Steph Macpherson
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Steph Macpherson

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | INDIE

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Americana Pop




"Steph MacPherson – Bells & Whistles “Surrender to achingly sung vocals & infectious country”"

By Shawn M. Haney on February 28, 2013

Steph MacPherson
Bells & Whistles
Vancouver, BC
(Cordova Bay Records)

“Surrender to achingly sung vocals & infectious country”

Achingly beautiful, channeling infectiously bright melodies and well-arranged lyrics, Steph MacPherson dazzles on her debut LP, writing with the pen of a powerful voice. From British Columbia, this touring Canadian star is making a statement in 2013, and tunes such as those on Bells & Whistles should not fail to deliver commercial airplay in the New Year ahead and beyond.

With bright choruses, uplifting anthems like “Bent & Unkind,” “Bells & Whistles” and “This One,” the artist displays a voice clear and unrestrained, packed with emotion and color. Each track is compellingly produced, with gorgeously lush instrumentation in both light rock and country fashions.

“Something in You” breathes easy with a slow tempo, heartbreaking vocals, and resonating pianos that pound at the chest with its melodic fists. “The Distance” provides meaning to a rough world, blending in the soft touch of sustained electric guitars matched with MacPherson’s moving voice. The track is powerful, in that no other instruments are involved.

By Shawn M. Haney on February 28, 2013

Her style is immediate and fresh. The instrumentation never fails to satisfy, its quality undeniable. Steph’s songs are sung with a seasoned, confident voice similar to artists such as Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, and Colbie Caillat. Truly a treat to listen to.

Produced, Engineered & Mixed by Jason Cook
Mastered by Joby Baker
Recorded at Baker Studios, Cook Studios & Nimbus Studios
Mixed at Infiniti Studios - PERFORMER MAGAZINE

"Scene and Heard: Funding drive to Nashville - Steph Mapherson, a longtime local favourite, may be about to see her audience widen"

Mike Devlin / Times Colonist
November 8, 2014

Victoria singer-songwriter Steph Macpherson hopes that, by the end of the month, she will have realized her dream of working with Grammy-nominated performer Colin Linden.

To get there, she’s looking for some help from her supporters.

Macpherson, who moved from to Terrace to Victoria when she was an infant, is past the halfway mark of her crowdfunding campaign to raise $5,000.

The money will get her to Tennessee so that she can record with Nashville-based Linden, who extended an offer to Macpherson after hearing her song Bells & Whistles on the radio. Through her Victoria-based record label, Cordova Bay Records, Linden offered to produce her next record, should she be able to make her way to Nashville for the sessions.

It’s a big opportunity for Macpherson. Linden, who is a member of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, is one of Canada’s best-loved roots performers, with a resumé that includes work on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack and a brief tenure in Bob Dylan’s band.

Could his magic touch be the key in breaking Macpherson, a longtime local favourite, to a wider audience?

She has raised $3,000 so far through her crowdfunding campaign, which wraps on Nov. 28. Learn more about the incentives being offered by visiting her Indiegogo page at

The video for Bells & Whistles is available at

- See more at: - Times Colonist

"Listen. It’s not behind you, it’s ahead of you."

September 26th 2014

The soul moving voice of Steph Macpherson makes it hard to imagine she had anxiety or was shy about being on stage. Yet, after nearly fourteen years of voice lessons, her love of playing guitar and Sarah Harmer finally took over and in high school she simply stopped worrying about it. Originally Macpherson wrote songs about the people around her where she found herself as the observer, watching the challenging and often emotionally fragile, even dark moments, friends struggled through. To her credit Steph listened to herself and realized she had fewer issues and plenty of support, and asked herself “ why wasn’t (she) doing more?” After a trip to New Zealand in 2006 she wrote her first EP, followed by an LP. Macpherson then went on to win cash awards, and open for many famous musicians (Lilith Fair 2010; Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, and at Canadian Music Week 2012 in Toronto.) Macpherson’s Indie, Country-Canadiana sound is creating serious buzz. Her new LP is due out spring 2015. - Vic 42

"Who Won What: The winners of the 2013 M Awards revealed"

August 8, 2013

The readers have spoken
With over 1,500 votes in 44 categories, Monday readers have picked their favourite artists and supporters in all genres to receive a prestigious M Award.
The competition was so fierce in some categories that only one or two votes separated the eventual winner from the runners-up.
This year’s M Award is a wonderfully whimsical yellow ukulele branded with the Monday logo from Long & McQuade, while the presentation event was hosted by the fine folks at Club 9ONE9 and comedian Mike Delamont, Tuesday, April 23.
Favourite Solo Artist
Steph MacPherson
In one of the closest races of the year, folk-pop songstress Steph MacPherson was voted Favourite Solo Artist by Monday readers, beating out runner-up Carolyn Mark by only two votes. Only 10 votes separate first and third place in this all-female shortlist. Let’s hear it for the ladies!
MacPherson released her debut full-length album, Bells & Whistles, on Victoria’s own Cordova Bay Records in April 2012. It was recorded at Electric City Studios with Jason Cook. Raw, yet perfected, Bells & Whistles is an honest and infections offering from the Kiwi-Canadian, Victoria-raised singer-songwriter.
MacPherson played showcases at Canadian Music Week and North by Northwest in 2012, as well as local festival Song and Surf.
Bells & Whistles was also chosen by Monday Arts Editor Mary Ellen Green as one of the Top Local Albums of 2012. - Monday Magazine

