Saint Clare
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Saint Clare

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Saint Clare's EP Release Will Rawk"

Every year, local community radio stations hold funding drives, including CKCU. As part of this year's CKCU funding drive, many sponsored events will take place between October 25 and November 10.

Indie City Madness, a radio show aired every second Tuesday from 5pm to 6pm on CKCU, is hosting 1 Night All Rawk 4: Fun-D CKCU on October 26 at Avant Garde Bar. During this event, many local bands will be performing, including the Apollohs, Tindervox, and Kings Quest, with DJ Eight Cubed from Toronto. The headlining act is Saint Clare, who will be celebrating the release of their EP "Half Holy".

Couch Assassin's very own Julie Cormier-Doiron had the chance to speak to Matthew Clare, singer and guitarist of Saint Clare, to discuss the band's history, their favourites venues and their ideal tourmates.

Couch Assassin: Tell me about the band. How did you all come together to play music? Did you know each other beforehand?

Matthew Clare: Two of the band members are from my former band, the Shakey Aches. Brad Sheffield, who also plays in Loon Choir, played with me in a few bands prior to Loon Choir - The Art Burn and a band that would eventually become Loon Choir (we joke now I was actually Loon Choir for a few days before breaking off to eventually play more punk/garage stuff with The Shakey Aches). Morgan (sax) was a Punk Ottawa ad find and Neil (violin) was brought to my attention through a mutual friend. We started playing as Saint Clare about a year ago and seemed to add members every couple months until we finished recording the EP.

The idea behind Saint Clare is somewhat that I just got tired of playing in "bands." After 10 years of playing in different bands and seeing people come and go for whatever reason, I just wanted a name to record under for the rest of my life - it's a nod to some of my favorite singer-songwriters in that regard: Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. I wanted a way to put out songs I'm writing with lasting power, regardless of who was contributing, playing behind me, or the type of music we were playing.

CA: Tell me about your EP. How long did it take to record?

MC: Way too long [laughs]. We started in April and would have been done in April had we not added sax and violin to the band. The songs have been finished for the last couple months while we put together merch (CDs/tapes) and PR plans. The EP's formal release is October 22 and we're looking forward to headlining the CKCU fundraiser 1 Night All Rawk 4 at Avant Garde on October 26 to celebrate the release.

CA: What other projects are the band members involved with?

MC: I have a long running side project band with a few friends from London and Toronto (Ontario) called Slut Kickin' Fist Mother. Brad plays in Loon Choir and Richard (guitar) plays in a bunch of bands: Mercy Buckets, Chautauqua and Casey Comeau & The Halfmilers.

CA: What are some of your favourite venues to play in Ottawa and why? Is there a venue that you haven't played that you would like to?

MC: Babylon - cause it's always really rowdy. Mavericks/ Café Dekcuf - cause the Spectrasonic guys are just pro and are super great to work with. Avant Garde - cause it's easy to pack. My last band had a dream to record and play a show at Academic Hall at the University. It's one of the oldest theatres in town. I'd still love to make that come true one day!

CA: What's the best part about playing live shows?

MC: I like to believe I give my all to performing, so it's really cathartic for me. I usually end up sweaty, shirtless, and if it's cold enough, steaming outside after the show and that usually is worth a few laughs. In all seriousness though, seeing people connecting with the music and vocals and channeling the energy is the best part. I'm not playing "sit down" or "jazz lounge" type music [laughs].

CA: Can you name some of the bands you've opened for and/or played with in the past? In an ideal world, who would you like to tour with?

MC: So far, we've played a basement house party with Derek from Loon Choir's side project Ballad Fiasco, opened for Loon Choir in Brockville, and opened for Eamon McGrath at Raw Sugar Café. Ideal touring bands would be Islands (of Montreal) or any of the bands from the Elephant 6 Collective - that I'm totally obsessed with (Beulah, Apples in Stereo, The Minders, Neutral Milk Hotel, etc.) Oh yeah, and Kelley Stoltz, cause he's rad.

CA: Why should people attend your EP release at Avant-Garde Bar?

