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Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Electronic Instrumental




"ALBUM REVIEW: Snowday - As We Travel"

High school friends and electronic musicians Cam Sloan and Chad Skinner were travelling together through Europe when they picked up a ukulele in Madrid, and that's all that was needed to prompt the pair to return to more traditional instrumentation. The result of this experimentation infused their self-released debut album, the appropriately titled As We Travel, with a sense of the organic. Their nostalgia-tinged band name is a good reflection of the type of music they produce, which blends the instrumentation of Bonobo with Tycho's brand of ambient electronic music (they've both been name-checked by the duo as strong influences).

"Walk Along These Rocks With Me," with its cutesy title and spoken work intro that states "I will not worry about anything ever again," hints to the playful abandon of childhood — as does their band name — and rides the wave of dreamy electro favoured by such artists as Ryan Hemsworth and Porter Robinson's more twee material. Elsewhere on As We Travel, the duo explore worldly sounds they encountered on their travels, such as on the flamenco-tinged "Eventual," which showcases the more percussive side to the Toronto electronic duo. The two vocal-assisted tracks on the album are unfortunately not created equal; the Kaleigh Watts-featuring "A Quiet Winter" blends in well with the rest of the material, but Sammy Jackson's turn on "Regeneration" clashes with the tribal musicality of the track. While Jackson has undeniable pipes, her vocals would probably fare better on the type of tracks one find in the UK bass scene.

Everything on Snowday's debut, from its name and artwork all the way down to the self-recorded samples, is carefully crafted and deliberate. From the first strings on synth-heavy opener "The Seventh String" to the plucky guitar arrangement of closer "All in Due Time," these boys know what they're doing. As We Travel is an impressive release, showing an assuredness rarely found on a debut. Snowday have managed to craft a new brand of pastoral ambient electronic music — now who's ready to sign them? - Exclaim

"CONCERT REVIEW: Snowday - Montreal - November 30, 2014"

Montreal's Club Balattou may very well be my new favourite venue, and was an oddly appropriate choice for Snowday's album launch party on Sunday night (November 30). In operation for over 20 years, the Montreal institution plays host to both the Festival Nuits D'Afrique and Mundial, maintaining its vocation to showcase world music. Lately they've been expanding their calling by including electronic-oriented acts, and Sunday's show was a good preview of what it has to offer for such events.

This was the third release party in as many nights for Snowday, having performed in Toronto and Ottawa the two previous nights, with Loopsy Dazy on hand to perform the opening slot on all three dates. The Toronto-based electronic trio perform, in their own words, "live looping organic electronic music," and you'd be hard pressed to find a more accurate description. Consisting of Mikey Dorje on guitar and synths, Eleanor Edgar on the violin and Caribou's Brad Weber on drums, their live set plays like an experimental play, with both Mikey and Eleanor sharing looping duties throughout, feeding off each other brilliantly. It was a great introduction to the night, and Loopsy Dazy was a more than appropriate tour-mate choice.

Snowday's self-released debut album, As We Travel, is a beautiful collection of instrumental ambient electronic music that makes for a great chillout companion that plays equally well as background music. But for their live set, longtime friends Cam Sloan and Chad Skinner made sure to bring the dynamism and bewitch the audience into fully delving into their world. With the help of drummer Tait Rowsell, the music took on a whole other dimension, making the album's instrumentation come alive.

They kicked off the set with album highlight "Walk Along These Rocks With Me," a perfect way to set the tone for the evening, with the track toeing the line between upbeat and poignant. Sloan picked up the guitar for album opener "The Seventh String," while Skinner performed on bass, but the mates would switch duties effectively throughout the set, with Sloan jumping on bass while Skinner would perform on keys. They enlisted violinist Jessie Lyonheart on many of the tracks, an inspired choice that added a gorgeous musical layer that felt like it was meant to be part of the project all along.