"Folk-Pop Talent Steph MacPherson Talks Debut LP “Bells & Whistles”"

Jacob Goguen
– April 5, 2012Posted in: Music, Other
Her sound has been described as drawing upon elements of Stevie Nicks, Sarah Harmer, and Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy – yes, one can indeed call Victoria-native Steph MacPherson’s consistently gorgeous songs folk-pop.
However, graced as her warming and rootsy tunes are with her soft, soothing, and richly emotive voice, the lovely lady – who has been at this whole music thing since she was five – strikes a pose all her own.
It’s certainly telling that, since the November ’09 release of her To You EP and last year’s well-titled “Summer Salute” single, MacPherson has been featured as one of Vancouver’s Shore 104.3FM Song Search Top 10 Contestants.
Not only that, she’s also been finding herself performing as part of Canadian Music Week and Lilith Fair, and opening for the likes of Sheryl Crow, Erykah Badu, and fellow Canadians Tom Cochrane and Sarah McLachlan – just to drop a few names.
Steph’s debut LP, Bells & Whistles is set for release through Cordova Bay Records on April 17, so don’t be surprised if you begin hearing this rising talent’s name more and more.
While she was on a layover in Calgary, it was a pleasure for Cadence to chat music with the ever-sweet MacPherson over the phone.
You’re flying back from the JUNOs and Canadian Music Week. How was the whole shebang?
It’s been a crazy whirlwind! I ended up playing four showcases at Canadian Music Week – two official CMW shows at the Dakota and the Cadillac Lounge, and two acoustic (one for the Cordova Bay Records party and another one was a last-minute add . . . Young Lions Music Club added me to the beginning of one of their Live in Bellwood’s afternoon events on Saturday too), so that was pretty cool. Just busy, busy.
What have been some of your favourite moments throughout the whole experience?
I don’t even know if I can pick a moment – just to be out here and feeling all the energy of all the events. . . . I’ve been on sort of a festival circuit before – I played Canadian Music Week last year. But this year, I got to experience the whole thing out there. It’s just awesome – breaking into being a part of it, sneaking yourself into all those places where you need to be talking to people and meeting people, and that’s just really awesome.
Bells and & Whistles is coming out April 17. You must be really excited.
Yeah, I can’t wait. A lot of stuff coming up surrounding that – releasing that with Cordova Bay Records; opening a couple of shows for Jeremy Fisher out west, in Victoria and Vancouver; touring out to Regina in early May. We’re already planning some festivals we haven’t announced yet for the summer and planning a tour in the fall. It’s just going to be an awesome, full-on year, I think.
Talking about the album now – you mentioned in the “making of” video that when it came to recording the To You EP, it was kind of rushed, and you didn’t get the chance to take your time, experiment, and find the tones and textures you wanted. So how did you find the experience of getting to record with Jason Cook again and recording your first LP?
I loved it. We planned it for quite a while, and Jason’s just wonderful . . . I would just describe [laughs] . . . I’m so bad at describing a tone. I’ll describe colours and feelings and textures verbally, and then he’ll be like, “Okay, well let’s try these three guitars. Let’s see if this is the right tone for what you were talking about.” He was awesome and helped me get just what I was looking for.
This being your first record, did you approach it with more of a cautionary state-of-mind, or did you see it more as an adventure?
I think making an album is always an adventure. No matter how much you plan it out, it’s going to change and develop during the course of the recording process. It was definitely an adventure [laughs].
As an artist, what did you learn from working on the album?
Something we did on this one that we didn’t do on the last one is that we recorded the drums and the bass together, sort of “let’s do it quick, live-off-the-floor,” which I loved. It really affects the feel of the songs on the album. And I think I would like to do a little bit more of that on the next album, maybe rehearse the songs with a band and just go in and try and do it live-off-the-floor.
Oh my goodness, I learned that I am a crazy perfectionist when it comes to vocals in the studio [laughs]. And I’m pretty sure that Jason almost shot me several times. But it gets me to what I want, so that’s okay [laughs].
Did you come to the album with a batch of songs you’d already written, or was it more like you had the record in mind as a concept you were writing towards?
They were songs that I had already written – I’m actually excited to try a little bit more of concept-writing for the future. That’s something I’ve been thinking about, but these ones were songs that I had already.
We went in wanting to make [the songs] a cohesive story through the production, because they hadn’t been written at exactly the same period of time. I think it comes a lot more down to making it sound like a fluid piece in the studio process, when you have just a collection of songs that you go in with.
What inspired the whole process for you?
I’m an observer and very, very analytical . . . a lot of times, without even trying to reflect on just about everything all the time [laughs], so the songs are often actually letters to myself, or people that I know that have been going through things that resonate with me on some emotional level.
The songs come from feelings [laughs], to put it simply. Feelings and experiences.
In your bio, your songs have been described as taking elements of Stevie Nicks, Jeff Tweedy, and Feist. How do you feel about such comparisons?
I feel pretty fantastic about those. Actually, the new album has been getting a lot of Kathleen Edwards-references. I adore her, so I’m completely happy with that as well. These are people that I’ve looked up to and listened to in my life, so it’s really cool.
Of course, you always want to be able to be yourself; but when you have to be compared to people, I think those are some pretty lovely [people] to be compared to [laughs].
Yeah, I’m a guitarist myself, and I’m a big Wilco fan, so I’d take Jeff Tweedy comparisons pretty well [laughs].
[Laughs] Yes, I’m an enormous Wilco fan.
Would you say listening to such artists’ music helped shape some of the songwriting that went into Bells & Whistles?
Um, I’m sure it does. I think that just happens, though, without too much thinking about it. Whatever it is that you’re listening to will get in your head and make you experiment. . . . I didn’t consciously do that.
I read in a BC Musician Magazine review for To You that, being from Victoria, your songs have a certain oceanic quality in terms of both music and lyrics. Would you say one’s surroundings play a big part in one’s music, and yours, for that matter?
Absolutely, especially for me. I know a lot of artists can write about things . . . the books they’ve read or something – Hey Rosetta, for example – but [my music is] definitely more based on my surroundings and my personal experiences. And I’m very visually inspired as well . . .
It’s funny, because a lot of people say that the songs sound like they’re more from an East Coast artist a lot of the time. But I think there are a lot of similarities between both coasts somehow – being near the ocean, maybe that’s it; maybe it’s the salty air.
Would you say then that the experience of touring and travelling stirs the creative juices too?
Absolutely, which is hard, because you never have time to sit down and write when you’re on the road. But you always want to because that’s when you’re having all these crazy experiences.
What words of wisdom can you offer aspiring talents?
[Laughs] Oh my, write every song that you can think of, whether you think it’s going to be good or not; just do it. It keeps the juices flowing.
Persistence and hard work are what it takes, and knowing yourself and where you fit within the industry. And a whole lot of research and knowing whom to talk to. And when’s the perfect time to talk to them.
[Laughs] A lot of luck is a huge part of this too.
Visit Steph Macpherson’s official site for the latest news and tour info. - Cadence Mag

