Melanie Peterson
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Melanie Peterson

Toronto, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Toronto, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Folk Pop

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Aug
18
Melanie Peterson @ Avant Garde Bar

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Jul
26
Melanie Peterson @ Artists' Garden Cooperative

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jul
14
Melanie Peterson @ Free Times Cafe

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Music

Press


Saskatoon-born, Toronto-based singer/songwriter/actress Melanie Peterson celebrated the launch of her new CD Anywhere From Here at The Piston last night, with guest artist Bri-Anne Swan opening the festivities. And what a celebration it was!
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Bri-anne Swan

Swan opened with a short solo acoustic set of mostly original songs, opening with a gorgeous interpretation of Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind.” Featuring crystal clear vocals, with a subtle haunting, wistful quality, Swan’s lyrical storytelling includes hints of folk – her latest CD Letters Home also includes a Lightfoot cover of “Now and Then” – and country (opening track “Have You Seen My Ghost”). Her sounds conjure up images of windswept, lonesome plains, big skies and misty, strange forests. Give her a listen/look-see on her YouTube channel. Bri-anne Swan is also the cover designer/photographer for Anywhere From Here.

Then, the main event. I first met Melanie Peterson about two years ago, when she was performing in a line-up of amazing, talented women at ovarian cancer fundraiser She’s Listening II, and I interviewed her last year. Peterson has been described as Mary Poppins with a broken heart. The songwriting is genuine and self-aware, and there is a positive tone even in the heartbreak. In fact, the progression of the songs on Anywhere From Here – which Peterson and her band played from top to bottom – reads like the life of a romantic relationship. From the initial magic sparks in “Truth Talking” and “Fallback Plan,” to words of warning “Where There’s Smoke (Lust Ain’t Love),” to the devil may care of “Just the Right Amount of Wrong,” and into the stall in “Holding Pattern” and when it’s over in “I Miss You Already” – she’s got all the feels. There are also lovely expressions of gratitude here (“A Path Laid Out Like Gold,” featuring backing vocals by Kasandra Sharpe) and love that’s so good (“A Gift” – the CD’s title comes from these lyrics).
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Melanie Peterson

Peterson’s sounds feature folk, pop (including a kicky Beatles-inspired riff in “Fallback Plan”) and country, with some reggae flavour (“Truth Talking”) – delivered with lovely, lilting vocals and sweet harmonies. Joining Peterson (guitar, lead vocals) last night – and also playing on Anywhere From Here: Mitch Girio (guitar, backing vocals and producer – he also produced Swan’s Letters Home), Pete Lambert (drums, violin, backing vocals) and Peter Collins (bass, backing vocals). By the time they got up to play their set, the room was packed with enthusiastic friends, family and fans – so much so that the crowd coaxed three encore songs, including “Cinema Girl” (my request – thanks again, guys!) and “Unbreakable,” from Peterson’s Unbreakable CD.

Melanie Peterson’s Anywhere From Here is a heartfelt, beautiful mix of playful, introspective and melancholy. Wrap your ears around it soon.

You can keep up with Peterson on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Sound Cloud, among other platforms – see her website for all the platforms. - Cate McKim


Unbreakable by Melanie Peterson is a definite feel good album, and Melanie’s soft but not overly tender vocals lays out each song within the distinct genre form as the songs on Unbreakable range from Jazz, Pop, Folk and even a bit of Pop/Rock tossed onto the album.

Unbreakable starts off with “Don’t Tell Me” which is a jazz/pop infused song. Melanie quickly shows off her vibrato vocals in small and quick snippets throughout the song. The backing vocals in the song also give the song a catchy expression as well. I really valued the vocal boundaries in which Melanie stays between and within throughout the song, by keeping a softer touch within her vocals she is able to blend in the backing vocals tacitly as well as conform to the acoustics in the song as well. The sound of the keys makes a bit of an impact in the song, as they are played at just the right moments with the right tones for the song. They play above the acoustics in the song which help make the instrument portray a sound on its own and doesn’t fall into the background of the acoustics and the song as a whole.

