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"Review of Drake Hotel Show"

"I was incredibly impressed with the old-soul vocals of 18 year old Jonathan Malen of Stillsoul, as he opened for Tyler Hilton last night at the Drake Hotel with guitarist Jeff Lurie accompanying him. The band is Toronto based and you can hear a couple of their impressive songs on their site. I plan to check out the band in the near future so you will be hearing more from me about Stillsoul! Take equal mixes of Counting Crows, Five For Fighting, Jeff Buckley, B.B. King, and Jamiroquai, and you have their recipe for success!"

[] - M4B Chart Central

"Laid-back band mixes reggae, jazz and funk: StillSoul plays upbeat yet comfortable set tonight at 29 Park"

Stuart Thompson
Thursday, January 18, 2007

“All of our songs come from the soul and from our different influences, so we’re ‘StillSoul,’” says StillSoul vocalist/guitarist and Western student Jeff Lurie.

“We crafted something that’s basically an amalgamation of different types of music. It’s a little bit of reggae and a little bit of jazz, but we’re not a reggae band and we’re not a jazz band.”

Formed in 2005, StillSoul — Lurie, bassist Dave Clarke, percussionist Chris Reineck and vocalist Jonathan Malen — toured casually for a year before heading to the recording studio. In just five days, StillSoul produced a three-track demo exemplifying its contemporary eclectic sound.

With its blues-inspired guitar, exuberant melodies and understated funk sound, the band’s music is comparable to popular Canadian acts like Bedouin Soundclash and illScarlett.

“The comforting thing... is that now there are bands like Bedouin Soundclash,” Lurie says. “Yes, they’re paving the ground, but that means that more people will be ready to listen to that type of music.”

Lurie says StillSoul’s “Erin’s Song” is perhaps its most “single worthy” song and represents a milestone in the band’s songwriting.

“‘Erin’s Song’ is about relationships,” Malen says. “Well, more about friendships, and how friendship is more important than having a one-night stand with somebody.”

The group’s songwriting process is fluid, with all four members bringing their unique tastes to the table. For example, Lurie says “Erin’s Song,” originally included a slow breakdown but, after playing several shows, he suggested replacing it with a reggae piece, which evolved the song into its current, catchier form.

“Sometimes we consciously say, ‘OK, this is cool, but maybe we need to get a different effect,’” Lurie says. “So we’ll try to make it a little more hip-hoppy, we’ll try to make it a little more funky.”

Though “Erin’s Song” may be “single-worthy,” Malen says the band isn’t single-oriented in its writing.

“Luckily, we don’t know the first thing about what record labels want,” Malen says with a laugh. “If we have 20 songs, maybe zero of them are singles.

“In our minds, we think 15 of them could be singles, obviously. I don’t think we’re that single-conscious... I think we’re just trying to put good music out there.”

For Malen, creating good music is just one aspect of his artistic life. When he’s not writing and playing with StillSoul, Malen is appearing in films like Antonio Banderas’ Take The Lead.

Lurie says StillSoul’s live shows are energetic, comfortable experiences.

“The interesting thing about our concerts is we try to stay as down to Earth as possible,” Lurie says. “When I play, I wish everyone was in my living room, just having a good time.

“We love people dancing and if they know some of our chorus and they sing it. It’s a thrilling experience.”

After playing shows with a few screamo bands, the group was pleasantly surprised by how welcoming spectators were.

“A lot of people have told us after the show that we’re just playing different music than other people,” Lurie says. “They’ve come up to us and said, ‘You know what, even though I don’t listen to your type of music, I like you.’

“That’s the most humbling thing that someone’s ever told me. That’s what I ideally want from anyone coming to a StillSoul concert.”

StillSoul plays tonight at 29 Park. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5.
- The Gazette (University of Western Ontario)

"StillSoul blends numerous genres"

Thu, January 18, 2007

"Once upon a time there was a still who met a soul."

Toronto's funk-rock act StillSoul plans on making sure London still has a soul Tuesday night.

Influenced by a wide variety of artists, such as Carlos Santana, Jurassic 5, The Band and Jimi Hendrix, StillSoul seamlessly blends together numerous genres. Since forming in 2005, StillSoul has continually played numerous Toronto venues, rocking out with artists like Walk the Line star Tyler Hilton and Canada's own Hawksley Workman at venues such as the Drake Hotel and the Mod Club.

The band recently completed its demo CD which includes songs such as the bouncy Erin's Song and the slower but still chilling Poor Boy. To check out the band's unique sound, visit its MySpace, stillsoulband.

The quartet -- Chris Reineck (percussion), Dave Clarke (bass), Jeff Lurie (guitar/vocals) and Jonathan Malen (guitar/vocals) -- fused its talents together when childhood friends Malen and Lurie joined forces to perform in Toronto's Roots festival.

StillSoul rocks one of London's newest entertainment venues, 29 Park, at 10 p.m Tuesday. Tickets are $5. - The London Free Press


Debut Album Coming Spring 2008.



StillSoul has burst onto the Toronto music scene with their smooth blend of energetic funk, rock and reggae. Fronted by Jonathan Malen, a multi-talented singer-songwriter and actor, StillSoul's unique sound can best be described as a fusion of influences that range from reggae and ska to funk, jazz and classic rock.

One reviewer wrote: "With its blues-inspired guitar, exuberant melodies and understated funk sound, the band’s music is comparable to popular Canadian acts like Bedouin Soundclash and illScarlett..."

The band was formed in 2005 when Malen and Jeff Lurie (guitar), childhood neighbours, played the Toronto Roots festival after Malen finished filming "Take the Lead". He approached Lurie with some songs and asked if he'd like to jam. The two immediately clicked, uniting Lurie's blues-influenced guitar playing and Malen's distinct voice and style. After the Roots festival, Malen booked a large downtown Toronto venue for his new band - a band that didn't really exist. He frantically called Lurie in London who was at school and told him that they needed to find a rhythm section...quickly!

Lurie then contacted his friend since birth, Dave Clarke (bass), a student at Ryerson whose fathers play in a rock band together. Jeff then confidently approached his former univerisity roommate and band-mate Chris Reineck (drums) to sit in on the show.

The show was a success and the four decided to continue playing together creating new songs and practicing in Chris' basement. The band, now dubbed StillSoul, emerged onto the Toronto club circuit and in 2006 played notable venues like Lee's Palace, Mod Club, Club 279, and the Drake Hotel with "Walk the Line" and "One Tree Hill" star Tyler Hilton and Canadian recording artist Hawksley Workman. The band has continued to travel through Ontario promoting their 2006 demo and instantly gaining a diverse network of loyal fans.

Currently the band is wrapping up production on their debut album.