"No album is an island; Macpherson expands"

By Kelly-Anne Riess, Postmedia May 7, 2012

Steph Macpherson plays the Ironwood Tuesday

Growing up in Victoria, Steph Macpherson, one of Canada’s up-and-coming singer-songwriters, used to love singing along to the Little Mermaid and other Disney television classics. Now her love of singing has her opening to some of North American’s great musicians, such as Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow and Colbie Caillat. Compared to Sarah Harmer, without the activist edge, Macpherson has played a number of big festivals, including Lilith Fair and JUNOfest.
To expand her musical repertoire beyond Disney, Macpherson’s parents put her in piano and voice lessons at the age of four. And somewhere along the way, Macpherson also picked up the guitar.
Now all grown up, Macpherson has moved from Vancouver, a musical hub known as Hollywood North, to focus on her career in alternative country.
In April, Macpherson released her first full-length album, Bells & Whistles.
“It was a real challenge to write some upbeat songs,” said Macpherson, who needed some happy beats to break up what would have been a relatively sombre disc. Known for her melancholy piano songs, Macpherson was used to writing only when she was in the mood, often tackling themes related to her relationships and career.
“Music has always been a good outlet for my emotions. I can express myself without sounding like a whiner,” said Macpherson, about why she often writes solemn songs. “Music is my confidante.”
But with an album to complete, Macpherson was under pressure to write a few tunes that would lift the spirit and balance out the album. The result was well-received, and her songs have been topping the college-radio charts.
After tasting a bit of success, Macpherson said she wants more.
“I want to keep making albums, touring, and playing to bigger audiences, maybe even outside of Canada.”
Macpherson currently has her eye on New Zealand and the U.K. as her next tour destinations.
New territory for Macpherson, who, up until now, has often stuck close to home turf — touring around B.C. and Alberta, occasionally going east to Ontario and Quebec.
As a musician, Macpherson said her career has been all about taking small steps — first writing songs, then booking her first show in a Mexican restaurant for friends and family, and eventually releasing her EP, To You, in 2009, which was strongly supported by airplay an CBC and college radio stations.
Previously a solo act, this time, Macpherson will be touring with a full band.
“It will be a lot of fun,” she said.
Macpherson has been using Twitter and Facebook to get the word out about her work.
“It’s a great way to network and interact with the fans.”
Steph Macpherson plays tonight at the Ironwood Stage & Grill. Ticket info:
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

- The Calgary Herald

"More Than a Feeling review of live show July 17, 2011"

More Than a Feeling review of live show July 17, 2011
Safe to say that Steph MacPherson had a tough few acts to follow, but she didn’t shy away and kept the boot-stompin’ going with her band of gypsies. Keeping a solid rhythm was Niko Friesen on the drums. Singing some beautiful backing melodies was the beautiful and talented Savannah Leigh Wellman (Redbird), as well as another beautiful and talented vocalist whom I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know the name of (sorry!!). After a few tunes, Steph intro’d the next song–called Letters–being about love, or how you feel and think about love when you were younger. It was a charming tune and Steph’s alluring and delightful voice made it that much more captivating. To end her set, Steph and the troop performed her hit tune, Summer Salute. This tune got her into the

A cool Steph MacPherson
Top 10 and I’m thinking that if everyone in the lower mainland played Summer Salute simultaneously from their automobile sound systems, this horrible weather would vanish and the sun would have no choice but to come out for the rest of the summer. That is how much influential, meteorological power this song possesses. Fact.
- More Than a Feeling


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"Steph Macpherson offers all the Bells & Whistles with debut album"

Victoria folk-pop singer-songwriter Steph MacPherson went all out with her debut album Bells & Whistles, released in April on Cordova Bay Records.