“Cinema Girl” is one of my favourite songs off of the album. The mandolin played by Glenn Barna is the driving sound in the song, also the mandolin is accompanied with Melanie and Brian on acoustics as well. Still for me the mandolin is the standout instrument in the song. The Bass guitar does a great job of adding just the right amount of kick into the song. The Bass plays out in the background of the song but is noticeable enough to give a back line to the acoustics and mandolin. If you are a fan of East Coast pop then you will probably enjoy this track as well.

Hitting off another pop song on Unbreakable is a song titled “Read My Lips”. The catchy guitar intro is what originally hooked me into the song as I listened to the album for the first time. Melanie’s soft vocals again fit quite nicely with the upbeat feel of the song. With this song and a couple of other selected songs off of Unbreakable. I could start to relate Melanie’s pop sound to a few other Toronto musicians with Meredith Shaw and Patrick Ballantyne to name a couple. Another catchy hook in the song is the lyrics in the chorus. Melanie vocals and simple but catchy “Na NaNaNa Na” lays into the chorus quite nicely. Just as in a couple of the previous songs the piano is executed at just the right moments nearing the ending of the song and helps fill in the song until the end. - Matt Hartwick


I can hear the Joni Mitchell influence in her voice, but there is a significant difference between the two—Joni’s voice is cool, introverted and detached, whereas Melanie’s is warmth personified. She has the ability to imbue her vocals with palpable emotion without going over the top.

Melanie Peterson is an authentic and talented woman, and Unbreakable is a solid debut album that clearly suggests tremendous potential. - Altrockchick


I met Toronto-based singer/songwriter Melanie Peterson about a year ago at Cameron House during She’s Listening II, a music event fundraiser for Ovarian Cancer Canada. Captured by her cheery yet melancholy sounds, I picked up a copy of her Unbreakable CD – she’s been aptly described as “Mary Poppins with a broken heart.” We’ve kept in touch on social media since then, and I learned that she’s recently launched an Indiegogo campaign for her sophomore album and released the very catchy, poppy single “Fallback Plan” (be sure to visit the campaign page to hear the song). I chatted with Peterson recently about the new record and the fundraising campaign:

LWMC: Hey, busy lady. You’ve been getting ready to record your second album. What’s it called, and what can you tell us about the inspiration and genesis of this new music?

MP: Truth be told, I’ve yet to hit upon the album title. My producer Mitch Girio and I are batting around ideas right now. I’m thinking maybe not a song title, but a key line from one of the songs… kinda like Alanis did with her Jagged Little Pill album title. As far as the genesis of these songs, they come from my daily writing practice. I write one full song a month, come hell or high water, so many of the songs come from this. Inspired by my life, or a book I read or another song I hear.

LWMC: You’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign for this record on Indiegogo. How did that come about?

MP: The campaign came about as I watched friends of mine from different parts of the country having successful crowdfunding campaigns for their tours and albums. I figured if they can do it, so can I! So I began slowly putting my campaign together. First, I had to consider how much it would cost to make the album. I factored in everything: recording costs, paying the band and producer, the mastering costs, manufacturing cost, the costs for art work and album promotion. I thought long and hard about “perks” that would be useful to the people who contributed. Then I asked my dear friend and champion, Martin O’bern, to join my team. This kind of thing is difficult to do alone. He agreed, I launched the campaign and we began getting the word out.

LWMC: And how’s it going?

MP: It’s going really well! I’m almost at 30% funded, which is great because at 30% it begins to look like an exciting campaign is going on, and more people begin taking notice and getting on board. I’ve already made new fans and friends in places like Switzerland and Russia, which is pretty cool. I’ve had the opportunity to reach out to people who have been behind my music from the very beginning of this journey, and to those who are new to my music and have been surprised and delighted by the support and encouragement I have received. It’s a really great process for connecting with people. It is also totally unpredictable. The people you are sure are going to contribute, don’t. The people who you don’t think will want to help, DO. It’s really surprising that way. And I’ve had to battle with my insecurities about reaching my goal, is it too high, do people think it’s all about me being all about me, what happens if I don’t reach my goal… but I find if I gently put those thoughts aside and continue with the process, I am rewarded on some many levels.

