With such a vast range of skills it is no shock as to how exceptionally charming she is. Within the past year Hannah has played several venues, notably an event to end rape culture and victim blaming called No Skirting Around. She recently released her first album with the band called Moon Garden which can be streamed or bought on their Bandcamp page.



When and how did you get into music?
When I was little, my mom was a stay-at-home mom – she was always musical and we would sing songs and play instruments every day. My favourite movie was the Sound of Music and I knew all the words to every song – I still have recordings of me at 4 singing “I Have Confidence”. I asked for piano lessons at 5, and then started violin at 7, voice lessons at 10 and guitar at 12. When I was 9, my mom joined her partner, now her wife, as being an owner of their music school, and that’s where I did all my lessons.

Who inspired you to start singing and playing instruments?
I honestly can’t pick out one specific point where I was inspired to play music; I’d always just grown up around all these teachers and students at the music school and was constantly inspired by them. It was kind of funny, because I was always a really shy kid but at the same time always had this ongoing desire to be performing on stage.

What are your top 5 favourite songs right now?
Always the hardest question…

– Yes I’m Changing – Tame Impala

– Promise – CocoRosie

– I Will Miss the Jasmine – Shannon & the Clams

– Shirim – Melody’s Echo Chamber

– 1612 – Vulfpeck

SHE HAS CONFIDENCE: AN INTERVIEW WITH HANNAH BUSSIERE OF VEINS

February 9, 2016 Nadia Miko
Hannah Bussière is a Toronto based artist and the lead singer of the band VEINS. Her passion for music is reflected in the dreamy euphoria that effortlessly flows from her mouth in a plethora of good vibes and jazzy tunes. With such a vast range of skills it is no shock as to how exceptionally charming she is. Within the past year Hannah has played several venues, notably an event to end rape culture and victim blaming called No Skirting Around. She recently released her first album with the band called Moon Garden which can be streamed or bought on their Bandcamp page.



When and how did you get into music?
When I was little, my mom was a stay-at-home mom – she was always musical and we would sing songs and play instruments every day. My favourite movie was the Sound of Music and I knew all the words to every song – I still have recordings of me at 4 singing “I Have Confidence”. I asked for piano lessons at 5, and then started violin at 7, voice lessons at 10 and guitar at 12. When I was 9, my mom joined her partner, now her wife, as being an owner of their music school, and that’s where I did all my lessons.

Who inspired you to start singing and playing instruments?
I honestly can’t pick out one specific point where I was inspired to play music; I’d always just grown up around all these teachers and students at the music school and was constantly inspired by them. It was kind of funny, because I was always a really shy kid but at the same time always had this ongoing desire to be performing on stage.

What are your top 5 favourite songs right now?
Always the hardest question…

– Yes I’m Changing – Tame Impala

– Promise – CocoRosie

– I Will Miss the Jasmine – Shannon & the Clams

– Shirim – Melody’s Echo Chamber

– 1612 – Vulfpeck



Are there any femme artists that have inspired you? If so, what have you learned from these famous ladies?
So many. Here are a few:

1. Shannon Shaw (of Shannon & the Clams) – She really sets an example of confidence – strong body image, and is the sweetest vocalist.

2. M.I.A. – Also such a confident woman, and cool as hell. I’m definitely inspired by her political lyrics as well.

3. Melody Prochet (Melody’s Echo Chamber) – She wrote, recorded and produced her last single all on her own, which is amazing because it’s a pretty mindblowing track.

4. Janis Joplin – I recently watched a documentary on her and was really inspired by the honesty in her music and performances, as well as her spirit; she wasn’t afraid to be herself and to do whatever she felt.

5. Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes) – Like Janis, she has such an honest, raw and unique voice and always gives it her all. Also a great guitar player.

6. Annie Clark (St. Vincent) – She’s a killer guitar player, which totally inspires me to keep practicing.

As a womyn in the music industry, what is the most important problem to eradicate within the industry? Objectification of womyn, safe venues, lack of popular artists within the LGBQT+ community, etc.
I don’t know if I can pinpoint one issue to deem as most important, as there are many different and equally important issues within the music industry, but here are three things I’m a big advocate for:

1. More diversity on stage – I would really like to push for this one. I have played too many shows where I have been the only person onstage who was not male and white.