On top of the bells and whistles, it has plenty of hand-claps, heartbreak and honesty.

Her skill as a songwriter is evident in the super-catchy sing-along “Summer Salute,” and the gorgeous “The Distance,” in which MacPherson is stripped down, both emotionally and musically, accompanied by nothing but her electric guitar. “It’s a really personal song … I feel like the people I get involved with sort of mentally sign a disclaimer,” she says.

The other stripped down track, “Open Book”, features MacPherson on the upright piano. The song was written while in the studio.

“We recorded them both without a click track, live off the floor and just added a few over-dubbs and some atmospheric stuff later on. It was really cool to get a raw take or two on the album,” says MacPherson.

She came to Cordova Bay with most of the songs for the album in hand. She recorded them with Jason Cook at Electric City Studios in Victoria.

“I’ve heard horror stories about singing with labels and then getting pushed aside or having bad communication and none of that has been an issue … I’m never in the dark. It’s been great so far.”

MacPherson is looking forward to a live show with a band featuring Jason Cook, Ryan Clayton, Rick May and Christian Down.

“It feels so much more dynamic to have a full band up there with me,” she says.

Catch Steph MacPherson, Thurs., July 19 at 10pm at Upstairs Cabaret (15 Bastion Square) with Headwater and Sam Weber. Tickets are $8 in advance at Lyle’s Place, Ditch Records and online at Tickets will be $10 at the door.

MacPherson is also playing a free show as part of Atomique Productions’ Courtyard Sessions in Market Square, from 1pm to 5pm, Sat., Aug. 11. M
- Monday Magazine

"Musical worlds combine"

Kamloops This Week - Entertainment
Musical worlds combine
By Jessica Wallace - Kamloops This Week
Published: June 16, 2011 10:00 AM
Updated: June 16, 2011 10:56 AM

Steph Macpherson began her music career singing Part of Your World from Walt Disney’s The Little Mermaid — which may be the reason she draws her musical inspiration from the world.

“[Inspiration comes] not just from my personal experiences but things I’m privy to,” Macpherson said.

“I pay a lot of attention.”

Macpherson was five years old when she began 14 years of voice and piano lessons.

“My parents put me in voice and piano because I would not stop singing Part of Your World,” she said.

She has invited musician and friend Mike Edel into her world for a two-week tour throughout B.C. and Alberta.

The two Canadian artists met in Victoria, where they live.

Macpherson said Victoria has an extremely tight-knit music community — and that’s what brought the two together.

“We all go out and support each other,” Macpherson said.
Edel agreed.

“You’re trying to be involved with people who are doing simlar things,” he said.

“It’s good to piggy-back off each other.”

Edel moved to Victoria from Alberta on a whim.

He said he felt a move coming and something about the West enticed him, luring him into searching for whatever it might be.

Nearly three years later, he found himself touring with Macpherson.
“I’m pretty stoked,” Edel said.

“She’s a really great vocalist.”

Edel said he and Macpherson complement each other well; she is technically precise while he is more poetic and free-spirited.

Edel considers himself made up from three musical parts —his English literature background, his guitar skills and his vocals.

“I’m more of a songwriter,” Edel said.

Enjoy part of their world when they stop in Kamloops on June 21 at The Art We Are, 246 Victoria St.

Tickets are $8 at the door. The show begins at 8 p.m.
- Kamloops This Week - Entertainment - June 16, 2011

"Instant Playlist - December 2 2010"

Steph Macpherson
Keeping Time
The back-porch violin is good and the acoustic guitar pleasant enough, but what makes "Keeping Time" a gorgeous slice of country-folk is Steph Macpherson’s voice. Move over, Be Good Tanyas—there’s a new gun in town.
- The Georgia Straight

"Steph Macpherson at the Peak Performance Project"

October 4, 2010
Steph Macpherson at the Peak Performance Project

Steph Macpherson opened the fourth of the Peak Performance Project Showcase concerts at Vancouver’s Red Room. The Vancouver based singer/songwriter played to a packed crowd and was obviously moved by the crowd’s response to her performance.