MC: Well, there's no lack of great shows in town this coming Saturday, but I think we've definitely got one of the most diverse lineups in town that night and with CKCU being one of the best radio stations in town, we're definitely the best show in town on Saturday for the best cause!

You can catch Saint Clare at Avant Garde Bar on October 26. Their EP "Half Holy" can be streamed online at

1 Night All Rawk 4: Fun-D CKCU
October 26, 2013
Avant Garde Bar - Couch Assassin

"Saints and Sentries"

It's been a busy week for me, what with school starting up, thus the short delay in posting stuff from Friday's show at Luneta Cafe. It was an eclectic evening, kicking off with shoegazers Destroy Clocks, continuing with rugged fuzz poppers Saint Clare and concluding with instrumental metallurgists The Night Watch. Unfortunately I missed Destroy Clocks due to a late-night school project, so let's go straight on to Saint Clare.

The band takes its name from former Shakey Aches frontman Matthew Saint Clare, and also includes Richard Jeffrey and Ryan Shannon from that band. They profess fandom for Arcade Fire and various Elephant 6 combos. I thought they sounded like some of Spencer P. Jones' stuff. - National Capital Rock

"Saint Clare to Release New EP"

Ottawa’s Saint Clare is set to release a new EP on October 22, 2013. The EP is titled Half Holy. Saint Clare is a rock n’ roll band that plays between the garage rock and pop genres. The current band lineup features guitars, bass, drums, as well as violin, saxophone, and organ/synthesizers – a mini pop-rock orchestra. The band is currently backed by former and current members of other memorable Ottawa bands like The Shakey Aches, Loon Choir, Monohum, Golden Familie, and Kraken the Case. Check out the new album streaming online at - Canadian Music News

"Top Indie Rock Tracks of 2013"

It’s a pretty rare occasion when a garage rock band manages to pull off incorporating a saxophone into one of their tunes, so for that reason alone this band deserves as much credit as they can get. If you like the tune as much as we do then you can buy it as a name-your-price download over at their Bandcamp page. - Rex Manning Day

"Bluesfest Beats: Tunes from Mantitoba Barns, Tropical Islands and Ontario Cottages - See more at:"

Audiences who catch this show can expect “frantic, heartfelt pop songs about getting old and death and dying. Fuzzy guitars, catchy horn melodies, guaranteed sweaty,” says frontman Matthew St Clare.

This self-described “fuzzy pop band” is a dynamic and unique Ottawa act. Somewhere between garage rock and pop, their music is urgent, infectious and bolstered by a large horn section that includes a trombone and a saxophone. You might have caught their act at various bars and venues throughout Ottawa, but now they’re taking their raucous swinging vibe to the Bluesfest stage. Seeing them live will no doubt be great fun. - Ottawa Life


I made my way down toward the river with the sounds of Saint Clare in the air as I approached the Canadian Stage. These guys (and gals) are a really fun band to see live, with the psychedelic/power-pop vibes tastefully accented by the keyboards and the brass section. - Ottawa Showbox

"Ottawa Bluesfest 2015 – Day Two"

In a festival featuring a series of A-listers that have people saying Ottawa is finally a music town, Thursday night served as a reminder that the city is more than capable of producing its own musical talent as well.

Ranging from the fuzzy garage music of Saint Clare to the slow lilt of Tara Holloway, local acts were all across the map, each with their own unique spice. - The Scene

"Saint Clare reflects on life and legacy in new EP Moving On, out today!"

It’s an exciting time right now for Ottawa band Saint Clare. Their brand new EP Moving On will be released on Tuesday, June 2, and they’re going to be playing at Ottawa Bluesfest this summer – an opportunity which lead singer Matthew Saint Clare calls “a dream come true.”
The band let Apartment613 listen to an advance streaming of the new EP, and now we get to share it with you. Check it out here!
The first thing that’s obvious in their songs is the unique composition of musicians in Saint Clare. Morgan Grant on tenor sax and Nick DiSaverio on trombone stand out in the rock group’s line-up, while the rest of the band is made up of Richard Jeffrey on guitar, Ryan Shannon on bass, Daniel Devries on drums, and Casey Comeau on piano, organ, and synth.
Matthew Saint Clare says he’s never sure how to define their sound as part of any genre.
“I think it’s like, equal parts of the pop music that I grew up with from my parents, you know, listening to Rod Stewart or whatever, as a kid, and then the garage movement, which is like my heritage in the music scene in Ottawa…it’s somewhere right in the middle.” - Apt613


