paula toledo
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paula toledo

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"There's Definitely Something.."

"...there's definitely something about this young Vancouver-based indie singer-songwriter that's worth watching. Stay the type of disk that slides into your longterm memory and makes you say, 'Hmmm'..." - Monday Magazine

"Stay Awhile is Truly Affecting..."

"Stay Awhile is truly affecting as its bittersweet lyricism comes through... One senses the youthful passion tempered by a certain "well traveled" wisdom."
- CKUT Radio, Tony King - February 14, 2006

"Stay Awhile is a Lovely Album..."

"Stay Awhile is a lovely album... honest, pure and passionate...sort of timeless in fact. A very successful debut album."
- Hallandsposten Daily, Sweden, Gert Gredelle - January 25, 2006

"Paula Bares the Heart of a Travelling Soul"

I would never sink to blind gender generalizations, but it does seem in my experience that women get the travel bug more than men. Now this may have to do with the fact that every decent lady friend I've ever had has moved away from Edmonton for at least a while - teaching in Japan, working in Malawi, slumming in Barcelona, disappearing into the forests of Vancouver Island. Is it true that women in their younger days won't put up with the monotony of hoser life?

An entire book could be written on the subject.

Paula Toledo is a nice, light sampling of this traveller's soul.Her first full-length, the ironically named Stay Awhile, is bubbling with movement. It's wistful, hopeful and sung beautifully. And while Charles de Gaulle Airport gets a nod, it's actually lines like "I would believe that there's nothing you think is worth leaving behind" and "we'll leave it all before it thaws, this city of our frozen ghosts" that underline this thesis.

A transplant from Montreal to Vancouver herself, Toledo understands a lot of things about truly big city angst that you and I are likely immune to. This album certainly does remind me of the need to cry out and be noticed in the uncaring streets of Van, where nary a resident escapes being stolen from, where no one meets your eye as you walk down the street under the umbrella.

Toledo's singing contradicts this mood - it's warm and lovely without a lot of the nasal tricks and leg-showing that Canadian chanteuses often resort to instead of coming up with good pop-folk melodies. Listening to this, I feel nostalgic. And that's worth something.

- The Edmonton Sun, Fish Griwkowsky

"Pride at High Tide"

Paula Toledo got some high-powered help on her debut full-length, Stay Awhile. The Vancouver singer/songwriter's disc was mixed by Irish producer David Odlum, who has worked with Josh Ritter, the Frames and Gemma Hayes. Odlum helps highlight the young singer's strengths, such as the hook-laden melody of the opening track "Pride". Toledo plays a CD release party Feb. 25 at the Media Club. Tickets at the door.

- Vancouver Courier, February 22, 2006

"The debut effort from Vancouver Singer/Songwriter is an unassuming gem of an album"

Scene and Heard
March 6, 2006
The debut effort from Vancouver singer/songwriter Paula Toledo is an unassuming gem of an album.

She already boasts an impressive list of TV and film placements for her songs. Tracks from her self-titled 2003 EP appeared in a number of shows, including YTV's 15/Love and APTN's The O.C.'s Seth Cohen would doubtlessly approve of her winsome folk-pop, especially the Death Cab for Cutie-esque lead off track 'Pride'.

Though some may find this off-putting, the strength of the disc's 11 tracks allow them to transcend the "teen drama soundtrack" label that may be unfairly ascribed to her music.

Toledo's achingly beautiful voice is at times reminiscent of Sarah Harmer's. 'Passport' in particular would sit comfortably alongside Harmer's 'Don't Get Your Back Up'. She brings a sense of warmth and intimacy to her bittersweet lyrics. The aptly titled 'Fly Away' is a soaring pop masterpiece that captures both the joy and loss that anyone who has made a major change in their life, be it the break-up of a long-term relationship or moving far from home, can identify with.

Stay Awhile unapologetically deals with the timeless themes of love, loss and hope. It will win your heart, break it and make you fall in love with it all over again. Hopefully, Paula Toledo is going to follow the album title's invitation and stay with us for a while. - Scene and Heard

"Paula Toledo Worthy of a Long 'Stay'"

Youthink Magazine
March 6, 2006
* * * *

by Quisha Girard-Lau – Thompson, Vancouver

Paula Toledo is a woman of inspiration. On her debut album Stay Awhile, she proves that if you're determined and passionate about what you do, you will succeed. With smooth melodies and original lyrics, her voice seeps into your memory for good. Her lyrics are simple yet elegant and the guitar licks will keep you hooked throughout each song. All of this is combined with a beautiful, resounding voice. You're bound to stay awhile yourself, not wanting to miss one beat. - Youthink Magazine

"You Need Three Things to Be a Big Star..."

You Need three things to be a big star: talent, looks, and some quirky story about how you got started. Paula Toledo has excess of all three.

We know Paula Toledo is talented. Her 2003 self-titled EP had two songs featured in a television sitcom, gained her magazine coverage all over North America, and received praise from critics and fans alike.

As for the looks thing, see attached photo.

And the quirky stories about how she got started? Take your pick. There's trading her sister maid services for guitar lessons. Her stint as a lead singer for a ska/punk band. Rediscovering her folk roots by spontaneously entertaining the clients of a sangria bar in Barcelona. Or my personal favourite, singing while painting her apartment and subsequently being taken to France as a back-up singer by her eavesdropping neighbour.