Many other instruments were thrown in, including maracas and tambourines, which managed to recreate the multiple musical inspirations found on As We Travel. And while the small venue was far from reaching capacity, Snowday performed with such verve and passion that those who were in attendance would be sure to remember the evening. - Exclaim

"TRACK PREMIERE: Snowday - Walk Along These Rocks with Me"

A duo of Toronto-based producers/musicians/sound artists, Snowday will release its debut full-length, As We Travel, late next month. Pulled from the upcoming effort is "Walk Along These Rocks with Me," a production which comes flushed with bouncing layers of bell-like chords and textured percussion. Landing far away from the club side of electronic production, the track is a mediative composition, one which effortlessly floats bubbling electronics, airy vocal samples, and gliding synths in and out of its fluid run. Snowday's nine-track As We Travel LP will see its official release on November 25. - XLR8R

"EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Hype Machine Album Premiere - As We Travel"

This debut album from Toronto's Snowday finds the aptly-named duo trading in the sort of chilled-out electronic production and sound-artistry that summons Tycho, Boards of Canada and Bonobo as reference points. XLR8R describes their sound as "meditative, one in which bubbling electronics, airy vocal samples and gliding synths float effortlessly in and out of its fluid run." - Hype Machine

"ALBUM REVIEW: Snowday - As We Travel"

The album ‘As We Travel’ is a work of delicate beauty that, for the most part, gives a sonic portrayal of our coldest season. Despite being primarily electronic, there is a true organic feel in its evocation of the elements, such as wind, rain, ice and snow, as well our place within those elements.
The majority of the tracks are instrumental, but they are not without structure. The opener, “The Seventh String”, for example, starts out with the swirling ambient sounds of keys, electronics, found sounds and ethereal, wordless vocals. The reverie is quickly broken, however, as a solid beat grabs a foothold, and soon afterwards strongly melodic synths take over with a sense of purpose. Finally, the wintery landscape is joined by the warmth of acoustic guitars, giving assurance that there is life even in this harsh and cold place.
Although the majority of the album is as ambient as the opening number, some of the tracks are somewhat more worldly, with “Alaskan Cabins” having a more urban rhythm and “Days We Spent Apart” featuring an R&B vibe and a shuffle beat. It is interesting to note that the two songs featuring actual singing are a contrast in styles. In the R&B flavoured “Regeneration” Sammy Jackson gives a earthy, soulful performance, whereas Kaleigh Watts’ vocals on “A Quiet Winter” are more in the realm of dreamy chamber folk.
It would be misleading to characterize ‘As We Travel’ as a purely ambient album, given that each song carries with it such meaning. Furthermore, it would be inaccurate to describe the music as coldly electronic (despite the winter theme) as the entire work is alive with human emotion and warmth. - Ride the Tempo


Cam Sloan and Chad Skinner from Toronto are the duo Snowday, dedicated to bringing together the world of globally fielded sounds to the combined instrumentation forges of classical and electronic mediums. Preparing their album debut, As We Travel on November 25, Cam and Chad are proud to premiere “A Quiet Winter” that features fog rolling melodic deliveries from Ottawa vocalist-songwriter, Kaleigh Watts. Piano notes fall like snow flakes, as a gently enveloping avalanche awakens a cold spell to last for all seasons.

Like the title of their forthcoming album, Snowday creates sparse and atmospheric music. The mix and production of “A Quiet Winter” moves a globe between the poles, turning the planet clockwise, and then counter—stirring up the measured metrics of night, day, and everything affected in the song’s soft polar melt. Watts’ voice disappears into the blizzard blind that Skinner and Sloan stir in a compound synthesis of acoustic and emulated patterns of wintry weather for wear—all year round. Immediately after the following snowfall simulating debut from Snowday, check out our interview with Chad Skinner.

Tell us about the winter dwelling dynamics that went into the making of “A Quiet Winter” with Kaleigh Watts.

While I was composing the music for this song I was working at a ski hill in Quebec. My commute every day was just over an hour through the back roads of Gatineau. I remember driving to work on a greyish morning, listening to the instrumental, and as I drove passed small snowed-in homes in the middle of nowhere, I felt a great calmness about winter – like I wanted to spend the entire season out in the country chopping fire wood, making cider, and writing music. The feeling seemed to live so perfectly with the music that I immediately titled it ‘A Quiet Winter.’ After I finished writing the music I sent it off to Kaleigh and asked her to write about what the title meant to her. She ended up writing a short poem, which then became the lyrics to the song.