LWMC: When will folks get to hear the new record?

MP: Folks who contribute to the campaign will be the first to hear the new album. I’ll be fulfilling my obligations to get the music to them, first. That should happen in August. And after that, there will be an official album launch end of August.
April 11 2015
April 11 2015

LWMC: Any upcoming gigs you want to shout out?

MP: Always! One I’m pumped about is Monday June 29th. I’m sharing the bill with an incredible Toronto songwriter: Patrick Ballantyne. The show is hosted by Elana Harte and called: M-Factor Mondays. It is the BEST musical way to start your week! 7:30pm. Old Nick Pub (123 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON). And the best part is: there is never a cover!

LWMC: Anything else you’d like to share?

MP: I’d like to let people know I’ll be doing a four-week residency at The Cameron House in August. Every Wednesday from 6-8pm in the front room.

LWMC: One last thing. I’d like to do James Lipton’s Inside the Actors Studio Bernard Pivot-inspired/Proust-adapted questionnaire with you:
1. What’s your favourite word? cookie
2. What’s your least favourite word? slaughter
3. What turns you on? talent
4. What turns you off? cruelty
5. What sound or noise do you love? the bubbles in a bubble bath
6. What sound or noise do you hate? hammering
7. What is your favourite curse word? shit balls
8. What profession other than your own would you like to pursue? novelist
9. What profession would you not like to do? undertaker
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? “Where to next?”

Thanks, Melanie! All the best with the Indiegogo campaign and recording. Looking forward to hearing the new record. - Cate McKim


“Easy to look at and easy to listen to, Melanie Peterson has a perky and plesant persona on stage and a talent that finds poise in it's expression. A familiar presence across Toronto, she has a precision and lilt in her voice and instrumentation that echos folk but also has a catchy pop feel” - Toronto Moon Magazine


And at the Liberty Bistro: A melodically enchanting songwriter and musically adept guitarist, Melanie Peterson has the crowd eating out of her hand. I'd call her music smooth pop as it is as inviting as it is sweet. - Toronto Moon Magazine


“Blessed with a delicate yet potent sound that harkens to early Joni Mitchell, Melanie Peterson is a top shelf songwriter serving up songs that explore all things romantic. She is destined for great things.” - Beach Community News


I caught some great live music, including one of my favorites, Melanie Peterson, who was on stage on College St.'s Free Times Cafe. With such well crafted songs, and her tremendous voice and talented band I must say: if she doesn't make it big, I'll eat my hat. - The Saturday Sun


If you are looking for super live music, check out Melanie Peterson, a terrific singer and songwriter I saw recently at Starbucks at Queen and Niagra. She sounds just as good live as she does on her album, After The Fall. Saturday night, with Peter Collins on bass, she appears at Taps and Tales at 1282 Danforth Ave. She has a beautiful voice and her songwriting is tops too. - The Saturday Sun


Earlier this week Melanie Peterson released her brand new album titled Anywhere From Here. The album is a soothing blend of country, folk and pop songs which are all sugar coated with Melanie’s smooth and creamy vocals.

Melanie decidedly chose to stray away from a specific genre and style during Anywhere From Here. Throughout each song on Anywhere From Here you are greeted with an upbeat melody and atmosphere which is provided by the vocals from Melanie.

Anywhere From Here opens up with a cross between a pop song and a light touch of reggae. It may be a reach to add the reggae title to the song, but it’s the brass and bass groove in the song that warrants the title for me. Also the brass at the start of the song is quite a hook in the song. The brass hits a few times throughout the song and in such a touchy manner that it really stands out and adds such a great flavour to the song. The backing vocals are also a nice additive to the track as well, they just slide right under Melanie’s lead vocals. The overall rhythm of the track is quite enjoyable as well. “Truth Talking” would be my choice for a first single off of Anywhere From Here.

