Michelle Rasky
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Michelle Rasky

Band Folk Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"A Surprising fresh CD..."

“A surprising, fresh CD, full of airy references to earlier pop music, but with a charming, direct, modern feel.”
– Richard Flohil, Toronto's Premier Promoter
- NOW Magazine, May 2004

"CD Review"

“Full of light-hearted, uplifting melodies.” – Brent Raynor - NOW Magazine, May 2004

"Summer Style of Rasky - Toronto songstress explores her eclectic side on new CD"

By Kerry Doole
She may have entitled her second album Your Love's Like Spring, but Michelle Rasky acknowledges that there's a different seasonal feel to this lovely new disc. "People have written to me saying they really enjoy playing it at their cottage. It is a very summery album.” That vibe is projected by Michelle's oft upbeat melodic touch and light and breezy vocals. It is fitting then that she has just begun a summer residency upstairs at The Rivoli, appearing there every Wednesday in August as part of the Maple Lounge series. Downstairs at The Riv, Rasky tells Tandem that those gigs "will be solo, though my bassist, Ed Roman, may join in on a few songs. I love both solo and band gigs for different reasons. Solo, there is more opportunity to chat with the audience and be flexible musically. With a band, there is a different dynamic and energy. With many of the singer/songwriters I love I prefer to see them solo. It seems the songs have more weight then." Along with band mates Roman and drummer Ilios Steryannis, some of this city's very best players are featured on Your Love's Like Spring. The cast list includes Kurt Swinghammer, Luke Doucet (Veal), Paul Neufeld (NOJO), Kevin Fox and Anne Lindsay, and their tasty contributions add to the diversity of the sound. "This is my eclectic period," Michelle notes. "There is so much music I love to listen to [she is even an electronica fan], and all kinds of other influences began to filter into what I was writing. It felt like something really opened up, and this is much more reflective of my diverse influences." She terms her style "organic hybrid-pop," and it draws upon jazz, folk, swing and country elements. It has a different feel than her 2000 debut, What I Meant To Say, as she explains. "That one was half solo, and half with musicians I hadn't worked with on an ongoing basis. The arrangements were quite different. It was more of a funky-folk fusion, with lots of open tunings and rhythmic guitar playing. It was not as melodically oriented as this one." The debut was well-received, notching plenty of CBC and campus airplay, but Rasky says "it did lead to my getting pigeonholed a little for that sound. I was compared to Ani DiFranco a lot, and I was a bit frustrated about that." The jazz meets pop songs on the new disc will likely elicit some Norah Jones comparisons, though Michelle is quick to point out that a lot of its songs were written before the Norah phenomenon. "These songs all came out honestly and all within the time frame of leading up to and during the recording process. They capture a period of my life." Given the budget restraints of being an independent artist, Michelle has come up with a very professional production sound on the record. She produced it in tandem with engineer Brian D'Oliviera, while her brother Tom came up with the studio. "He had built a great-sounding studio in the basement of his previous house," she explains. "Unfortunately it's no longer there, as they sold the house, but it was a great opportunity to sneak in there and record this. My brother had done a lot of research into the acoustics of it, getting a really nice live sound. That is something I thought I'd missed on the first album. The studio we used then didn't have a very natural ambience." Michelle is modest about her own musicianship, but the fact that she teaches piano and guitar testifies to her skill. Similarly, her creativity as a producer is impressive, and that can be partially attributed to an early habit. "Growing up, I always loved listening to albums on headphones, figuring out how the arrangements were put together. I have always liked to listen to music in a very active sense. Your Love's Like Spring is available via www.michellerasky.com. Michelle Rasky plays the Maple Lounge series, upstairs at The Rivoli, every Wednesday in August.
Publication Date: 2004-08-08_Story Location: http://www.tandemnews.com/viewstory.php?storyid=4252
- Tandem News, August 8, 2004

"On the Beat"

MICHELLE RASKY: Caught and enjoyed the first night of this local songstress' Maple Lounge residency upstairs at The Rivoli. Michelle's fluency on guitar and melodic phrasing largely compensated for the lack of the sophisticated arrangements these well-crafted songs receive on her fine second CD, Your Love's Like Spring. There's still time to catch her at The Riv on Aug. 25. - Tandem News, August 22, 2004

"CD Review"

“Rasky has distinguished herself from the pack with her jazz flavored vocals and nifty chord combinations. With strong vocal and musical performances throughout, Rasky's second CD is a big step forward in technical and artistic quality.” – Kurt Swinghammer, musician - swinghammer.com

"Your Love's Like Spring Review"

With influences from Ani Difranco to Shawn Colvin, Sheryl Crow to Lucinda Williams to Bonnie Raitt, Michelle Rasky just nails that "clear but directed" quality that so many artists blow over until deep into their career. There is no feeling of her figuring out her style, her voice or her language. From the downbeat to the last beat, underneath every song is a solid feeling of conviction, committment and decisive writing, unflinching and wholly complete, fully delving into every space appropriate. She mixes it up with some light, swingy jazz, blues and tinges of country folk, too, giving "Your Love's Like Spring" a highly versatile use in your player. Definitely check this one out. - CD Baby, Feb. 2006