2. Safe spaces for all genders & races

3. Respect and recognition for all talented performers, regardless of gender, sexuality or race.

I realize that as an artist, I have a certain power to voice my opinions on these issues and I really hope that I can help make a change.

Which cities have you played in?
Toronto, Montreal, and London (Ontario – I wish U.K. though)

Do you have any favourite venues in Toronto, or any of the other cities you’ve performed in?
The Cavern has always been a home for me – we played our first VEINS show there. Although it’s small and not the best sound quality, I always feel comfortable there, and it’s fun because it’s right below a hostel, so you meet a lot of cool people there.

We’ve also played at the Rivoli a couple of times which has been awesome because of the sound quality, and the stage is nice and big (there’s 6 people in my band now!) so there’s more room for us to dance around and have fun.

I’ve also always wanted to play at the Horseshoe, but that’s yet to happen!

Who is your biggest fan and most loyal supporter?
Probably Jacob, my boyfriend. He helped me start up VEINS and helped to record the very first VEINS songs. But he’s in my band so maybe that doesn’t count.. my friend Emily is also wonderful – she always comes to my shows and always has great creative ideas for me, and she really believes in me which is really lovely. And of course my mom.

If you had advice for any emerging artists in the city what would it be?
1. Don’t be afraid to reach out to local artists you admire! They can give you feedback on your songs and maybe help you land a show.

2. It sounds so cliché but believe in yourself. Don’t be discouraged if something doesn’t work out; always be confident in your art and in yourself.

3. Always set goals for yourself so that you can constantly motivate yourself. There’s no one to nag you to get things done, so be proactive. I make lots of to-do lists.

Are there any resources for femme artists that you can suggest?
Obviously WIMA has something cool going on …but definitely come talk to me if you want to set up a kickass femme show! - WIMA


"VEINS - Moon Garden Album Review"

Lounge-rock, or, a haunting, roomy version of pop, with plenty of groove and emotion is what Veins is pumping out. With the Moon Garden LP, this offshoot from blues rock is a dreamy romp through some beautiful melodies and heartbreaking lyrics. Lead singer Hannah has soul to spare, and the whole band ebbs and flows with the emotion from the songs encased within. The garage-pop of Diggin' In My Grave turns into a stripped down 50's ballad, complete with falsetto back ups and a tambourine. The first band-included song, Runaway Girl, brings a late night dancer with some real mean lead lines and a heavy groove. Chops aplenty from every band member. The disc is chock-full of great songs, including Nightmare Gone To Waste, one of the heavier tunes included in the mix, with a great brooding, ambient melody guitar, and an even spookier sounding lead guitar plucking and scraping away at the notes. The album winds down to close with a sparse, solo piano performance, with an orchestrated string accompaniment, sounding like it was torn right from a Lynch-ish or Tarantino-esque climax. All in all, the dream-pop of Veins Moon Garden is a great piece of art, keep up-to-date with their facebook for shows in your area.
- Cody Wright - The Deli Magazine


"New Track: VEINS - Baby"

Rough translation: "Sometimes, music can be heavy, emotional, energetic or raw. But sometimes, music is just incredibly cute. Baby, the new single by Canadian artist VEINS, is a perfect example. The track is sweet, but not too sweet. It's the perfect soundtrack for if all hope seems lost on a Monday like today.
It's your first time listening to VEINS? How nice, it's ours as well! It doesn't take long, however, to get used to the voice of Hannah Bussière. She has a lovely, subtle voice with a comforting ring to it." - Off Tune


"VEINS, Modern Space, The Fiscals & Falcon Jane @ The Rivoli - Toronto"

Photos - A Music Blog, Yea?


"Nature & Magic Music: Luna Li"

After packing a Honda Civic with as many instruments and healthy snacks as they could, the four-piece band Luna Li hit the road for their first ever tour.

The Toronto-based band has been playing shows in the GTA for a while now, but decided it was time to take a trip to a few of Ontario’s music-loving cities. The tour brought them to Montreal and Kingston, with a chilly show at Avant Garde in Ottawa sandwiched between.