And now Toledo is about to release her full-length debut, Stay Awhile. Produced by Toledo, Jonathan Anderson and ex-Frames guitarist David Odlum. Stay Awhile is the kind of album that makes household names out of talented, beautiful, singer/songwriters with quirky stories about how they got started.

Prediction: While appearing on the Tonight Show, Jay Leno and Paula will get in a fistfight backstage over which story of hers is indeed most quirky. - RC Joseph, Special to 24 hrs


Full Length CD 'Stay Awhile' -
produced by Paula Toledo and Jonathan Anderson and recorded at Buena Vista Audio and Mushroom Studios in Vancouver, B.C.
with additional production and mixing by David Odlum (Josh Ritter, The Frames, Gemma Hayes) at Blackbox Studios, France.

Release date May 14, 2006

Previous 5 song EP released in 2003.

Demo Grant received by FACTOR in 2002.
Showcase Grant received by FACTOR in 2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


Jangly guitars to atmospheric sounds. Paula Toledo's dreamy, melodic pop/folk songs weave through life’s optimistic restlessness while capturing the innocence of its ripened discoveries.

Just short of 2 months after releasing her debut album, 'Stay Awhile' was selected by CBC Radio One's 'Freestyle' program as album of the week. Nationally broadcast on radio and world-wide via the internet, 'Stay Awhile' has found its home with music lovers who are calling it 'an unassuming gem of an album' (, 'truly affecting' (CKUT), 'timeless....honest, pure and passionate' (Hallandsposten Daily).

One may call it happenstance that only four years prior, after reaching a state of disillusionment in her life, she would be called back into the world of music & travel to France on more than one occasion. "It was a real turning point in my life. I literally quit my desk-job in Tourism with nothing else waiting in the wings. I felt so lifeless. So..." she laughs, "I took to painting my walls." During the menial task of painting, Paula's voice was heard through the walls of her apartment by neighbors who happened to be French singer/songwriters. In search for a back-up singer, they were intrigued and when they learned that Paula also spoke French, they enlisted her for their tour of France.

One could say that happenstance and Paula would once again meet, recently to finish recording & mixing her debut album 'Stay Awhile' in France with Irish producer David Odlum (The Frames, Josh Ritter, Gemma Hayes)... but upon closer inspection, one will notice a singer/songwriter who is drawn to discovering and creating all things new. It is Paula's honest & child-like love of creating that continues to draw people to Paula's music.

With just a five song EP released, music supervisors have licensed Paula's songs for three consecutive seasons of '15/Love' (YTV in Cda./U.S. & in France on France 2), 'Secret Lives' (LifetimeTV in Cda./U.S. & feature film in theatres in Asia and Europe), 'Missing' (LifetimeTV in Cda. U.S.) and two consecutive seasons of '' (Global in Cda.). When her 5 song EP found its way into the hands of another musician who was also the Creative Director for Larrivée Guitars, he asked Paula to appear in a Larrivée Guitar Ad and featured her in a full colour, double-page ad in several music magazines; 'Acoustic Guitar', 'Canadian Musician', 'Women Who Rock', 'Inside Connection' and 'Rockr Grl'. The magazine coverage, which spanned across North America, led readers to her website and spawned on-line purchases for her EP.

Growing up in Montreal, as the second to youngest of six children, at the age of ten when Paula’s parents told her they couldn’t afford guitar lessons, she struck a deal with her musical older sister – guitar and singing lessons in exchange for her maid services to keep her sister’s bedroom clean. Paula studied the classic chord progressions of Beatles’ tunes, the tight harmonies of Simon & Garfunkel, the warm and husky timber of a young Stevie Nicks and beautiful melodies of Kate Bush. As soon as she could, an under-aged Paula would find her own way and sneak into Montreal bars as the lead singer of an alternative-ska band. When the band broke up, Paula headed to Vancouver to give academia a try. Quickly becoming restless in her sophomore year, she impulsively hopped on a plane on a study exchange in Barcelona, Spain. Yearning to play music, Paula borrowed guitars hanging from the ceiling of a sangria bar so that she could sing and play for locals.

With the same type of impulsiveness & focused learn-by-doing attitude that landed her in Spain, Paula set out to record and co-produce her album with Jonathan Anderson (Jack Harlan, Stabilo, Maplewood Lane, Hinterland).

Prior to beginning her album, Paula would meet Irish producer, David Odlum at a show in Seattle where he was performing. Being a big fan of his music, Paula didn't want to leave without passing on her she passed on her thanks and left the band a copy of her EP. Months later, David would drop her an email, requesting a replacement copy of her EP, which had been unfortunately tucked away in his lost luggage.

When it came time to mix the album, Paula sent David a note, along with some rough mixes, asking him if he would be interested in working together to complete the album. David agreed but when scheduling challenges made it difficult to work in Vancouver, Paula and David devised a resourceful Plan B which unexpectedly landed her & Jonathan in a 19th century farmhouse & barn in rural France, otherwise known as Black Box Studios.

In her continued Do-It-Yourself approach, Paula finished her debut cd 'Stay Awhile' and has released it on her label, Holy Toledo Records in the spring of 2006.