Unlike the majority of indie bands in Ottawa making high-energy rock music, Saint Clare is a group comprised of seven members of various ages, musical backgrounds, and talents. At first look, one might be taken aback by this unorthodox fusion of musicians—who knows where they found each other and how they came together? But if there’s one thing that Saint Clare has surely achieved in its short existence (est. 2013) it’s honing each and every member’s skill set and developing a truly unique sound to call their own.

The band’s 2013 Half Holy EP was their first attempt at making music together. Very rarely does a band release a debut album, in this case a four-track EP, and make it so clear what it is they’re going for. The layered and intricate instrumentation, high-energy orchestral nuances, and Matthew Saint Clare’s unhinged vocals that can only be compared to those of Frank Black of The Pixies. All of this melds into the distinctive sounds that Saint Clare create together. However motley a crew they may seem, their heterogeneity makes for a potent combination when such strong band chemistry exists.

“My first cassette tape was Born in the USA, my aunt gave it to me,” explains Matthew Saint Clare. “One day when I was like four I was jumping on my bed and playing air guitar on a tennis racket and I woke my sister up and my dad was pissed so he took the tape and crushed it in front of my sad childish eyes. These songs are the result of that.”

Saint Clare’s new album, the five-track Moving On EP, is the logical next step for the band. Recorded and mixed by Jerrett Bartlett at Music for Cats Studio in Ottawa, they take all the aspects that made Half Holy as strong as it was and refined them. Songs such as “East Ending” and “Stranger Than Fiction” utilize the full arsenal of the band and are melodic yet powerful, and as in-your-face as one might expect. There’s a tempered edginess that comes across in these tracks that make the songs less gritty as their Half Holy counterparts, yet the fuzz-pop underpinnings remain intact. It’s the robust kind of rock that you want to hear on the radio, unsanitized and unwavering to the zeitgeist of the day yet accessible to a wide audience of music appreciators.

The mini rock-orchestra still remains intact on this album, and Morgan Grant’s saxophone and Nick DiSaverio’s trombone explode with the same fervour as Dan Devries’ drums or the pervasive guitar parts. However, the Moving On EP is more restrained than their previous work. It contains a few more atmospheric, slowed down songs that demonstrate another side to the band. The title track begins with a twangy, folk-inspired sound and crescendos as the rest of the band jumps in. Another interesting departure was the song “Hang Gliding,” which was sung by guitarist Richard Jeffrey with backing vocals provided by keys player Casey Comeau. Jeffrey, although a different age and voice than Matthew Saint Clare, channels the same energy and style as he does, making his lead vocals on the track a refreshing and appealing change of pace.

You can download Saint Clare’s new Moving On EP or listen below. Catch them live at RBC Ottawa Bluesfest this summer on July 9th at the Canadian Stage. - Ottawa Showbox


Half Holy EP - 2013

Moving On EP - Spring 2014

Split Single - Coming 2016

Full Length - Coming 2016



Saint Clare plays frantic, heartfelt rock n’ roll that is too poppy to be considered garage rock by purists, and too fuzzy to be considered just pop. They have drawn comparisons to the Pixies, Husker Du, and The Cure and draw on a wide range of genres from pop to rock to indie to garage and psychedelic. 

The band lineup is a bar-room orchestra featuring the rock standard guitars, bass, and drums, as well as saxophone, trombone, and organ/piano. The band is backed by former and current members of other memorable bands from Ottawa and beyond, including The Shakey Aches, Casey Comeau and the Half Milers, Monohum, Golden Familie, The Sentries, and The Square Waves.

The band released their debut Half Holy EP in 2013, released the follow up Moving On EP in late Spring 2015, and plans to release a new 7″ followed by a new full length in Spring/Summer 2016.

Band Members