S.K. Wellington
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S.K. Wellington

Calgary, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF | AFTRA

Calgary, Canada | SELF | AFTRA
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Folk Rock




"S.K. Wellington: Where the Earth Meets the Sea (EP Review)"

S. K. Wellington’s debut EP is the lovingly-nurtured baby of Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah Kemmers. It follows a long period of stepping back from her musical endeavours to stop, reassess and rekindle her creative fires. As a result there’s a confident, easy and nothing-to-lose vibe coursing through this four song collection which significantly contributes to its appeal.

Kemmers is one half of duo Lighter Than Arrows and was onetime member of indie rock band The Wellington Folk. She is joined here by the rhythm section of Dave Landreth and Ryan Voth, along with the effortless, watery guitar work of Murray Pulver (I know I just used the word watery there but no other term would do) and keyboard player Mike Little who is also responsible for the EP’s crisp and super-clean production.

Kemmer’s full-bodied vocal is reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan and the much-underrated Jennifer Kimball, ranging as it does from a strong, deep alto to a soaring, sweet soprano. Opener ‘Salish Sea’ is the perfect platform for these talents, opening broodily with an evocative set of lines “packed the car up / drove it straight West / all my life’s work / in the rearview mirror” before the band all fall in to the waterfall of the song’s lush chorus and glorious, rushing middle eight. (And no I don’t think we’ve heard the last of the moisture-based metaphors.)

‘Good Things’ is the closest we get to country and has a philosophical, positive message: “take all the good things and bring them along”. It ticks box after box for Americana lovers: chiming acoustic guitar; drums with a solid swagger; swelling Hammond, textbook gurgling guitar solo. ‘Moment’s Bliss’ is, by contrast, a rather rockier affair with Pulver pulling out all the stops in the guitar department. The song’s message is in line with the optimism and positivity of the opening tracks but the sonic toughness provides a welcome juxtaposition - imagine the Indigo Girls have joined a biker gang and you’ll be halfway there.

The EP comes to a close all too soon with ‘Salt Spring Island’ - the place where Kemmers spent her months off - and it’s a gentle tribute to the place that helped her relocate her musical mojo and dive back in. And I, for one, am very thankful that she did and I’m hopeful that we’ll be hearing more from S. K. Wellington in the near future.

Review by Rich Barnard. - Red Guitar Music

"S.K. Wellington Returns on Fire"

CALGARY – After serving in The Wellington Folk since its formation in 2011, vocalist/guitarist Sarah Kemmers decided to step out on her own with the band’s recent breakup in the wake ofline-up changes and the demands of live performance. “We went through five people in eight years,” notes Kemmers. “Our shows had been getting more popular and more complex, and when someone left it was harder and harder to replace them.”

Although Kemmers views the Wellington Folk as behind her, much of the band still plays in her new project, simply called S.K. Wellington. Going solo wasn’t the only decision she was confronted with however, giving up performing all together loomed overhead as well. During a three-month hiatus from Wellington Folk, Kemmers did some soul-searching.

“I went to Salt Spring Island with the intention on figuring out, ‘Do I even want to keep doing this, this hustle and trying to get shows and the whole hustle of being an independent artist?’ I went to explore to see if I wanted to even do it. Luckily, I came back more on fire than ever.”

Reborn on her West Coast excursion, Kemmers returned to Calgary focusing on a substantially different sound that mixes trad folk with the contemporary vibe of indie rock. A new EP, Where The Earth Meets The Sea, is ready to be revealed which Kemmers is anxious for. “I am really nervous about how the new music will be received. I know how The Wellington Folk was received, but this is different enough that there are a lot of question marks on it and that’s exciting but also kind of scary.” - Beatroute AB

"S.K. Wellington's Debut EP "Where the Earth Meets the Sea" - album review"

Story and photo by Sara Kuefler
No stranger to the Calgary folk scene, Sarah Kemmers, formerly of the Wellington Folk and currently half of Lighter Than Arrows, has launched a solo career under the moniker S.K. Wellington. The name Wellington has significance for Kemmers as it was the surname of her great grandparents, who passed a love of music down the generations to Kemmers herself.

This delightful four-song EP features expertly balanced instrumentation, in a folk/indie rock style, complementing Kemmers’ smooth, earnest vocals beautifully. Lyrically, Kemmers’ writing has a tendency to cut directly yet simply to elements that are so essential to human connection, self awareness, and the quest for growth. Her delivery has a distinctly Canadian flavour, as do her references to the West Coast, and Salt Spring Island in particular – a place with meaning where Kemmers spent some reflective recharging time.

The first track, “Salish Sea,” weaves a story of a personal relationship and journey, sharing a deep sense of intimacy and vulnerability with the listener. “Good Things” deals with the transitions in life where people of importance move out of our circles but are not forgotten. Kemmers’ compassion towards her fellow human beings is tangible here. With a driving rhythm, “Moments Bliss” delivers affirmations that originate in release. And the mellower “Salt Spring Island” deals in day dream like imagery intermingled with personal insight.