One of the challenges the Peak throws at the artists is a requirement to do a cover song by a Canadian artist. Steph very bravely chose Stan Rogers’ North West Passage and performed a beautiful down tempo rendition that I couldn’t help but sing along too. My sincere apologies to those in the audience near me. - I am Skooter

"Legends and newcomers to share stage at Blue Sky"

Legends and newcomers to share stage at Blue Sky

Steph Macpherson will play the second stage at Blue Sky.
July 21, 2010 - Arts – Nexus (Camosun College)
by Amanda Richardson - Staff Writer
After three years of planning, the biggest event to come to the western communities since 1993 is finally coming to fruition. The Blue Sky Music Festival, put on by 100.3 the Q, Molson Brewing Company, Steve Drain Harley Davidson, and High Tide Entertainment, will feature some of the biggest acts to ever come out of Canada.
The one-day festival, held at Western Speedway on Saturday, August 14, will see Colin James, Barney Bentall and the Legendary Hearts, and the much-anticipated return of Tom Cochrane, who’s back in Victoria for the first time since his 1992 Mad Mad World tour.
To round out the jam-packed list of performers, Toronto-born Andrew Cole and local favourites like Jon & Roy, Vince Vaccaro, and Maurice will also be taking the stage. High Tide Entertainment has also recently added a second stage and even more local talent, including the Steph Macpherson Band, Quoia, and Immaculate Machine.
Steph Macpherson, who according to her MySpace page “sounds like your best friend, in a flowered dress, on a porch swing with a guitar,” will be making her festival debut at Blue Sky.
“Honestly, I’m pretty stoked about it,” says Macpherson. In a moment usually reserved for a gushing beauty pageant queen, she says it’s an honor just to be chosen. “They contacted me, which is exciting, because that’s never happened to me before,” she says.
Mike Hann, the front man for Quoia, echoes Macpherson, saying, “Matt Laundrie from High Tide Entertainment approached us and asked if we wanted to play the festival, and of course we said yes. You don’t say no to playing with Tom Cochrane. I mean, he’s a legend.”
Having just performed at Lilith Fair as the winner of the Ourstage Local Talent Search, Macpherson’s budding career has suddenly taken off. She says that playing with big names like Erykah Badu and Emmylou Harris, who she played with at Lilith, and now Tom Cochrane is an excellent way to pick up pointers. “It’s great to watch and learn from these people who have so much talent and experience on stage,” she says.
Hann jokes about the excitement of seeing his band’s name on the same billing as one of Canada’s biggest icons. “Ooh, hey, that’s my name right there… and that’s Tom Cochrane there,” laughs Hann. “More than anything, it’s an honor to be in the presence of greatness like that. You get really inspired.”
While Blue Sky will be Macpherson’s first time performing at a festival, she says that she’s prepared for the chaos that’s sure to come with an event of its size. “It’s going to be a blast. I think it’s going to be hectic, but a lot of fun,” she says.
Macpherson may still be a little wet behind the ears, but Hann is a festival pro, having recently put on the Tall Tree Music Festival with his company, Radio Contact. He says his favourite part of performing at festivals is the vibe.
“Everybody that goes to a festival like this usually knows what they’re going to get. Everybody is really positive, and there’s a camaraderie between musicians,” he says. “The community feel that you get from it is great, and also getting to watch other really talented acts.”
So whether you’re an artist looking for inspiration, or just a simple Victorian looking to get your mind blown by awesome music, the Blue Sky Music Festival is most definitely the place to be on Saturday, August 14.
- Nexus (Camosun College)

"The Lilith lineup at Ambleside Park"

The Lilith lineup at Ambleside Park
Vancouver Sun June 25, 2010

Steph Macpherson is one of 20 finalists in the 2010 Peak Performance Project.
Photograph by: Handout, Vancouver Sun
The “first lady of neo-soul” caused quite a ruckus recently when she released the video for her new song Window Seat, which depicted her shedding her clothes at the site of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas.
The queen of melancholy pop and Lilith’s mastermind, McLachlan will be performing material from her first album of original material in seven years, Laws of Illusion.
Atlanta-bred country superduo Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles and instrumentalist Kristian Bush truly hit it big in 2006 with their album Enjoy the Ride, which yielded two No. 1 hits and the Grammy-winning single Stay.
Vancouver’s Ali Milner has been compared to the likes of Fiona Apple and Estelle. Her new album, I Dare You, had her collaborating with Wide Mouth Mason’s Shaun Verreault and veteran songwriter Jim Vallance (Bryan Adams).
A founding member of trio the Be Good Tanyas, Ford will be releasing her first solo album, Obadiah, on July 20.
This Vancouver-via-Victoria singer-songwriter earned her spot on Lilith by entering her song Keeping Time into the fair’s local talent search contest. She has also recently been selected as a Top 20 finalist for the Peak Performance Project.
Also playing: Ash Koley, Colbie Caillat, Sheryl Crow, Kate Miller-Heidke, Grace Potter And The Nocturnals.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
- Vancouver Sun

"A name you should know now... Steph Macpherson"

A name you should know now... Steph Macpherson

It's amazing how things have a way of falling into place isn't it? For Steph Macpherson (@stephmacpherson on twitter), the pieces are falling quite nicely.
Fresh off the heels of her top 20 inclusion in the Peak FM Performance Project ( @thepeak), Steph has been announced the winning "Ourstage Artist" at Vancouver's Lilith Fair, on Canada Day. Not a bad spring so far.
"It feels very good, and especially rewarding when you feel like there is a lot happening." she told me recently at a show at The Fort St. Cafe in Victoria.