Like your namesake, what are some of your favorite snowed-in days and moments that inspired the name?

The name is inspired by the feeling we got as children waking up early for school just to hear that school has been closed, the buses have been cancelled, and we now have the entire day to do whatever we want. Anyone who grew up in Canada will know this feeling.

Last winter, we both got the day off from our day jobs because of a huge dump of snow, and we were recalling the amazing feeling of a snow day from school. We had been trying to come up with a name for a while by this point and gravitated towards the playful and positive feelings that the word ‘Snowday’ evoked.

As big fans of both acoustic and electronic mediums of instrumentation, where do you all feel the artistic connection is at the meeting of those two disparate worlds?

When electronic and acoustic mediums are brought together in a certain way, it can create something new, like the whole being greater than the sum of its two parts. On the electronic side, you have the ability to synthesize new sounds, such as creating ‘other-worldly’ atmospheric sounds. We often rely on this to set the mood for a track. Incorporating the live instrumentation brings it back down to Earth, giving the music a more natural feeling. It’s reminiscent of science fiction – surreal landscapes and technology – but there are still natural elements that the audience can completely relate to. It all comes together to form a new reality.

And like the title of the upcoming album, As We Travel, can you both share some of the best moments from your European travels?

We traveled through a good portion of Europe last summer. One of our favorite countries we visited was Greece. We stayed on a couple different islands, Corfu and Paros, and on each island we rented scooters to get around. Driving around, exploring the coast while we had the most serene view of the sea around us was one of the most liberating feelings that either of us has experienced.

The overall experience of traveling for several months gives you a new outlook on life. You have a lot of time with your own thoughts, allowing you the chance to find out what you want to focus on in your life. For us, it certainly provided motivation to get to work and put all the material together for this new album.

Challenges in creating the sampled, created, and recreated audio collections that comprise As We Travel?

Most of the samples were recorded in our studio with a condenser microphone. A lot of the percussion on the album was made from hitting different objects together, like hitting a drumstick on a stretched out canvas, or by jingling keys, etc. It’s a fun way to record music and usually ends up in a few good laughs along the way.

We also used a lot of field recordings from our phones, drawing from real life experiences. These recordings evoke certain feelings within us. I suppose the idea is to pass those feelings along to the listener. I like to think that even though our music is mostly instrumental, it speaks volumes through the atmospherics. A huge part of setting the atmosphere of these tracks comes from the field recordings.

The latest from the Toronto scenes, or favorite lesser known and under-sung artists and bands from Toronto that everyone should hear?

We’re really enjoying the sounds from Toronto-based producer River Tiber. He has a really great live set with a full band and it comes together really nicely to pair with the recordings.

Also, there is a really great tabla and hang drum player named Gurpreet Chana. His solo hang drum work is incredible.

Not under-sung, but Toronto’s BADBADNOTGOOD is on a great path right now. They are bringing jazz back to the younger generation and it is great to see.

Finally, a tip of the hat to our roots of Ottawa, Canada, where Chad and I both met in high school and started producing music together. One album I still love to listen to is by Ottawa-based produce named Adam Saikaley.

Snowday’s album As We Travel will be available November 25 via Bandcamp. - IMPOSE

"ALBUM STREAM: Snowday - As We Travel"

Snowday’s debut album ‘As We Travel’ isn't just music, it’s a backdrop to which we can loosen life’s chains and travel without leaving the safety of our own lives. - Sonic More Music

"ALBUM REVIEW: Snowday - As We Travel"

Review Summary: When life is making you lonely you can always go downtown.