Authenticity is not even a question when it comes to this labour of love. It is immediately apparent that Kemmers is singing straight from her heart. “Where the Earth Meets the Sea” is a touching and musically lovely listening experience.

Catch S.K. Wellington at the Ironwood Stage and Grill, celebrating the EP release on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m.

Follow S.K. Wellington on her website, Facebook, and Instagram. - Local Drop Magazine

"S.K. Wellington "Moments Bliss""

Canadian singer Sarah Wellington (formerly of the Wellington Folk) has struck out on her own with her new LP. "Moment's Bliss" has that kind of desperate punk sound that makes my heart sing. "Moment's Bliss" contemplates happiness but isn't complacent -- a rare feat. - Adobe and Teardrops

"Premiere: S.K. Wellington: Where the Earth Meets the Sea"

Calgary, AB-based indie-folk-rock artist, S.K. Wellington has given us the opportunity to unveil her debut EP, Where The Earth Meets The Sea. The EP may only be 4 tracks, but it is certainly worth your time. Featuring the tight rhythm section of Juno-award winning The Bros Landreth, as well as multi-award-winning musicians Murray Pulver on guitar and Mike Little, who also produced the album, on keys.

The second track, “Good Things” is the track that immediately caught my attention. The lyrics, vocals and beat all work together to pull in the listener. The next track, “Moments Bliss” keeps the listener enthralled, which makes it clear why it was the first single she released from the EP. The music is upbeat and strong, whereas the lyrics tell a story, and isn’t that what makes a great track?

Check out the album stream below, and find out more about S.K. Wellington in our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

I’m Sarah, aka S.K. Wellington. I write indie/folk/rock songs and am based out of Calgary, AB. I was formerly the lead of The Wellington Folk (2011-2018) but decided to step out more independently this year and re-brand to S.K. Wellington.

Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.

It’s been said that my music is a mix of folk, pop, indie, and rock. I suppose that’s a good summary of the fusion I represent. Really I just like to write songs and I don’t put a whole lot of thought into the genre. I write primarily to tell stories (others and my own) and to continuously challenge myself as a musician and a writer. This EP was written to chronicle the journey of recovery from an intense period of creative burnout.

Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?

The next show is the EP release party on Thursday, September 20th at the Ironwood Stage and Grill in Calgary. I am most often found performing with a four or five piece band. Our live performance is a mix of energetic and vulnerable. There are light-hearted, danceable songs and then there are also songs that can connect with folks on a deeper level and create moments and opportunities for relatability and reflection. Attending a show will give you a chance to experience the music and feelings in an organic way that can’t always be captured in a recording.

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?

I’d suggest “Moments Bliss”. It’s my favourite tune off of this debut EP. The feel of the song perfectly captured the experience of writing it. It was also the first single I released.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/artists?

That’s why I love Canadian Beats! Current faves… I never tire of Tim Baker (Hey Rosetta). I so admire him as a writer and as a performer. Seeing him in an intimate solo show this year was a real highlight for me. Kathleen Edwards, Donovan Woods… I also love Mike Edel, Freedom Baby and Arcadian Suns. - Canadian Beats

"Spill Music Premiere: S.K. Wellington Moments Bliss"

A Spill Exclusive Music Premiere
The new single from S.K. Wellington is a shining example of golden folk-pop. With shimmering lead guitars, bounding drums, and pulsating bass lines, ‘Moments Bliss’ sits in the perfect pocket of folk, pop, indie, and rock. The ornamentation sets up lead singer Sarah Kemmer’s voice and lyrical objectives. Her sincere and heartfelt delivery rings through the sonic landscape with a commanding, but delicate force. Her lyrics come across in an impressionistic and poetic tone without losing a sense of place and space. The emotional impact is two-fold; you are living in the narrators shoes while also having room to develop your own story. None of this would matter if the song didn’t have a striking and infectious melody. ‘Moments Bliss’ shares both of those attributes. This is a perfect introduction to a noteworthy emerging act.

Sarah played with The Wellington Folk from 2010-2018. The band was named the region’s top three years in a row by CBC Searchlight. Now Sarah’s following up with her solo project.

The EP features the tight rhythm section of Juno-award winning The Bros. Landreth (Dave Landreth and Ryan Voth), as well as multi-award-winning musicians Murray Pulver on guitar and Mike Little, who also produced the album, on keys.

Artist Quote
“Moments Bliss is all about finding serenity and joy in the small moments. Life can be draining and fast paced; it’s easy to get lost in the chaos. Even lost in positive things like goals and achievements. Moments Bliss is about the calm surrender we can find in the middle of nothing. In just being.” - Spill Magazine

"Review Fix Exclusive: S.K. Wellington Talks "Moments Bliss" and more!"

Review Fix chats with S.K. Wellington’s Sarah Kemmers, who details the band’s origin, goals, creative process and more.

About S.K. Wellington:

The EP features the tight rhythm section of Juno-award winning The Bros. Landreth (Dave Landreth and Ryan Voth), as well as multi-award-winning musicians Murray Pulver on guitar and Mike Little, who also produced the album, on keys.

Review Fix: How did this project come together?

