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"They Just Love Girls"

Working as the CEO of her own accounting firm in Sydney, Australia and married to a wonderful
man, Tully Callender likely would not have guessed
that a year later she'd be living in Vancouver, married to a woman and fulfilling her musical aspirations as one half of the lesbian
pop band Sugarbeach.
Enter Marlee Walchuck, the catalyst and other half of Sugarbeach, a long-time Vancouver musician (once a part of the local '80s phenomenon, Mistress) who had relocated to Sydney.
The two clicked immediately, developing a friendship that became an
attraction and a mutual artistic admiration, culminating in Callender
and Walchuck's decision to cross the globe together to Vancouver. Relationships ended, careers halted and a new momentum was
found in their union.
They are now married, working on an album to be released in July 2008 and planning to tour the Pride
circuit this summer. The combination of their powerful union has
already resulted in one catchy, collection, I Just Love Girls. And that was just 2007. When asked about the challenges of performing as an out lesbian couple with overtly queer lyrics, they both scrunch their foreheads, scratch their heads an
simultaneously blurt, "Challenges?"
in disbelief. The challenges seem lifted since they decided to consciously forefront their ctreative
aspirations. Now, they claim the biggest obstacle is time and wanting to do everything immediately.
Such is the gift of inspiration.
"It's much bigger than music," Walchuck explains. "It's bigger
than sexuality."
One of Sugarbeach's goals is to make it easier for other queer musicians to be open and honest in their lyrics. The opportunity to have a hand in anyone coming out
is a great motivating factor.
The even bigger motivation is authenticity, says Walchuck. Their lyrics, while clearly lesbian, are
universal and resonate with
straight and queer audiences alike.
As Callender and Walchuck
grew closer, expressing themselves creatively emerged as the natural outcome. They formed Sugarbeach on a whim, released the single "I Just Love Girls" in record time and haven't looked back. They were immediately booked to perform at eight venues during last year's Pride and the gigs kept coming.
"When it's right, it's right" Callender says. The synthesis of coming out, moving the Vancouver and pursuing her singing career has granted Callender an enormous freedom, allowing her to focus on projects that matter to her and feed her creatively. In addition to singing in Sugarbeach, she also co-hosts The Lesbian Show on Co-op Radio, every Thursday night.
The Momentum they gained from being honest with themselves and their art - and sharing that authenticity with their listeners - has had a profound impact. Callender and Walchuk are so intent on being themselves now that they proudly announce at every show that they are married to each other.
Crowds tend to respond well. Walchuk smiles as she describes the momentary silence that steals over the average predominantly straight audience as they piece together the queer marriage thing, then let out an overwhelming cheer of support. That support never
ceases to delight the duo and continually
strengthens their resolve to
create more "alternative content with a mainstream sound."
Walchuck, who spent six years in Sydney, was surprised to find that Vancouver's music scene had changed so drastically in her time away. While there are live-act
venues like the Oasis and the Majestic, there are many clubs and
lounges that simply can't afford to support live musicians or have
opted for DJs instead. Rather than feeling dismayed by this, Walchuck and Callender simply took another route.
They self-produced their debut single and developed a following through networking sites like MySpace and Facebook and are trilled to find that they have fans in the inlikeliest of places, like the UK and Spain, where they've never toured.
While the move might seem like a huge stretch for Callender, the former accouting firm owner, she clearly enjoys the adventure of it all. Her old life might be far away but the tools she used to create that life are still with her and very much at the forefront of Sugarbeach. "We've got the creative and musical talent to do what we want
to do but we've also got the business model," says Callender, whose
past success includes building a one-woman company into a 200 people-
strong business. Walchuck
credits Callender's determination
and goal-setting ability as the driving force behind the duo.
As all musicians and creative
people can attest to, it takes extraordinary
courage to venture
beyond the safety of guaranteed income and stable careers. The
reward, for Sugarbeach, and their fans, is watching a new and brilliant
lifestyle unfold.
- Mette Bach - Xtra West


I Just Love Girls, Sugarbeach (selfreleased):
Conquering the airwaves
and the dance floor is the goal of this
lesbian dance-pop duo (and couple)
based in Vancouver, B.C., who offer
up their ridiculously catchy “I Just
Love Girls,” along with three other
beat-friendly cuts on this debut EP.
- Curve Magazine


Out lesbians Marlee Walchuk and Tully Callendar, favorites of the Canadian Pride fest circuit, pack a number of styles into this EP. Let's call this collection of original gay love songs “electroni-lesbi-pop,” with “She's With Me” adding a salsa-rific Latin flare.
- Outsmart Magazine

"Greg Shapiro"

What are the lesbians dancing to these days? If they’re smart (and you know they are!), The Gossip and Lesbians On Ecstasy are probably at the top of the playlist. With luck, there’s also room for Canadian duo Sugarbeach, and their EP "I Just Love Girls" ( Straightforward, so to speak, electro cuts such as the titular tune and Haven’t You Had Enough are destined for the dance floor, and the extended mixes of both only serve to drive the point home. She’s With Me adds a Latin influence to the definite dance energy.
- Baltimore Outloud, Bay Area Reporter, Chiago Free Press