It’s refreshing to avoid responsibility, putting your routine on pause in favour of the little things, whatever that means for you specifically. For some, it’s extra time with your loved ones, while for others it’s the act of doing nothing, without consequence and so on. If you think back, you were probably ecstatic when school got cancelled due to snow (a ‘snow day’... ahem). It was extra time with no obligations. In a way, the debut release As We Travel from Toronto-based downtempo act Snowday is a record thriving not on what - or where - it needs to be, but the inimitable quality of contentment. You can’t always fake satisfaction, and Snowday are happy to wander as they please. Each track is celebratory, but casual, as no single idea is demanding enough to deter from the other possibilities around the corner. It’s like visiting a carnival with no lineups; you’re able to explore without itineraries, thriving on accumulative little experiences. This is just a way to explain how As We Travel manages to be diverse, relaxed, and effortlessly satisfying. It reminds me of afternoons where we - a loved one and I - didn’t even need to reflect, spending the entire car ride in silence as nothing needed to be said. In hindsight it’s sort of poignant, as it reminds me of something I haven’t felt since God knows when.

This ties into As We Travel significantly, as beneath the carefree vibe of downtempo exists a hint of longing. Depending on your perspective, you could view it as one big facade. As a habit, I tend to avoid speculation of ‘intent’, as it’s often the end result that should carry more weight than the underlying motivation. Still, it can cast things in a different light, and this kind of contradicts my theory of contentment, suggesting Snowday are seeking escapism through their music. What I’m trying to say is that As We Travel isn’t an album for a specific time or place. Whether you’re looking for music to complement your untroubled mornings, or be the soundtrack to your dissatisfaction, Snowday know how to engage you. Every track is rife with mellow beats and soothing textures, yet features a wide array of experimentation to captivate you however you see fit. They have a keen sense of awareness; none of the tracks overstay their welcome, and they easily fill empty spaces.

While many similar musicians tack on assorted synths and effects to the point of convolution, Snowday’s compositions are rich and detailed underneath, with each subtlety blended perfectly. “Alaskan Cabins” takes deep, reinvigorating breaths while hushed vocals sway with claptraps and lush instrumentals. “A Lone Stone” features somber piano alongside rolling woodblocks and drifting overtones. When the instruments subside, if only for a moment, the spaces between notes are just as lovely, creating a deft pull and release. Vocalists Kaleigh Watts and Sammy Jackson grace “A Quiet Winter” and “Regeneration” respectively, complementing As We Travel’s flow perfectly, breaking up the instrumental tracks aptly without being overbearing. Watts delivers a soothing, ethereal performance while Jackson is more commanding in what proves to be the album’s climax. Everything runs like clockwork, but more fluidly, like the softly melting pocket watches in the famous Dali painting. It’s surreal. As We Travel is a composition completely at peace, but never one-dimensional or sedated; aloof and dreamy, it still manages to be thoroughly engaging. It’s time well spent - doing nothing at all. - Sputnick Music - Tristan Jones

"ALBUM REVIEW: Snowday - As We Travel"

Traveling Without Moving

The advent of better music-making software has seen the world of electronic music become oversaturated with whizz kids behind MacBooks. This has caused many electronic artists, Trentemøller and Bonobo among them, to opt to incorporate more live instruments and at times even entire vocal tracks into their songs. Whether this is done to distance themselves from the growing crowd of copycats or simply as an experiment to see where they can take their chosen genre doesn’t really matter. What matters is whether or not these musical experiments produce music which pushes the boundaries that the genre has set for the artist. And although pushing buttons and twisting knobs can still make incredibly new and original music it is more than likely that will not last forever.
The Canadian duo Cam Sloan and Chad Skinner of Snowday seem to know the door of the old electronic era will be closing soon, which is perhaps why their debut, the organically ambient As We Travel sounds at times like it is straddling two musical worlds. Right from the start of As We Travel, the pair begins to play with different rhythms and tones. The opening track “The Seventh String” bristles with mellow, mood-enhancing vibraphone-sounding melodies, as well as crackling rim taps. Bits of live piano are sprinkled in here and there, though the Spanish-style acoustic guitar that comes in halfway through is an enticing reason to keep listening.
The second track “A Quiet Winter” keeps the flow going, with fellow Canadian singer-songwriter Kaleigh Watts weighing in with her sweet and airy vocals, which pair perfectly alongside the mellow piano and subtle hints of hip-hop-styled samples. The piano returns later and is used to an even greater mellowing effect on “A Lone Stone.” Staunchly minimalist in composition, it sounds like music scored for a film. It also marks the end of an almost coma-inducing succession of tracks. “Eventual” helps to ease out of that coma – though slowly – by way of rippling synths, a snare heavy jazzy beat, and a flamenco-inspired guitar. Mellow as it may be, it has enough swagger to get the head and shoulders moving. This swagger continues on “Regeneration” which features jazzy vocals via female singer Sammy Jackson, layered over bouncy beats and spacey, rippling piano loops. The album closes quietly with “All in Due Time” which again pairs the soft plucked acoustic guitar with more modern machine tones and lightly tapped conga-style drum beats.
Unarguably an ambitious first effort, As We Travel acts as a foundation to be built upon. Its many moodily minimalist tracks are quite relaxing, making it easy to be sedated into missing what’s missing. What’s missing is any attempt at failure. Snowday play it pretty safe on As We Travel, and in that respect the album at times feels like it’s trapped inside one long and monotonous loop of ambience, unable to get out, as though it has been snowed in. - mxdwn