Sarah Kemmers: It was one serendipitous thing after another. I had this new collection of songs and yet my band at the time, The Wellington Folk had been going through some major changes so I didn’t feel I could move the tunes forward with that project. I had always wanted to work with Mike Little (producer, keys) on a project and I randomly bumped into him at an industry event. Everything just came together in an ideal way and the experience was almost surreal. Mike had a strong vision for the project and really pushed me to step out more independently. This EP became the birth of S.K. Wellington.

Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?

Kemmers: It depends, really. Sometimes a song will just come in full form and I’m scrambling to capture it. I really feel that a lot of songs are simply gifts and we get the privilege and opportunity to bring them into the world. Sometimes writing is a lot more of a personal grind and I’ll wrestle with a song for a long time to discover what I’m actually trying to say and where the song actually needs to go. I have some songs that I worked on for years before I thought it was complete. Others are done in 10 minutes. Lyrics tend to come last for me.

Review Fix: What makes “Moments Bliss” a special track?

Kemmers: I love the balance of intensity and sweetness in that song. I feel it really captures the time in my life where I developed the EP. I was recovering from a time of creative burnout and it was so strange and hard and yet I found so much joy and peace in the process of re-setting. I think Moments Bliss captures that cycle. And I think we all cycle through different seasons in our lives and Moments Bliss is a call to action; a reminder that we always have the opportunity to re-set and unearth joy when things seem bleak.

Review Fix: What’s your standout song away from “Moment’s Bliss”?

Kemmers: I think the song away from Moments Bliss that standouts is “Salish Sea.” It’s the most vulnerable track on the EP and speaks to the actual process of coming back to passion and joy after feeling so disconnected from those things for a while.

Review Fix: How was it written?

Kemmers: I wrote it shortly after I returned to Calgary after a couple of months away on Salt Spring Island. It’s one of the songs that came fairly quickly. It actually started off as a more up-tempo, folky song. I played it for the producer (Mike Little) and he was essentially like “this is really good. It’s really vulnerable and sweet. And I can’t soak in the words when you play it like that. Play it slower. Even slower. There it is.” I remember tracking it in studio and crying. The whole song is about thinking I might be done making music and there I was recording in an awesome studio with incredibly talented people. “Some things are meant to be buried but this one’s still alive” is referencing my making music. It was a bit of a trip.

Review Fix: What are your goals for the rest of 2018?

Kemmers: I want to continue to play live and hope to have the chance to create experiences for people through the music. I’m a huge Spotfiy fan and hope some of these songs find their way on to some of my favourite playlists.

Review Fix: How do you want your music to affect people?

Kemmers: These are such great questions! I want the music to move people. To challenge them to reflect. I’d love people to listen and find relatability, comfort and solace. Basically I really hope my music moves people the way music continues to movesme. Someone wrote me this morning and said “your new album is seriously soothing to my soul.” That was the best message I could have received. I think music can be medicine and if mine is that to anyone it’s served it’s purpose.

Review Fix: What’s next?

Kemmers: I hope festivals are next. I am a big festival fan and feel like people still come to festivals with open hearts and minds and go to discover new music. I would love to be a part of that movement. I also hope to release a couple of videos in the next 6-8 months and have more music in the que for recording once these songs have lived a little. - Review Fix

"Interview: S.K. Wellington"

My first interview of the week is with S.K. Wellington. I have been speaking with her about the new track, Moments Bliss, and what its story is. She reveals what we can expect from her upcoming E.P., Where the Earth Meets the Sea, and what it was like working with so many experienced musicians on the record.

Wellington highlights an artist to watch and tells me her favourite memory of her career so far; which three albums mean the most to her; when music came into her life and took over – she ends the interview by selecting a great cut.

Hi, Sarah. How are you? How has your week been?

Hey! I’m great. My week has actually been awesome. Just coming off of a string of shows in British Columbia to promote the new E.P.

For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?

I’m a singer/songwriter out of Calgary, AB. I led the band, The Wellington Folk, for about eight years and this year I transformed that band into more of a solo act under the name S.K. Wellington. My style is Indie/Folk/Rock.

Moments Bliss is your current single. What is the story behind the song?

I had experienced a real season of creative burnout and decided to take some serious time away from work and music. I spent a couple of months on Salt Spring Island. I was sitting in the public park in Ganges one day just fiddling on my guitar and really taking in my surroundings. I realized, in that moment, how free I felt; how much joy was returning to my soul. Just being present. No deadlines, no writing expectations; no work.

It was a really profound moment for me and the song just sort of started to form over the rest of my time on the island. The lyrics reflect that slow process of letting go of story, pressure and anxiety and just releasing expectation to be present. To me, that feeling of freedom and joy is what is worth fighting for.

It is from the E.P., Where the Earth Meets the Sea. Are there particular themes that inspired the songs?

All of the songs on this E.P. are documenting my experience on Salt Spring - my season of rest and reset. You’ll hear the sweetness of re-finding creative passion and also some of the intensity that came with learning to let go.