"Len Rogers"

Love your CD!!!! I am featuring four cuts from "I Just Love Girls" on the new Spot-Light Show. The show will premiere on 1-29-2008 at 8:00pm eastern time
and run through 2-12-2008. The show will be available via our streamed "On
Command" feature at Again love the CD is really awesome.
- StoneWall Society

"Rob McMahon"

Sugarbeach are working to introduce a new style of music to Vancouver's mainstream: gay love songs.
Marlee walchuk explained she and partner Tully Callender want to use music to raise awareness of gay love. Unlike conventional ballads, their lyrics are sung between two women.
"What makes us different is that what we are doing is full-on lesbian-themed dance music that is still quite mainstream sounding" she said. "Sometimes listeners can't tell the gender (in a song), but we're purposely trying to write to our own gender".
This goal is the culmination of decades of performance. Walchuk first appeared on stage at age eight, when she toured the U.S. and Canada with her brother and sister (Judy Ginn and Jim Walchuk). She sang to 14,000-seat coliseums, appeared on TV and stayed at the continent's swankiest hotels.
"It wasn't a big deal at the time, at least I didn't think it was," she said.
"At the end of the day, it's all about connection and intimacy with the audience. If they're not feeling anything, it's time to go home."
Later, along with singing country, rock and R&B, Walchuk studied method acting, which helps her express emotions on stage. Six years in Australia also tempered her songwriting and united her with Callender, who joined her when she returned to Canada.
The singer-songwriters have since recorded a dance EP in preparation for this year's Pride Festival, where the pair will sing over disco house beats. While she's played Australia's Pride festival (the biggest in the world) and performed at Vancouver's with Mistress, Walchuk said this year holds special meaning.
"This will be the first time I've played in Vancouver as an out gay person," she said. "I only came out six years ago, and so it'll be a totally different performance, singing to a gay crowd as a gay person."
- Metro Weekend Vancouver

"Queer Women Sound Off"

From trios to duos, Sugarbeach (Marlee Walchuk and Nathalie Callender) gets listeners up and dancing on the first track of Not Deserted ( "Mama I Love Her" is a dance track with a powerful queer message, and "Living Out Proud" has dance anthem written all over it. - The Bay Area Reporter - Gregg Shapiro

"Sugar & Spice" - BOUND Magazine - April 2010


They released their first CD "I Just Love Girls" in August 07 and their 2nd CD "Not Deserted" in July 2009.
Sugarbeach have had airplay and streaming on Gay Radio across the world since 2007.

"Living Out Proud" has been included on the La Chapelle Records compilation “Out & Proud” released 2009.

"I Just Love Girls" has been included on the TEA Vol 13 compilation CD realeased 2009.



Sugarbeach have been described as “electroni-lesbi-pop”. Mixing sweet and soulful vocals with meaningful lyrics and driving tracks, these women have established a unique and recognizable sound that peels them away from the pack.

In just 3 years Marlee Walchuk & Tully Callender moved from Australia to Canada, have released 2 albums, spent 3 months at number one on the OutVoice Top 40 chart in the U.S., won 2 PITA (Pride in the Arts U.S.) awards including "Favorite Group of the Year", been nominated for an Outmusic Award ….and got married…to each other.

In 2008, they wrote the 30th Anniversary theme song for Vancouver Pride, “Living Out Proud” and have had it snapped up by cities all over the world for videos, presentations and Pride celebrations. Recently remixed by La Chapelle Records in Montreal and added to their “Out and Proud” compilation CD for 2009 of the years’ biggest gay anthems, Sugarbeach were proud to make history by also performing it at the official openings of Pride House Whistler and Vancouver at the 2010 Winter Olympics - with worldwide press coverage from the New York Times to CNN.

“I Just Love Girls”, their first CD was the catalyst for their Pride appearances in the U.S. which included New York City & Charlotte NC. The title cut plus “She’s With Me” from this CD were featured in the film “The 6 Month Rule” starring Michelle Wolff.

Their second album “Not Deserted” covers GLBTQ love and rights, homelessness plus teen suicide as a result of antigay bullying - but somehow they manage to package these issues into a hooky unashamedly, accessible pop wrapping.

“Mama I Love Her”, an irresistible pumping dance song with a Middle Eastern flavor and a big message, was recently nominated for ”Outstanding International Song of The Year” with the Outmusic Awards in New York. Also, several other songs from this album can be heard in the new lesbian web series “InSight…the Rise of the Seer”.

This summer is a busy one for Sugarbeach as they tour various world Prides including Vancouver Canada, Cornwall UK and headlining at Halifax Pride Canada.

Their popular blog is making it clear that Sugarbeach are here to rock the boat… then get you dancing on it!