Up next is a completely different tone with a country song titled “Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire”. What I like the most about the track is the fact that this is not a New Country sound, Melanie gives a nice classic sound to the track. The slide guitar that plays in the background couldn’t have been played or recorded any better. I kind of wish the bridge work in the song would have lasted a bit longer. A foot tapper of a song? Yes it is. Melanie’s soft vocals really work out well in the track, especially near the ending when they are going with a heavier finish. I could definitely see a commercial radio possibility for this song.

“Good On Paper” is another country track from the album. “Good On Paper” takes a step away from the classic country sound compared to “Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire” as there is more a pop flavour added to the track. The bridge work again, especially with the lead guitar sounds great. Melanie’s soft vocals again stand right out in the track, and are pushed forward by the backing vocals.

The guitar rhythm and lead work is something you have to check out in “Who Says”. - Matt Hartwick


Melanie Peterson – “Fallback Plan” (Independent): Melanie Peterson is a Toronto-based singer/songwriter with a lovely lilting voice and strong songwriting chops. She was described by BBC Radio once as “Mary Poppins with a broken heart.” The folk-pop artist is readying the release of her second full-length album ‘Anywhere From Here’, to be launched at The Piston in Toronto on March 16. The first single, “Fallback Plan” is a nice representation of her melodic sound. The album was produced and engineered by Mitch Girio (Morgan Doctor, Emma-Lee, David Newland, Kirsten Jones), who plays on the disc alongside other local notables Peter Collins and Peter Lambert. - Kerry Doole


She's been called “Mary Poppins with a broken heart” but don't entirely buy into that. Melanie Peterson's second full-length album ‘Anywhere From Here’ carries a tad more edge than that. The T.Dot singer, songwriter takes the album release party to Toronto's The Piston Mar.16. Peterson also launches her first single and video (track three) from the new CD titled “Fallback Plan”.

VIDEO: youtu.be/w39T2-VnMJ4.
AUDIO: soundcloud.com/melanie-peterson/melanie-peterson-fallback-plan

With Peterson’s guitar driven, optimistic love songs and lilting voice, ‘Anywhere From Here’ continues to embrace her folk-pop influences. It was recorded in Toronto at Slaughterhouse 754, and, as with two of Petersons prior records (2013’s first full-length album ‘Unbreakable’ and 2014’s six-song cover EP ‘Read It On The Radio’), it was produced and engineered by Mitch Girio (Morgan Doctor, Dave Borins, Emma Lee, David Newland and Kirsten Jones).

Peterson wants it known, “Anywhere From Here isn't just about music, it's about knowing you can get anywhere from where you are, no matter where that is. I'm so excited for the CD release party! I feel like I've been waiting for centuries for this show. I'm so glad we’re at this point and people can celebrate with the band and I, as we play all the songs live and in the order they appear on the album.”

Peterson earned her spot within Toronto’s independent music scene when she was invited to host and perform her original songs in the monthly female singer-songwriter night called Girls Girls Girls at the renowned Cameron House (September 2010 to December 2012), and in March 2012 when she initially showcased at Canadian Music Week. She was invited back to perform two showcases at CMW 2013 and in that same year she launched her first full-length album ‘Unbreakable’ in Toronto. Melanie followed that up with a triumphant NXNE showcase in June and a successful Southern Ontario tour. - Cashbox Canada


Discography

AFTER THE FALL 2010

UNBREAKABLE 2013

READ IT ON THE RADIO 2014

ANYWHERE FROM HERE 2016

SUNSHINE (single) 2016

SANTA'S SLEIGH (holiday single) 2016


Photos

Bio

Blessed with an ability to imbue her vocals with palpable emotion without going over the top, Melanie Peterson, a Saskatoon born, Toronto based, singer-songwriter and actress has boldly become one of the brightest lights on the Toronto music scene.