I believe there are some great and established musicians on the record. Was it cool working with so many eclectic people on Where the Earth Meets the Sea?

It was an amazing experience. It was the first studio album I’ve ever created with session musicians. Even going to a different city to record was a pretty immersive and new experience for me. It’s such an inspiring and beautiful thing to get people’s musical interpretations of your songs and to hear their signatures become a part of the project’s sound. Above all, though, they were all such great people to work with. Amazing talent; funny and kind to boot. We had a great time (at least I did!).

Do you recall when music came into your life? Which artists did you follow at a young age?

I always grew up around music. My grandma and mother both played the piano so I grew up listening to them play. When I was younger, I had a great Boyz II Men phase and then got really into Punk-Rock for some time. The first time I remember considering songwriting, however, was when I really started listening to some of my mum’s favourite music. I would just sit and intently listen all the way through James Taylor records and Tracy Chapman albums. I spent HOURS listening to Chicago. That’s when music really started to inspire me and become a bit more of an active interest/hobby.

What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?

I hope to enjoy the process of releasing these songs. They’re really vulnerable and I feel like I just want to enjoy the ride of sharing them with people. Trying to continue on in the actual spirit of the E.P. - no expectations, no stress.

Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?

I have a few.

One of my absolute favourite music memories actually dates back to my first Wellington Folk release. I had the privilege of not only sharing the stage with my incredible bandmates, but also getting to play live with some other local talents. It was unreal to be playing my songs and experiencing such a FULL sound onstage. I remember feeling so humbled and in awe of the talent on stage. All playing songs I had written in my bedroom! Also, any recording experience is always a favourite for me

Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?

Fables - David Ramirez

I had been feeling really stale and uninspired in my listening when I found this album. I was blown away. I fell in love with his writing and style through that album. I don’t think he has one song that I don’t like.

Seeds - Hey Rosetta

I love this record. I was so pumped to discover a band that didn’t follow all of the normal ‘rules’ of music. I found I could relate to that aspect of the writing and really look up to Tim Baker as a writer.

Babel - Mumford & Sons

This was such a refreshing album to encounter when it came out. The strength of the lyrics - and to hear things like the banjo in a fresh way was really exciting.

*Bonus: Continuum - John Mayer. I love the way that guy plays guitar. I also never skip a track on that album, which is rare for me.

If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?

I’d want to learn to play the drums and support Hey Rosetta. Pretty far-fetched. I’m not a great drummer.

Will there be some tour dates coming up? Where might we be able to catch you play?

The E.P. release party is September 20th and then hoping to get East with the music soon as well.

Do you think you’ll come and play in the U.K. at all?

I’d absolutely love to. I have some dear friends from there and there are a lot of artists I love that would be neat to possibly connect with. It probably wouldn’t be until 2019 or 2020.

What advice would you give to new artists coming through?

Don’t feel the need to learn everything the hard way: connecting with some seasoned musicians and industry folks and asking questions can be an incredible resource when you’re just starting out. I’d also say to make sure to take care of yourself so that you continue to have the energy and space for your art.

IN THIS PHOTO: Wallis Bird/PHOTO CREDIT: Jens Oellermann

Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?

I was totally blown away at the Calgary Folk Festival this year by Wallis Bird. She’s definitely not a ‘new artist’, but she’s new to me! Her performance was unreal - her energy, musicianship and presence. I would definitely recommend checking her out.

Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?

I unwind by listening to music (can that count?); walking, spending time in nature and with my community. I also walk my dog a lot.

Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).

Watching from a Distance - David Ramirez

Thanks so much for the opportunity to do this!


___________ - Music Musings and Such

"Interview: S.K. Wellington"