"ALBUM ANNOUNCEMENT + TRACK PREMIERE: Snowday 'As We Travel' Announced"

Self-described "chill-out electronic duo" Snowday lived up to their billing on their recent single, "The Seventh String," and now the Toronto-based pair have announced their debut album. As We Travel will be out on November 25.

Although the band's style is primarily electronic, a press release notes that Cam Sloan and Chad Skinner began making music as Snowday when they purchased a ukulele and other small acoustic instruments while travelling in Europe. The pair are fond of recording instruments to make their own samples, resulting in a sound that incorporates organic textures into computerized arrangements.

Most of the album is instrumental, with sonic touchstones including Brian Eno, Bonobo, Tycho and Steve Reich. There are also a couple of guest vocalists. At the bottom of this page, hear the gently burbling synth cut "Walk Along These Rocks with Me," plus the previously unveiled "The Seventh String."

Also below, see Snowday's tour schedule. Their live shows feature drummer Tait Roswell, who apparently gives the music a more upbeat sound.

As We Travel:

1. The Seventh String
2. A Quiet Winter featuring Kaleigh Watts
3. Walk Along These Rocks With Me
4. Alaskan Cabins
5. A Lone Stone
6. Eventual
7. Days We Spent Apart
8. Regeneration featuring Sammy Jackson
9. All in Due Time

Tour dates:

11/28 Toronto, ON - Monarch Tavern *
11/29 Ottawa, ON - Mugshots *^
11/30 Montreal, QC - Club Balattou *

* with Loopsy Dazy
^ with Modern Dinosaurs - Exclaim



Toronto chillout electronic duo Snowday came upon the inspiration for the project in an unlikely source - a ukulele they picked up in Madrid, Spain while travelling Europe together. Without a studio to record in while on the road, Cam Sloan and Chad Skinner found a new creative spark in going back to basics and jamming with small acoustic instruments they collected throughout their travels. This newfound appreciation for acoustic textures and live playing greatly coloured the material they recorded once they returned home, which ended up becoming Snowday's first songs.

Sloan and Skinner have been making music together in various projects since meeting in high school in Ottawa and bonding over a mutual love of underground hip-hop, which led them into sample-based production. Later inspired by the records they were sampling, with a desire to become better performers, they taught themselves to play their own instruments. The duo began recording piano, guitar, drums, and other instruments to generate their own samples, which helped lay the foundation for Snowday's live organic approach to ambient pop.

Their upcoming debut album As We Travel is chillout music that is as sensual as it is psychedelic. Swirling synths and laid back guitars swim in washes of liquid reverb and sparkling delays, gently propelled by pulsing rhythms. Their closest musical relatives are chilled out electronic artists like Bonobo and Tycho, with occasional nods to ambient pioneer Brian Eno and minimalist icon Steve Reich. The majority of the record is instrumental and meditative, broken up by the ethereal vocals of guests Sammy Jackson on Regeneration and Kaleigh Watts on A Quiet Winter.

As a live act, the addition of drummer Tait Rowsell pushes their sound in more assertive and upbeat directions, without sacrificing the subtle atmospherics of the recordings. Snowday on stage is much more a band than a laptop act, although both Sloan and Skinner can still be found in the DJ booth on occasion as well.

Band Members