The Caraways
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The Caraways

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Revolvers / The CarawaysThe Silver Dollar. Saturday, August 15, 2009.

With a little more lag time between plans than'd be perfectly elegant, I had time after leaving Cinematheque (confused all to hell by the Cocteau-y weirdness of Les Enfants Terribles) for a relaxed walk over to the Silver Dollar. Still got there mildly early, as witnessed by the fact that the last of the evening's blues bands were breaking down their gear as I settled in. A chance to witness the venue in transition as the last scraps of the older crowd out for the early show finished off their drinks before the late-night denizens began to take over.Hadn't heard of The Caraways, the night's opener, though I had seen it mentioned that the band's membership included John Sutton (ex-Weakerthans). While they were setting up, that seemed less striking than the cocktail dresses and exotic instruments that were taking the stage, and indeed, the real motor of the band turned out to be vocalist Laura Keightley, complemented on harmonies, french horn and melodica by a possibly newer member of the band, as yet unnamed in their info. The five-piece turned out to be working in a sophisticated, textured vein that left them looking classier than the crowd they were playing to. If the Blake Babies played downcast, west-coast pop it might sound something like this, albeit cut with a 90's alternative sensibility.1 But the dominant vibe was a smoky ambiance driven by Nikos Kougias' "Out on the Weekend"-styled drums. The band wasn't putting across a dominating stage presence, but that gave the impression that they were folding themselves into the environment rather than shrinking into the woodwork. Quietly impressive and solidly professional — keep your eye out for 'em.Listen to a track from this set here.


- Mechanical Forest Sound


The Basement Rug
Drop by every Saturday for new music
The Caraways
Posted August 16th, 2009 by Rugrat in Pop
August16
I went to The Silver Dollar Room in Toronto last night and caught a couple of great sets by the Paul James Band. Paul is one incredible slide guitar player and his band plays a stripped down soulful rhythm that is as solid as it gets. Keep an eye on his show schedule and don’t miss him if you get a chance!
I have been missing a lot of sleep lately, and so I had planned to call it an early night after Paul’s band threw in the towel, but I decided to stick around when I saw that the next band had a French horn player.
Young players in the new pop underground of Toronto often include the experimental use of additional instruments - some are even electronically altered, like the glockenspiel used by The Tokyo Police Club - but it is not often that you see a French horn on stage outside of classical or jazz music.
The Caraways played a short set of etheral, quirky pop that built its ambience on simple arrangements, dreamy, floating guitar sounds, French horn, and a soothing female vocal duo that could noticably lower your blood pressure. The dreamy sounds were counter-balanced by a straight ahead rhythm section that put emphasis on the beats just when it mattered - just enough to keep the vocals from totally hypnotizing you.
The lead guitarist hauled out a beautiful 1978 Les Paul custom and paid tribute to Les by working some dreamy magic on the song, Is There Any Wonder Left? I was immediately reminded of the song Gilbert by ABBC - a great cover opportunity for The Caraways (hint, hint).
Vocals were not coming out very well in the mix at the dollar last night, but I found some sample tracks on The Caraways MySpace page that reassured what I thought my ears heard last night - listen below:


- The Basemnet Rug


Ex-Weakerthan Launches Caraways
02/09/09
by Steve McLean (CHARTattack)



There are few bands that I enjoy listening to as much as I enjoy eating caraway rye bread, but The Caraways' name at least got my attention through the association.



The fact that the Toronto quintet include former Weakerthans and All
Systems Go bassist John P. Sutton didn't hurt either. The lineup is
rounded out by singer/songwriter Laura Keightley, Infighter guitarist
Brad Sveistrup, multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Emma Kehayas and former
Mahones and Les Six drummer Nikos.



The indie pop and rock band formed last year and have recorded their
debut EP, which will be released this year. You can hear four songs on
The Caraways' MySpace page.


- Chart Attack


THE CARAWAYS


By Adam Grant

Starting from scratch is seemingly easier if that scratch is what

follows spending time in one of Canada’s most recognizable rock

acts, The Weakerthans. In this realm of scratch, you’ll find John P.

Sutton, who after three albums with the band (Fallow, Left &

Leaving and Reconstruction Site) decided to part ways with the

guys.

Considering that band’s continuous rising in popularity, it

could be thought that Sutton has regrets. This is not the case

though. Sutton is now at the forefront of The Caraways and

sounds rather jubilant about the possibilities ahead.

In fact, it could be that very idea of seeking out new

possibilities that led him out of The Weakerthans in the first

place.

“I was in the band for seven or eight years, and it got to the

point where it was like, ‘make a new album, or end the band,’ and

that’s where we were all at,” says Sutton when asked why he

parted ways with The Weakerthans. “It seemed like it was a good

time to move on to different projects. I didn’t know if the band

was going to go on at all. I don’t think anyone did because there

were a lot of changes at that point.

“Really, there was a hiatus and no one knew what was going

to happen, so it was just one of those things,” he adds. “I’m glad

that John [Samson of The Weakerthans] decided to move forward

with a new record and it seems to be doing well, so great.”

Shortly after his 2004 departure, Sutton began to focus more

on The Caraways after coming into contact with singer/songwriter

Laura Keightley and becoming very attracted to her songwriting

prowess. During the group’s developmental process, Brad

Sveistrup (guitar) and Nikos Kougias (drums) came into the mix

and the band began to develop a sound with several facets.

During the early days, Sutton notes that The Caraways

initially had a Yo La Tengo, experimental rock edge to them,

but began to eventually delve into more pop influence and heavy rock

dynamics. Currently the group is in the midst of finding a way to

get their music to the masses. While Sutton isn’t at all interested

in the ‘major label’ way of thinking, he does want his band to get

heard. So for the time being, the group is in talks with a

California–based label, relying on the benefits of worldwide web

exposure, and the hope that their debut EP will see the light of

day by spring at the latest.

“In this day and age it’s less about getting an album in stores

than it is getting people to hear your music,” explains Sutton.

“Myspace.com is such a wonderful tool for that. You can be like,

‘here are our songs; listen to them here.’

“In my years of putting out albums and seeing the internet

become more popular, the album sales became less. It’s just a

natural thing — people are downloading music, so you might as

well let them have it.

“You know the necessary evils, and you also know the right

things. You know you don’t have to do certain things to get

something, and you also don’t have to take yourself seriously

when you know that it is just a big corrupt machine,” he continues

when discussing how to handle the music industry. “Your best bet

is to approach it as a fun time and that there are a lot of great

people playing music out there. If you can be in a community

with good people, then that is what it comes down to.”




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Discography

The Caraways- Self Titled Debut

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Bio

The Caraways are a four piece group based out of Toronto, Canada. One could compare their sound to the stylings of 90's neo folk singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega mixed with the psychedelia rock subtleties of Mazzy Star. The Caraways have roots grounded in the International rock world - members formely played with Winnipeg's "The Weakerthans" and Los Angelo's "All Systems Go". Influences range from The Replacements to Calexico.