Hi Sarah, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hey! Thanks! I’ve been doing well. Getting this new release into the world has been a real labour of love and it’s been really fun to release it and just enjoy sharing it with folks.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Moments Bliss”?
Moments Bliss is a song all about embracing the moment and finding joy in your immediate. It really speaks to rest and how important it is to not get too caught up or lost in the hustle and grind of daily life. It’s in those moments of being grounded and carefree that I feel we can really connect with the things that keep life sweet.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
I was coming out of a time of burnout. I had lost a lot of joy and passion in life and had really just been getting through the days for a while. Once I realized this I took some time off of work and music to go and rest and explore what I wanted next. I went and spent a couple of months on Salt Spring Island. I realize it was such a privilege to be able to go and do something like that. I tried to capture the experience of what it was like to truly unwind, let go, and rediscover being connected with myself in Moments Bliss.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
There is a conceptual plan to release a video! But it’s not booked yet. Stay tuned!
The single comes off your new album Where The Earth Meets The Sea – what’s the story behind the title?
I was having a terrible time coming up with an album title. I finally thought I had settled on “resurgence”… then someone told me it reminded them of the Independence Day film and I quickly decided that wasn’t the right direction. Ha! I started going through all of the lyrics and the line “Smoke fills my lungs where the earth finally meets the sea” from Moments Bliss really popped. I thought about how much time I had spent crafting these songs at the waters edge and decided it was a meaningful title for the collection on the EP. It’s a beautiful space to spend time – grounded on land but right at the edge of such a powerful body of water. I felt it represented a lot of the experience of rediscovery on the island.
How was the recording and writing process?
While a lot of these tunes were started on island, almost all of them were actually completed once I returned to Calgary. I didn’t actually spend a whole lot of time writing on Salt Spring. More just noodling around with chords and really enjoying jamming and playing with no agenda. The songs really started to flow upon my return to home and routine. The recording process was totally different from anything I’d ever done before. Travelling to Winnipeg and working with all session players was a real departure from my prior recording experiences. It was exciting and challenging and surreal at times.
What was it like to work with The Bros. Landreth and how did that relationship develop?
That relationship was brokered through the producer of the EP, Mike Little. He had a real vision to get me out of my comfort zone and to push me to do something different. He knew the sound we were going for and had worked with Murray Pulver and the Bros. before and saw it being a really natural fit for what we were going for. He totally made the right call. The chemistry between Dave Landreth (bass) and Ryan Voth (drums) from playing together with the Bros. Landreth was really apparent as they tackled the tunes together. They’d also worked with Murray lots and there was a real camaraderie and optimism in the room as we worked the tunes out.
How much did they get to influence the album?
The whole formation felt really organic. They certainly brought their styles to the table and we had fun trying on different parts for songs. Moments Bliss went through a few different variations before we found the sound I felt was the right one. I’m a Bros. Landreth fan so it was also neat to get to hear some of their signatures weave into the songs.
What aspect of nature and the sea did you get to explore on this record?
I think my experience of the island in general is really woven into every song on this EP. Each song captures a slice of my experience on Salt Spring and most of my time there was spent outdoors. I’ve always had a big fascination with water though and it’s often the muse in my writing. I also play in a duo called Lighter Than Arrows and water is a main theme in many of those tunes as well. From the still times where it almost looks like glass to the roaring waves and the way the tide can creep in and consume the land – I love the way water shows up in so many different forms. I find it mysterious; wild and scary and soothing and calm all at the same time. I LOVE that the track Salt Spring Island kicks off with owl sounds. The owls around my tent on the island would sometimes be so loud at night that I’d have to wear earplugs to bed! One night they were so noisy they woke me up out of a dead sleep. I was so out of it and tired but I remember thinking how spectacular it was. I pulled out my phone and just took a voice recording that I named “owl conference”. I sent it to Mike and said “I really think we need to incorporate a bit of this into a tune somehow.” And here you have it!
Any plans to hit the road?
Just came off of a tour in BC and played the home town release show. Taking a bit of time to catch up on life and then hope to play some more shows around Alberta and then possibly head East (Ontario) early next year. The UK is also on my radar for some shows so I’ll be keeping my eyes out for festival opportunities there for next summer.
What else is happening next in S. K. Wellington’s world?
Hoping to get some music videos out into the world soon and plan to release a little vlog series where I talk about each of the songs and break down the lyrics. Playing around Calgary and hoping to play some festivals next summer. Really just trying to enjoy the whole process.
Vents – thanks so much for taking the time to connect on the EP. And thanks for your continued support of the local music industry!!
Listen to ‘Moments Bliss’ now at Soundcloud or Spotify
Facebook // Twitter // Instagram - VENTS Magazine

"Calgary singer-songwriter rocks Revelstoke, Enderby"

S.K. Wellington is a Calgary-based singer-songwriter who is hitting the highway to B.C. to promote her debut EP Where the Earth Meets the Sea.

The EP is set to drop on Sept. 21 with a sneak-peek single being released at the end of August. S.K. and band head to B.C. for a six-show tour to promote the upcoming release. The band kicks off their time on the road by playing The Last Drop in Revelstoke on Friday, Aug. 17 at 10 p.m., before hitting Lorenzo’s Cafe in Ashton Creek Aug. 18 at 8 p.m.

While this a debut, Wellington herself has long been a part of the music community through The Wellington Folk, who performed from 2010-2018. The Wellington Folk made CBC Searchlight Regional Top Ten three years in a row and as a result, gained some radio play and national exposure. After a writing sabbatical taken on Salt Spring Island in 2017, Wellington returned to Calgary and translated the experience into a new musical direction and new songs.

The EP paints a picture of renewed energy and vision — recovering and coming back to creative vibrancy after a period of burnout.

“I took some time away from everything: work, music, my surroundings. I knew I really needed to rest and reset,” she said.

After two months on Salt Spring Island, Wellington returned to Calgary and wrote the EP as a way to both commemorate the experience and chronicle the journey.

Wellington can be found performing solo or with a band. The four-piece outfit on tour are tight and almost feel familial: the long-standing history between the members is clear in both their stage presence and musical chemistry. A fusion of indie/folk and rock, the music is lyrically rich and feels like a blend of Blue Rodeo, John Mayer and Sarah McLachlan with a dash of indie rock. - Vernon Morning Star

"Review - "August""

With an album cover that shows a bleak, snow scattered, prairie landscape, the title August would seem like an error on behalf of the Calgary band The Wellington Folk. But upon really listening to the debut album from the five piece band, the warm and multi-faceted blend of folk, blues, and rock, makes the association to a summer month perfectly clear.

