Teen Sleuth
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Teen Sleuth

Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Band Alternative Rock


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"Where the Animals Trace the Stars" (2010)



Teen Sleuth is a 10 piece art rock band from Montreal. They have become known for their multi-disciplinary performances of their ope-raw Teen Sleuth & the Freed Cyborg Choir, which feature live puppetry, dance, costumes, and projections to illustrate the music. Teen Sleuth also performs as a band with projections incorporating footage of these theatrics. As part of the Montreal Fringe Festival 2010, Teen Sleuth launched their self released debut EP: "Where the Animals Trace the Stars", outdoors before an estimated crowd of 500 . Teen Sleuth also unveiled a brand new set of projections, further enabling them to play in these two capacities: 1: as a band (using projections when possible), 2: performing their full-on, ever-evolving ope-raw, where these theatrics happen live. Teen Sleuth will bring this ope-raw to Musicgallery, Canada's centre for new music in Toronto this December.

Teen Sleuth is coming off a successful 5 show run in Pop Montreal 2009, of which their last 2 shows sold out. This led to a well attended, surprise 6th show. During Pop, Teen Sleuth was featured in the Montreal Gazette, on CBC Radio, the Hitlist of the Hour, Nightlife, and was named as one of 10 bands to watch out for by La Presse. Teen Sleuth also had positive reviews in the Concordian and in Canada' s national newspaper the Globe and Mail, stating: ”A multimedia, hipster pop- opera may not sound appetizing but it was hard not to be won over by Teen Sleuth and the Freed Cyborg Choir, which ran every evening in a small theatre upstairs on St-Laurent. Equal parts high-school glee club, Andrew Lloyd Webber, eco-feminist honours thesis and Godspeed You Black Emperor!, its projections, puppetry, dance, pageantry and song burst with youthful talent,” (Carl Wilson)"

Successfully debuting their ope-raw at the St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival 2009, Teen Sleuth had 6 well received performances, garnering them the Frankie Next Stage award from Mainline Theatre. This award is given to a production with exceptional potential. Teen Sleuth was the feature cover story of the Hour during Fringe and had positive reviews in the Montreal Gazette, the Hour, and Voir.

“Where the Animals Trace the Stars” is the only the first EP, as Teen Sleuth currentlyre records a full body of work in Montreal, building toward a full length album and playing shows.

The music is inspired by composer Ellen Smallwood’s experiences with the removal of a benign brain tumor in 2005. She was hooked up to EEG machines and had electrodes on her brain, reading her brain waves. Ellen wondered about the emotional/spiritual implications of her bond with the machine and considered her connection as a flirtation with cyborgism.

To heal, Ellen returned to the countryside of her childhood in Nova Scotia. Upon arrival, she was disturbed by the destruction of the land due to an open pit lead mine. In a naive effort of escapism, Ellen reread her Nancy Drew novels. Drawing inspiration from the fearless, original teen sleuth, Ellen began to gather raw evidence of this multi-faceted excavation: of the mind, body, spirit, and land. She wrote songs telling stories of diverse characters with a common thread of dischenchantment. She created a mirror of fantasy and reality: reflecting her own experiences in the character of ex-girl guide.

Returning to Montreal, Ellen met Aleks Schürmer (the mastermind of partylikeits1699.com). As co-composer, Aleks arranges, translates the music from Ellenspeak, and expands with unique compositions. Capitalizing on his Masters degree in Early Music from Mcgill University, the songs took on a new life. Additional collaboration with guitarist/composer Alexander Formosa leads to a diverse and dynamic songwriting team. Artist Frances Mckenzie then brings the songs' imagery to life through puppets, illustrations, and projections. Teen Sleuth is a coming of age story that will make you want to stand up and cheer!” Although no one said coming of age was ever going to be easy...