About two sides of love, Melanie is now set to launch a new summer EP release called ‘Two’.

Melanie has been referred to as “Mary Poppins with a broken heart” by BBC Radio and has been recognized as having “a beautiful voice” and being a “terrific songwriter” by Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun. She earned a spot within the independent music scene in Toronto March 2012, when she showcased her original music during Canadian Music Week, at the Royal York Library Bar. She was invited back to perform two showcases at CMW 2013. She launched her first full-length album ‘Unbreakable’ in April 2013 at The Piston in Toronto. Melanie followed that up with a triumphant NXNE showcase and a successful southern Ontario tour.

Melanie initially moved to Toronto to pursue a career in acting. Between acting jobs, she often picked up the Gibson guitar her father had given her as a parting gift. She then began the second leg of her artistic journey: songwriting and performing her songs live. The feedback she got each time she ventured out to play her songs for Toronto audiences was encouraging.

Melanie released a five song EP in 2011 called ‘After The Fall’ and the reviews were encouraging.

“If you are looking for super live music, check out Melanie Peterson, a terrific singer and songwriter...she sounds just as good live as she does on her album…. She has a beautiful voice and her songwriting is tops, too." ~ Toronto Sun.

“Melanie Peterson is destined for great things. With aching vibrato that reminds one of early Joni Mitchell she weaves the stories of her life into her music with effortless ease." ~ Beach Metro.

Her follow up full-length album ‘Unbreakable’ was well received by critics and fans alike.

“We have very much enjoyed playing a variety of tracks from ‘Unbreakable’, Melanie's first full length CD release and my Saturday morning listeners have been quick to let us know they enjoy what Melanie does!” ~ Monica Winfield BBC Radio Leicester host.

Melanie's song “Lucky Me” was recently chosen, out of hundreds of submissions, to be included in Toronto's Music 311 winter 2015-2016 playlist.

Melanie followed the release of ‘Unbreakable’, with a six-song cover EP titled ‘Read It On The Radio’, which was part of a six-week digital download campaign in which Melanie released one new cover song every week from April 28, 2014 to June 1, 2014.

Then, with a grant from FACTOR, Melanie Peterson, once again teamed up with producer and band member Mitch Girio to produce her sophomore album ‘Anywhere from Here’, which she released on March 16, 2016 at The Piston in Toronto.

“After recently releasing her second full length album, ‘Anywhere from Here’, Melanie and her band came to The Piston wanting to give their dedicated audience a live experience of all of the songs from their new album. The evening was spectacular and the house was packed!” ~ SNAP Bloor West.

The album feedback was positive and Melanie toured through Ontario and Quebec in the summer of 2016. She also played shows in Edmonton, Vancouver, St. John and Halifax in March 2017 thanks to the Via Rail ‘Artists On Board Program’, which allowed her to “play her way across the country”.

“The songwriting is genuine and self-aware, and there is a positive tone even in the heartbreak. In fact, the progression of the songs on ‘Anywhere From Here’, reads like the life of a romantic relationship.” ~ Cate McKim, Blogger, Life With More Cowbell.

In November 2016, Melanie received a FACTOR artist development grant, which she used to record and promote an original holiday single titled “Santa's Sleigh”. The single was produced by award winning producer Chris Birkett (Sinead O'Connor and Buffy St. Marie), and was released to radio stations across Canada in December 2016.

In early 2017, renowned SKA artist Susan Cadogan recorded a cover of Melanie's folk song “Truth Talking” and released it as a single. “The legendary Susan Cadogan sings a rootsy rocksteady love song in her unmistakable voice, with a sweet lyric by Melanie Peterson that could have been written a thousand years ago or last week.” ~ SKA’D For LIFE, ska4u.com.

Melanie’s most current project is a two-song EP titled ‘Two’. Produced by Mitch Girio, it will be released on July 14, 2017, with Ontario tour dates to follow.

Contact: www.melaniepeterson.ca


Band Members