In their introduction, The Wellington Folk showcase not only these varying sounds but a solid vocal partnership from Dean Haugan and Sarah Kemmers as well. This mix of genres and vocals enables the band to possess an immediately welcoming and friendly tone about them, especially during this seasonally appropriate time.

The exchange in vocals between Haugan and Kemmers begins immediately and stays the bright spot for the first half of August. In the opener “The Road,” a dialogue representing the male and female perspective takes place as Haugan and Kemmers take turns singing verses before coming together for the chorus. In a fast paced and just plain catchy folk number, the standout “Hevel” also features the strong vocal duo.

Slowing things down a bit, “The Valley” is one of the more obviously melancholic songs. With a slow pace that eventually builds to a guitar solo, the last two songs, “First” and “Acting Right” also fit into this same, more bluesy, formula.

In an unexpected injection of funk, “Dodged That Bullet” features almost reggae sounding verses. Kemmers, the primary songwriter of The Wellington Folk, sings of leaving behind a toxic relationship in a fairly lighthearted manner, a sign that the end of this particular relationship was probably a good thing.

In a heartfelt display, Kemmers is able to channel a bit of Basia Bulat in her vocals in the title track. In a fairly accelerated track, “August” is one of a few songs which mixes the powers of The Wellington Folk together well.

Like the month itself, slowly revealing the beauty that lays in the Fall season, The Wellington Folk’s August reveals a solid basis of several strengths as a band.

Top Tracks: “Hevel” - Laura Stanley

"Eat to the Beat"

Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting (and listening to) Calgary band The Wellington Folk as they generously volunteered their time and talent to perform at the Gallery Calorie event in Inglewood, raising funds for Families Matter. The group of five – Sarah Kemmers (lead vocals and acoustic guitar), Gord Allert (electric guitar), Ian Love (drums and percussion), Clayton Dell (lead vocals, acoustic guitar and percussion) and Scott Sorell (bass guitar and background vocals) – kept the crowd entertained and engaged throughout the sunny afternoon, with a wide range of music that appealed to everyone. They were as easygoing and fantastic as their music.


With – as it’s so accurately described on their website – solid harmonic blends, lyrics with depth and great instrumental break-downs, The Wellington Folk really do keep your ears happy.


Check them out doing a living room recording of “Not Fair”:

If you’re in Calgary, they play at The Ironwood Stage & Grill (an all ages, 140+ seat restaurant and lounge that hosts live music every night of the year) this coming Monday, June 30th @ 8:00pm.

And because they also love to eat, we had a chat with the band about what’s in their fridge, and learned that more than one of their moms make a pretty mean chowder.

What are your childhood memories of food and family meals?

Ian: Definitely. As a family we always sat around our dining room table and shared supper together every night. Living in the Phillipines, the cicadas would always started chirping everynight right at 6pm as we were eating dinner.

Sarah: I was raised in a single parent home where my Mum wasn’t home until quite late most nights. We always made an effort to eat together but it was usually something fast and easy! A lot of tuna helper. Haha
Scott: Christmas is always a special time that stands out for food and family. We get together and sing songs as a family.

Clayton: During harvest, my Dad often didn’t have time to make it back to the house for lunch so I always loved putting together a picnic lunch with my Mom and bringing it out to sit and eat with him out in the field.

Who taught you how to cook?

Ian: My Mom.

Clayton: My Mom.

Sarah: The Internet.

Scott: My Mom.

Do you like to cook at home? for yourself, or for other people?

Ian: Not really. I’m a very lazy person when it comes to the kitchen.

Sarah: I love to cook with and for other people. But even MORE I love to eat out!! I can speak for Scott here as well; he has a lot of evidence of pizza pops and cereal in his house…

Clayton: I love to cook breakfast at home.

What will you always find in your fridge?

Ian: Yogurt, pepperoni sticks, and Fresca.

Sarah: Almond milk and lots of stuff past the due date.

Scott: Sarah’s Sriracha sauce that I ALWAYS forget to return.

Clayton: Eggs… and probably expired milk.

If you could have a dinner party and invite ten of your favourite musicians, who would be on the guest list?

Ian: Marco Minemman, Steve Gadd, JP Bouvet, Vic Mercado, Nathan Arzacon, Joe Satriani, Bruce Cockburn, Yo Yo Ma, Matt Kearney, Art Garfunkle.

Sarah: I think this was one of the funnest questions I’ve ever had to answer!! Tim Baker (Hey Rosetta!), Tracy Chapman, James Taylor, Tom Delonge, John Mayer, Elena Tonra (Daughter), Gregory Alan Isakov, Matt Theissen (Relient K), Josh Garrels, James Vincent McMorrow, Ray LaMontagne.

Scott: I don’t know. That’s a really hard question.

Clayton: I don’t know either!

What’s your favourite kind of pie?

Ian: Cherry.

Sarah: Pecan.

Scott: Coconut Cream.

Clayton: Definitely strawberry rhubarb. I’m from Saskatchewan.