That was before the Lilith Fair announcement, so that rewarding feeling can only grow. Of course if you've had the opportunity to see her live, this was only a matter of time. She's another very talented West Coast Singer/Songwriter and it's truly a treat to see her play. Her combination of keeping the audience involved, and pure musical talent leads to a memorable set time and again.

"Your live show is so, so important. Especially now. You can have great songs, you can have great songs on the radio, but if people come to see you play and don't feel like they connected with you in some way, and they don't feel like they wanna come back to your show, you're kinda dead in the water."
"A Strong "hometown following" is really important. People need to know what you are doing, and who you are at home. I love playing at home, because I get all of my friends and family out at my shows as well and I'm always seeing new faces too which is pretty exciting. Especially in Victoria which is fairly small, where I grew up and I never really expect so see new faces."

It's this attitude that makes you want her to succeed. Speak to anyone around her about her, and you realize she's just extremely likeable.

"I love Steph Macpherson. I have encountered her in person a bunch of times in Victoria, around the city, the odd house party or live venue dive. She is always friendly, humble and sweet. I think right away one of her strengths is her personality. If you meet Steph, you like her." Zone 91.3 host and owner of "The Morning After" blog ( Jeremy Baker (@Jeremy_Baker) said.

"Stephs great, she's a really great musican and a great writer. Just a really nice person in general you know? I have a lot of fun touring with her, we always end up doing songs together, it always turns out being real fun." added Saskatoon Musician Zachary Lucky (@zacharylucky) at the Fort St. Cafe.

With her talent being recognized more and more by the day, we can look forward to hearing more of her in the future. The Peak FM Performance Project is an excellent opportunity for finalists to learn and expand each and every area of their musical careers. Cash prizes are awarded to the top 5, and a lot of loot is up for grabs (the winner receiving 6 figures). For starving musicians, cash is king, but this competition serves more purpose than just giving up money.

"I can tell you that the experience last year was wonderful for the artists and created a real sense of community that has survived the program. The goal is to help each of the Top 20 reach their potential. The artists who work the hardest in all areas of the program and show that they have not only the talent, but also the business sense and marketing drive will reach the program summit." that from the Executive Director of Music BC Industry Association, Bob D'Eith.

With this mega-talented group (including Said the Whale, Vince Vaccaro, Aidan Knight, Debra-Jean amongst others), Macpherson undoubtedly belongs, but will certainly be in tough. As for what she has to do?

"Steph is an artist and she works hard perfecting her craft and writing beautiful songs. To be a top 5 contender on The Peak, Steph Macpherson needs to write a great pop song that caputures the Peak audiences' imagination in the first listen and demands a repeat listen. I think she has done that with a couple of her cuts (already)." says Baker.

"I think she just needs to stay calm to be honest. She gets really worked up over things, and they are things she often doesn't have to worry about, I think she'll be just fine." Lucky said with confidence.

Macphersons' eyes light up at the mention of the competition. It's clear that she is extremely excited, and humbled about the opportunity.

"Everyone is saying (other artists in the competition) is as much as it is a competition, it's also so great to be devolpoing such a community with each other, and I think we will create some really great things as a group as well as individually for ourselves and each other."

"To You" her debut E.P. was released last year. She says she has been working on new material, and another E.P. is likely.

"EP's are great, cause it's not too much music. I know it's weird to say too much music, but it sort of leaves people with "that was great, I'm ready for more" feeling."

Well Steph, I think it's safe to say that everyone is ready for more. As for how she comes up with her songs?

"Most things inspire me in some way. The way it is, I don't even really know where a song comes from. Sometimes I like the sound of words together and it'll go from there, sometimes I have a melody in my head and I'll go on that, sometimes Im just strumming on a guitar or recording on a piano or something and magic will happen and I'll just have it flow out, and its just an indescribable beautiful experience."
It certainly is...

You can check out her myspace ( for music and up to date tour information. Almost unbelievably you can still catch Macpherson at a "coffee house" venue for as little as five bucks. Do yourself a favour and get out to a show soon, the chance to see this act at a cafe around the corner may soon be replaced by the theatre downtown.
Posted by VicAdm44
- Island Soap Box

"Test the talents of Steph Macpherson"

Test the talents of Steph Macpherson

Vancouver lass gets the nod for Lilith's Our Stage

By Tom Harrison, The Province June 29, 2010

Steph Macpherson is also a finalist in PEAK contest.
Steph Macpherson has been picked to perform on the Lilith stage. The festival has been conducting a talent search before each date of its tour, which lands in Vancouver Thursday, with Sarah McLachlan headlining. Macpherson is the Vancouver winner.
She's also one of 20 finalists in the PEAK performance talent contest and will be joining 19 other aspiring acts at a rock 'n' roll boot camp in Princeton in August as part of the Peak 105 FM drive.
If you miss Macpherson at Lilith at West Van's Ambleside Park, she can be seen at the very much smaller Falconetti's July 4.
© Copyright (c) The Province
- The Province (Vancouver)

"Macpherson Gains Musical Momentum"

Steph Macpherson can tell you how she has spent the last year methodically building her career as a singer/songwriter. She can explain her move “on a whim” to Vancouver, then back to Victoria to record a new EP, before taking off on a stint to Montreal. And she can describe her relentless applications for just about every opportunity open to independent musicians once she returned to the West Coast.