"Your Love's Like Spring Review"

"An impressive outing for Toronto singer-songwriter Rasky . . . bright and festival-friendly organic folk-pop with some jazzy, soulful edges . . . the songs are of exceptionally high quality.” – Greg Quill - Toronto Star, June 10, 2004

"Meet Michelle Rasky"


We meet eclectic, acoustic Toronto singer/songwriter Michelle Rasky just over a week ago, the day after she wins the 2004 Ontario Council of Folk Festivals' "Songs from the Heart" competition/ Galaxie Rising Star Award. Her song, "Into the New" - the best of a fine lot on her new album, Your Love's Like Spring -- takes the top prize, which includes a thousand bucks, showcase sets at a handful of key songwriter events and a month of heavy rotation on Galaxie's Folk/Roots channel. "It was a real shock!" says Rasky. "I'm used to applying here and there to so many things, and getting so many rejection letters, that I actually didn't know quite how to respond! I was really dumbstruck. I got off the phone and thought, 'Maybe I misheard, maybe it's a different award, some other related thing.' I'm very happy." On top of collecting awards, Rasky's also been showcasing her captivating voice and adept lyrics through a month of Wednesdays at the Maple Lounge series upstairs at The Rivoli (Aug. 25 is her final set there). And she's helping renovate the Yellow Dog Music school in Leaside, where she's been happily administrating and teaching music to folks of all ages, part-time, for about three years.


Rasky's new album (her second) is largely about loosening up and letting go. Songs like the title track, "Lazy Afternoon" and "Skipping Stones" thrive on relaxation, as Rasky touts the benefits of listening quietly instead of asking why, and allowing the familiar to give way to the new. "I'm always moving towards that," says Rasky. "Not in a flippant way, ignoring responsibility, but more being present in the moment and realizing that things are OK when you do [relax], being able to trust in that, in and of itself, to start to find the confidence in yourself to be able to connect with others in a more meaningful way.... A lot of lyrics on this album talk about how things can be running around in your head, and that can go on incessantly. At some point, you have to not fight it, give in to it and let it run its course so that you can experience something new. Yield to it, letting go of the idea that you have to control everything."

"Eclectic" can be an overused word, but the mostly self-taught Rasky does many things well, as befits a musician with her wide-ranging tastes and inquisitive mind. "I've always loved listening to many kinds of music," she says. "I've never understood that thing where people gravitate to one kind and dismiss other things -- without even listening, sometimes. I've always had open ears, and they've only gotten more open as I've gotten older. At one point, I said, 'I'm not gonna worry about what kind of song I'm gonna write; I'm just gonna let whatever comes out, come out.'" HOWARD DRUCKMAN - eye Weekly, August 19, 2004


Your Love's Like Spring, 2004 LP
What I Meant To Say, 2000 LP


Feeling a bit camera shy


With influences stemming from Billie Holiday, Ani Difranco and Stevie Wonder, Michelle Raskys sweet jazzy vocals and "light-hearted, uplifting melodies," (NOW Magazine) form her signature organic hybrid-pop sound.

An accomplished singer-songwriter/musician, Michelle won the 2004 OCFF Songs From the Heart/CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award for her song "Into the New". In the past year her first music video charted at 16 on Bravo! Videos and CDBaby.com featured her current disc, Your Loves Like Spring, on their front page. Most recently she performed at the NXNE and Toronto City Roots Festivals and composed music for a short independent film. Michelle has shared the stage with many great artists, including opening for music legends, Odetta and Ian Tyson and critically acclaimed singer- songwriters, Cheryl Wheeler, Eliza Gilkyson and Jesse Winchester.

Incorporating elements of jazz and soul with a unique ear for phrasing and a "captivating" (Howard Druckman - eye Weekly) vocal style, her voice seems to effortlessly push and pull at the rhythms of a line, delivering each word with emotional potency. Michelle likes to get inside a lyric. Her "songs of exceptionally high quality" (Greg Quill, Toronto Star) are full of rich imagery and subtle wit. They explore the complexities of relationships, politics and the simplicity of love with depth, poignancy and insight. She offers genuine messages of self awareness and compassion. Her musical back-drop is colourful; an upbeat swing-jazz inspired number, a ballad with country-folk flair, a pop-driven tale with an infectious chorus. The result is "a surprising, fresh CD." (Richard Flohil)

Her current album, Your Love’s Like Spring, features her band mates Ed Roman on bass, Ilios Steryannis on drums and artists such as Kurt Swinghammer, Luke Doucet, Kevin Fox (Sarah Harmer), Anne Lindsay, Sarah McElcheran (Hawksley Workman, Sarah Slean), and Juno award winner Paul Neufeld (NOJO). Visit Michelles website - www.michellerasky.com, for a list of upcoming media appearances. Her CDs are available for sale online at MapleMusic.com, CDBaby.com, iTunes & several other popular download sites. You can also visit Michelle at her myspace page at www.myspace.com/michellerasky.