Do you have a recipe to share?

Scott: Pizza pops are really difficult but worth the effort.

Sarah: I love this vinaigrette because it’s easy but thick and really flavourful. It’s perfect to just keep in the fridge for any sort of salad or as a veggie dip. It’s delicious.

Clayton: I wish I could share my Mom’s corn chowder recipe with you. I really do.

Sarah: My Mom also has a great corn chowder recipe. I bet it’s better than Clayton’s Mom’s.

Clayton: ….

Chowder 1

Since we couldn’t get our hands on Clayton’s or Sarah’s mom’s chowder recipe, here’s a sausage-shrimp chowda that’s pretty fab… especially now that corn is coming into season. Perfect for summertime eating on the patio… with our Wellington Folk CD on the stereo.

Sausage and Shrimp Chowder

canola or olive oil, for cooking
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped (with leaves)
1 carrot, chopped
1 mild or spicy Italian sausage
3 Tbsp. flour
4 cups (1 L) chicken stock
2 small potatoes, unpeeled and diced
1 can sweet kernel corn
salt and pepper
1/2 lb. raw, peeled shrimp
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Drizzle some oil in a heavy pot set over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook for 4-5 minutes, until soft; squeeze the sausage out of its casing into the pot and cook, breaking the meat up with a spoon, until no longer pink.

Shake the flour over the mixture and stir to coat everything well. Pour in the stock, add the potatoes and bring to a simmer; cook for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the soup has thickened. Add the corn, season with salt and pepper, and stir in the shrimp. (If the soup is simmering, take it off the heat first – the shrimp will cook gently with the heat of the soup. Stir in the cream, adjust seasonings, and serve immediately.

Serves 4-6. - Julie Van Rosendaal

"The Wellington Folk Like Their Beer"

The Wellington Folk may want to down a frothy pint of Crannog Ale’s Back Hand of God, or indulge in some of Okanagan Spring’s new Sonder Hefe when they visit the Okanagan-Shuswap next week.

The band of beer enthusiasts will be playing six venues in the province from Sept. 11 to 20, including Lorenzo’s Café in Ashton Creek, and are set to enjoy a few of the many micro breweries the province has to offer.

“We’ve heard so many great things about B.C. and how the province supports live music and the arts. We are excited to have the opportunity to finally bring our music there and get to experience it for ourselves, plus music and beer? Does it get better than that!? We are open to brewery suggestions,” said Ian Love, drummer for the Calgary five-piece.

Fresh off a good showing in the 2015 CBC Searchlight competition, having made the Top 10 in their region, The Wellington Folk have been together for four years.

Besides Love, band members include creative force Sarah Kemmers on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Clayton Dell on vocals (and the occasional guitar or percussion piece), Scott Sorell on bass and vocals, and “Grampa” Gord Allert on lead guitar.

Yes Grampa. The band is actually made up of members that span two generations. This may account for their “modern classic” sound.

In describing the band’s music, Kemmers says, “I guess we’re a blend of folk, rock, blues with a bit of an indie twist, but one of our producers says we sound like Fleetwood Mac meets Deathcab for Cutie. I think that’s a pretty good description.”

The Wellington Folk take the stage at Lorenzo’s Cafe, 901 Mabel Lake Road, east of Enderby, Saturday, Sept. 12. the band is also open to any beer suggestions. Shoot them a tweet @wellingtonfolk. - Vernon Morning Star

"The Wellington Folk perform in Abbotsford"

A five-piece band from Calgary, The Wellington Folk, are making one of their six stops on a B.C. tour in Abbotsford.

They will appear at the House of James on Friday, Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

This is the first visit of the folk rock band to the west coast and they are excited about playing in new venues, finding new enthusiasts, promoting their new EP Counting the Steps and sampling west coast microbrews.

They are fresh off a good showing in the CBC 2015 searchlight competition. Asked to describe their music, Sarah Kemmers, the creative force behind the band, says “I guess we’re a blend of folk, rock, blues with a bit of an indie twist.”

The group has been together for about four years, and are a tight, skilled band that is highly entertaining. - The News

"The Wellington Folk"

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi! We have been good! Really busy with things, but in a great way.

For those who haven´t heard from the band, can you please introduce and tell us more about the band?

Sure! So we are a five piece folk/rock band hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We have been together just over two years and released our debut album in June of 2013. We love to blend lots of styles into our music… but most of our music is recognizable through the three part harmonies, meaningful lyrics, and there’s usually an instrumental breakdown or two in the songs. Our electric guitar player Gord likes to rip so we always like to give him some room in a tune to do so.

What´s the story behind the band´s name?

Lead female singer and principle songwriter Sarah Kemmers came up with the band name. Her Great Grandparents held the last name Wellington and both immigrated to Canada from Europe. Her Great Grandmother played the piano and Great Grandad played the fiddle and harmonica. It’s basically where music started for her, in terms of family. Thought she would carry forward the tradition!

What´s your songwriting method?