But when it comes to articulating how she crafts the upbeat and personal folk-indie guitar tunes that have sent her on this journey, she can’t quite do it.

“It’s not something that I think about. It’s just this thing that happens and I’m very glad for it,” Macpherson said. “I never think that I’m the one doing it. It just happens.”

The Mount Doug grad was one of 20 B.C. artists recently accepted into the The Peak Performance Project, a competition for grant funding, orchestrated by Vancouver radio station 100.5 The Peak. At the end of August, Macpherson will join The Peak’s boot camp, where she’ll attend seminars led by industry professionals and collaborate with the other selected artists at the camp. Each artist receives $3,500 in career funding and goes on to compete for one of the top five spaces which yield incrementally larger grants, including $100,500 for the first-place artist.

Macpherson is mindful of the weighty business opportunity and reminds her supporters a public voting element to the competition will be open in the fall. Not that she’s had a problem with public support so far.

She was one of the artists voted in online to perform at Lilith Fair and took the stage in Vancouver last Canada Day amongst a lineup of musical heavyweights.

“I always say that I was honoured to be accepted, which is true, but sounds like such a cliché. It was a little bit surreal to be standing on a panel with Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, Erykah Badu and Jennifer from Sugarland. It was just very cool.”

Currently a clothing retail worker by day and performer by night, only Macpherson’s modesty matches the hours of labour poured into her songwriting. She spent seven years enrolled in piano lessons, and 14 in voice — a foundation evident in her songwriting. She reluctantly admits that her writing could happen at any time, even when she’s “peddling fashion to the masses.”

“I don’t know if I should say this, but I always have to scribble it down on a scrap piece of paper. Hopefully nobody sees me doing that.”

Macpherson laughed along with that statement, as she does often.

She admits to her quirks: raised in a home filled with the Rankin Family and Susan Aglukark tunes; inspired by the Little Mermaid at a young age. Many of her close friends, family and memories remain in Victoria.

“My family’s really supportive. My dad sat me down last time I was in town and tearfully told me how proud he was of me. It was ... tearful,” Macpherson says, letting out another perky laugh.

With the Peak Performance Project, concert dates and a new EP (“To You,” produced by local Jason Cook), Macpherson is “excited and hopeful” for what the future holds.

First up: performing on the same stage as Colin James, Tom Cochrane, Vince Vaccaro and more Aug. 14 for the Blue Sky Festival at Western Speedway.

More information on Macpherson is available at - Black Press Victoria

"To You - Steph Macpherson"

Posted on October 20th, 2010 by admin

To You Steph Macpherson

Independently produced

by Graham Lazarovich

Since To You came out Steph Macpherson has had a great year. For one, she won an online competition for the right to play at this Summer’s Lilith Fair festival in North Vancouver. She also qualified in the top 20 of the Peak Performance Project organized by 100.5 FM The Peak and Music BC.

To You, Macpherson’s second EP, features 6 original songs performed on guitar and vocals supported by drums, bass and a tasteful sprinkling of strings, electric guitars, organ and piano in just the right places. The opener “Best of Us,” about keeping your cool in troubled times, sets you up and “Keeping Time,” her hit, knocks you down.
Macpherson’s voice is clear, well-trained and hauntingly beautiful, and her vocal melodies are deadly infectious.

She alternates between quirky pop tracks and down-tempo contemplative waltzes. Her lyrical content shifts from sincere personal tales that somehow draw in the listener to endearing observations on the world and its inhabitants. My favourite chorus of hers goes: “Ah oh, listen / there are parts you’re missin’ / if you’re always talkin’ / over everything”.

Steph Macpherson is from Victoria, and seems to somehow draw from the power of the ocean. Not only are her lyrics spattered with ocean imagery, but her rolling waltzes, like the title track “To You”, actually resemble the ebb and flow of the waves.
“To You” is available at her shows. You can also hear the whole thing at: - BCMusician

"Blue Skies Ahead"

Vancouver-based musician Steph Macpherson is keeping secrets for good reason. As one of the top 20 finalists (out of nearly 500 submissions) in 100.5 FM’s Peak Performance Project, she’s being put through a battery of tests and challenges to gauge her raw talent, musicianship, business savvy and drive for the grand prize—$100,500. Think Survivor (without the island) mixed with a battle of the bands for humble B.C. musicians.

Some of the upcoming tasks for finalists include creating a promotional video that will go viral (try to figure that science out), transforming a classic Canadian cover song into their own—and then performing it live to a crowd in Vancouver (the crowd’s reaction will influence the judges’ verdict)—and writing a budget-business plan proposal for how they’d spend the grant money to advance their career if they win. But it doesn’t stop there. At the end of the month, Macpherson and the other finalists will be off to a music industry boot camp in Princeton, B.C., where they will spend a week learning about music law and business, funding, media training, publicity, promotion and more. Macpherson knows she’ll be putting in grueling hours, but she’s excited to, as she puts it, be “a sponge.”