Four musicians, three of whom are glittered-out girls, plus synths is the formula for Luna Li. When they play, an ethereal energy enters the venue. From Bussiere’s melancholic crooning, to the dazzling synths, to the tightly executed guitar and drums, the band seems to command the attention of the audience.

Hannah Bussiere, who fronts the band, has been studying music for more than 14 years. Her mother owns the Classical Music Conservatory in Toronto, an excellent advantage for a budding musician. Beginning with piano at age 5, and learning violin and guitar in the years following, Bussiere knows her way around a treble clef.

Luna Li has only been playing under that name for a few months. Before, the ensemble was known as VEINS, a name that Bussiere came up with to publish home recordings of songs she had written to Bandcamp.

“That was a poem I had wrote in high school, it was called VEINS,” says Bussiere, “I thought it was kind of romantic and cute.”

As the band was growing, it was decided that a new name would help encompass the themes of the band. Bussiere and her bandmate Hallie Switzer came up with lists of names related to nature and magic, and even solicited the opinions of strangers.

“One day we went on the street and we were asking random people what names they liked,” laughs Bussiere.

The songwriting is more or less exclusively Bussiere’s responsibility, but her bandmates help her arrange and perfect each tune. Switzer plays a variety of roles, including backup vocals and bass guitar, while Charise “Char” Aragoza picked up guitar and synth (after already covering backup vocals and more) in a matter of months to round out the lineup. Braden Sauder is the band’s lone male presence, keeping the beat on the drums and teaming up with Bussiere with recording at his studio.

Bussiere says all-ages shows are important to the band, because they are inclusive and safe for everyone. Luna Li is part of an artist collective known as Fried Records, which puts on these types of events.

As Toronto seems to be making a bigger name for itself in the music scene every day, the band get more opportunities to play better shows. Opening for acts like New York’s gobbinjr are a sign that they are building more of a name for themselves. However, Bussiere says that she is also seeing a lot of venues close as the city changes.

“This really small venue called The CENTRAL just recently closed,” says Bussiere, “it’s really really tiny but it’s where I played some of my first shows and it’s where I know so many bands in Toronto have played their first show, so it’s kind of sad to see that go.”

Positive changes are abound in Toronto as well, as more people are getting the opportunity to play their music.

“Promoters have been more aware about making diverse bills with more female artists and artists of colour, and that’s been really great to see,” says Bussiere.

Even with some cherished spots shutting their doors, things seem to be looking up for Luna Li. They have multiple music videos shot and ready to go in the coming months, but are keeping their lips sealed about the content. One of the videos was shot in New York in exchange for a film score written by Bussiere.

For now, Luna Li is applying for assorted Canadian music grants, and working hard towards their second album. Keep an eye out for their upcoming music videos, and an ear out for any new music.

You can follow Luna Li on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or their website. - The DTS


Discography

Moon Garden (2015)

Ghosting EP (2014)

Photos

Bio

Luna Li aka Hannah Bussiere has been called the garage rock princess of Toronto (Mick Magazine). She plays regularly with her band at prestigious venues such as the Opera House, the Rivoli & the Horseshoe Tavern, and has opened for bands such as Japanese Breakfast, Partner & Faith Healer.

With over 14 years of classical piano and violin training, Hannah brings a unique musical sensibility to the garage rock genre; playing both distorted guitar and violin with a looping pedal resulting in a “dreamy romp through some beautiful melodies and heartbreaking lyrics”(Deli Magazine).

Beginning in early 2015 after returning from Montreal, where she attended one semester at McGill’s music program, Hannah began writing music under the name VEINS, playing live as a three-piece and eventually a six-piece band. Partnered with Fried Records, Hannah released her 12-track debut album Moon Garden in May 2015, which has been called “a great piece of art… plenty of groove and emotion” by the Deli Magazine.

After finishing the Independent Music Production program at Seneca in April 2016, and playing shows around Ontario and Quebec over the last year, Hannah is back in the studio, recording a new album with a new and evolving sound. This pending change inspired the transition from the name VEINS to Luna Li in early 2017.  Bringing a much-needed strong female presence to the Toronto music scene, Luna Li is unabashedly herself.

Band Members