Usually Sarah comes up with the lyrics and basic song structure. Then the band will all participate in the arranging the tune, developing specific instrumental parts and harmonies. Sarah kind of writes all over the place in terms of style and genre, so the common joke in the band is that once she brings the song, it becomes the band’s job to “Wellingtonize” it. If we didn’t “Wellingtonize” the songs, we would need four different bands. An R&B band, rock band, blues band, and gentle folk band. The band is really great at taking the fusion and creating commonality in the songs so that they aren’t too far apart, genre wise.

How do you see the Folk scene over there in Canada?

We think it’s changing a lot. Here is Western Canada the “folk” scene definitely has more of a roots feel as opposed to Eastern Canada where there is still lots of the celtic feel embedded. That said however, “folk” has started to become a catch-all term for many hybrids of music, so it would really depend who you ask! If you attend the Calgary Folk Fest you would hear everything from Country-Folk (Blue Rodeo) to Blues-Folk (Alabama Shakes) to more Traditional-Folk (Milk Carton Kids). Basically if you’re not heavy metal, punk, pop, or electronic; chances are you can be squeezed into the “folk” category.

So I understand you guys will be releasing few singles through the month, can you talk to us more about it?

Yeah! We are in a new Calgary Studio called “Evergreen” on Saturday January 25th recording a single, as well as laying down another single at “The Beach” studio in February. We learned a LOT through recording our debut album and are really looking forward to hitting up the studio feeling much more prepared than last time, knowing what to expect.

This means there´s a new material coming soon, right? How´s that coming along?

Definitely new material coming soon! We basically have close to a 12 song album worth of material written. We had this really amazing writing weekend back in September. We rented out a camp in the Rocky Mountains for three days. We had no cell reception – it was just us, nature, and our music. We played 8-9 hours a day and just hammered out new material and new ideas. It was an absolutely incredible experience and we are really happy with what we got out of it. Only downside was the car broke down on the last day and we were stranded there for quite a while…

Any official release date, title in mind?

To tell you the truth, no. We know that we want our next album to be thoughtful, . That means we are going to take it slow; make sure that our songs have some time to mature and that we are really sure which ones we want on the album. So most likely we are looking at either late 2014 or even 2015 for our next full length release. Maybe we just won’t advertise and drop it on iTunes… worked for Beyonce, right?? (Kidding. Then no one would know to buy it. Ever.)

Will you be hitting the road this year?

We are sure hoping to! We are planning to do a small Western Canadian tour in June. Alberta and BC for sure.

What’s happening next in The Wellington Folk´s world?

We are just continuing to play live, refine new music and really hone in on our live performance. We know that to continue moving forward we need to not just be “good” but to continue to get “great.” That’s our biggest goal right now as a band.

Where can we find more about your music?

You can find our album on iTunes, but to stay up to date with what we are doing and where we are playing you can follow us on any of our social media accounts or on our official website.




Thanks for the interview!! We are looking forward to staying plugged in with Vents! - VENTS Magazine


S.K. Wellington, “Moments Bliss” In her new guise as solo singer/songwriter, Sarah Kemmer has released “Moments Bliss” from her upcoming EP. (Longtime readers of this blog may recall Sarah’s previous band, Wellington Folk.) This lovely celebration of living in the moment, and experiencing all that the moment has to offer, is an oh-so-welcome return for Sarah’s gorgeous voice and songwriting. (For those of you in Calgary, Sarah and her colleagues will be playing at the Ironwood Stage and Grill on 20 September.) - Great Dark Wonder

"New Music From Americana/Folk/Rock Artists Black Horse Motel, S.K. Wellington and Historian"

Fellow Americana/folk artist S.K. Wellington recently released her solo EP, "Where The Earth Meets The Sea." After performing for nearly a decade with The Wellington Folk group, Sarah Wellington though that it was time to try her had at a solo career. The new 4-song album begins with the gentle build-up of "Salish Sea" as you discover Sarah's wonderful songwriting talent. She continues with the sweet folk melody of "Good Things," before her new release wraps up with the steady acoustics and beautiful singing of "Salt Spring Island." To find out more about S.K. Wellington and her latest album "Where The Earth Meets The Sea," please visit her Facebook page at facebook.com/skwellingtonmusic - JP's Music Blog


S.K. Wellington Releases:
Where the Earth Meets the Sea - EP - September 2018

The Wellington Folk Releases:
August - full length - released August 2013
Counting the Steps - EP - released October 2015
Reverie - EP - April 2017

All songs written by Sarah Kemmers. All songs available on iTunes and Spotify.



S.K. Wellington "sits in the perfect pocket of folk, pop, indie, and rock" and released her anticipated debut EP "Where the Earth Meets the Sea" on September 21st 2018. 

S.K. has been making music one way or another since late 2011. Formerly known as "The Wellington Folk" (2011-2018), and evolving to S.K. Wellington in July 2018, S.K. has 4 studio projects under her belt. S.K. has an energetic presence onstage and will take listeners on a journey from carefree upbeat folk tunes about letting go and pursuing independence to layered, bold songs about navigating the grey areas in love and life. Think Fleetwood Mac meets Deathcab for Cutie. 

Band Members