“There’s no norms anymore, it’s not like you go out there, get discovered, make an album, get big,” Macpherson says. “So much more of it is heavy touring, getting yourself out there at grassroots level and making a career for yourself . . . there’s more interaction between the performers as people and as creative entities and their audience and there’s more of an ability to really get to know the musicians that you love and to reach out to them and have them reach back out to you.” That said, for all artists, overcoming the financial barrier to actually make this into a full-time career is staggering. The resources are simply not there and this is often the reason why so many quit doing what they love.

While Macpherson has some steep mountains to climb, she seems to be doing quite well for herself. Back on July 1, she performed her folky-pop songs as part of a star-packed lineup next to Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, and Erykah Badu at the Lilith Fair’s Vancouver stop. “It was a little bit surreal . . . to see all of these people that were such idols to me was a treat,” she says, still sounding a bit shocked that it wasn’t a dream.

Next comes her performance at this weekend’s Blue Sky Music Festival at Western Speedway, which she calls a “fantastical place” having been there once before for a free concert as a child. She’ll be performing alongside Canadian icons like Tom Cochrane, Colin James and Barney Bentall, as well as the local likes of Jon & Roy, Immaculate Machine, Fear Zero, Maurice and Quoia, and fellow Peak finalist and friend Vince Vaccaro.

“I contacted [Vince] after hearing a song [“My Angels”] that he wrote for a friend because it brought me to tears,” says Macpherson of how their friendship began. She then sang backing vocals on his recent album, Animals, and he played backing guitar on her six-song EP, To You, released last year.

They may be up against one another competing for the same prize, but you’d never know it; Macpherson gushes genuinely about how supportive he is. And her MySpace page doesn’t seem to lie when it says, “[Macpherson is] your best friend in a flowered dress on a porch swing with a guitar.” - Monday Magazine



L.P Released by Cordova Bar Records: October 1st, 2015.
Written by Steph Macpherson. Produced by Colin Linden (Black & The Rodeo Kings) in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.


"Bells & Whistles"

L.P. Released by Cordova Bay Records: April 17th, 2011.
Produced by Jason Cook in Victoria, B.C., Canada at Oh Hey Man Studios.


"To You"

E.P. released independently October, 2009.
Produced by Jason Cook in Victoria, B.C., Canada at Infinity Studios.

2006 E.P. "Shapes Only You Can Make" -All songs written by Steph Macpherson. Recorded at Winston Productions, Vancouver, B.C.



Steph Macpherson has just completed recording her sophomore album with Colin Linden (Colin James, Bruce Cockburn, and Tom Wilson) in Nashville and is planning a Spring 2015 release with her label Cordova Bay Records. 


·         Steph Macpherson was nominated for a 2013 Western Canadian Music Award for Songwriter(s) of the Year for her album “Bells & Whistles”.

·         Winner of the 2013 M Awards (Monday Magazine) - Favourite Solo Artist

·         2013 Winner for “Artist of the Year” at the Vancouver Island Music Award

·         Steph is signed to Cordova Bay Records and released “Bells & Whistles”, on April 17, 2012 and in the US on January 15, 2013 .

·         Steph was recognized by SOCAN as a featured artist in 2013.

·         “Bells & Whistles” can be heard all across CBC on Radio 1, 2, 3, Galaxie channel Canadian Indie and CBC Digital Channels - Adult Alternative and Canadian Songwriter as well as many other stations around Canada: commercial, community and college stations.

·         In August of 2012, Steph was named "Best of BC" by SHORE 104.3 FM.

·         Steph was one of the Top 20, 2010 participants, in Vancouver’s PEAK Performance Project (102.7FM)

Steph’s performance highlights include: Lilith Fair, CIMA/Canadian Blast in Los Angeles, Rifflandia Festival, Canadian Music Week, SHOREfest, BreakOut West, Tall Tree Festival, Song and Surf Festival and the Legislature Lawns in Victoria for Canada Day.  

 Steph Macpherson's compelling harmony-saturated vocal style showcases an ear for melody and a knack for honest storytelling which leaves audiences appreciative of her abilities as a poet, lyricist and vocalist.  

 “Just listening to Bells and Whistles...  playing it today on the show for tonight's concert.  One of my favourite songs of the year!  Just sayin'”  - Nov 2012 -  Kelly Nakatsuka -  CBC Radio Victoria

 “You've got an AMAZING talent on your hands. My jaw dropped hearing her sing "The Verdict" live.” – Nov 2012 - Bryan Capistrano - Music Director/Assistant Program Director The Zone @ 91-3

 The back-porch violin is good and the acoustic guitar pleasant enough, but what makes "Keeping Time" a gorgeous slice of country-folk is Steph Macpherson’s voice. Move over, Be Good Tanyas—there’s a new gun in town.- Georgia Straight

 Effectively straddling the line between folk, country and pop, British Columbia- based singer/songwriter Steph Macpherson is looking to take America by storm with “Bells & Whistles,” her U.S. debut. With solid writing chops and an ear-pleasing voice, Macpherson should appeal to anyone who likes piano- and guitar-centric music. – The Daily News Pittsburgh

Live performances:

Bayview Place Roundhouse Centennial -  “Spark” -

House Concert: - “Letters” -

Market Square Courtyard Sessions: - “The Verdict” -

Shaw Cable TV The Seen - “Lie Beside You” -

Vic Sessions – “Wood And Nails” -

House Concert – “Listen” -

Band Members