The Consonant C
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The Consonant C


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Music aside... most memorable moments onstage"

By Patrick Boyle

...Here are some of the more memorable instances of banter, showmanship and general antics from the past year.

...C.R. Avery & The Consonant C: During one of many excellent shows in the That Empty Space series at the University of Calgary, beat-boxing warrior poet Avery spontaneously decided to call the local dream folk outfit back onstage for a free-form collaboration that was nothing short of magical. - FastForward Weekly, Calgary, 05/29/08

"Black Mold with The Consonant C – Arrata Opera Centre, May 16th, 2008"

By Brayden Unwin

[live review]

Combining an arts event with some of the most artistic musicians in the city is an idea that doesn’t often come to life, as Elephant Artist Relief's "Creature" did at this seemingly perfect venue, The Arrata Opera Centre. While the crowed was mixed of art goers and local indie music fans, there was an incredible feeling of community as everyone was sharing the good times discussing art, and their anticipation of Black Mold.

When the Consonant C took the stage, the crowd sat quietly on the floor as if their favourite story was about to be told, which was not far off. Running through a set featuring songs of wolves, bears and trains, the group shared an incredible musical embrace with everyone that offered their ear.

As people lingered in wonder and awaited Black Mold (aka. Chad VanGaalen) to take the stage, they were greeted with low tones that had everyone wondering, “is this it?” As he layered sounds of all sorts, the crowd came to a calm and people began lying down, allowing the sounds of a Game Boy create melody against the cluster of noise.

Black Mold is not a piece of music to pick and listen to, but something that must be experienced. As I sat, mind wandering through the opera centre, my only description could be Mike TV flying over the heads of everyone in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. - BeatRoute Magazine, Calgary, June 2008

"Spun: The Consonant C"

By Wendy Pringle

[record review]

When venturing into uncharted musical territory, a band can't hide within the comfortable surroundings of a genre with a regular following. Usually only those who can demonstrate artistic brilliance will catch the attention of an otherwise stubborn audience. The Consonant C's whimsical approach to making music doesn't veil a remarkable talent for constructing unique, intelligently layered songs. Their first full length, Capes and Crowns is a sure sign of good things to come for the Consonant C.

At fifteen tracks, Capes offers an emotional and stylistic depth their earlier EP couldn't quite reach. Eerie, solemn stories of ghosts and decay weave their way around the lighthearted, earlier tracks and show a more polished level of songwriting. Still present though, are the stunning multi-part vocals and instrumentation that is brilliantly simple at times, and swells to joyful crescendos at others. The album's standouts include the rearranged "Wait" for its aforementioned crescendos, "Death and Decay" for its haunting beauty, and "Azeda Booth," a cheerful ode to fellow locals for their inspiration.

With an impressive depth of content supported by a skill for storytelling and consistently complex arrangements, Capes and Crowns is a strong debut for a band that has a lot more to say. Let's hope they are the leaders of a trend that has yet to follow. - Gauntlet, Calgary, 09/06/07

"A music fan’s wet dream: The good, better and best of 2007's musical offerings"

By Myke Atkinson

“The Consonant C delivered on all the hype with Capes & Crowns, a masterpiece that captures the childlike glee of their songs in a beautiful little package.”
- FastForward Weekly, Calgary, 12/27/07

"Six Free Songs: Wine-sour or crawfish-fresh?"

by Sean Michaels

The internet can be a scary place if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Every month, Sean Michaels of the music website Said the Gramophone offers an annotated guide to the music you ought to be downloading. Bonus: It’s all legal!

....The Consonant C - "Ghost": The Consonant C are Calgarians of a different sort. Imagine them stranded on a beach with Chad VanGaalen — VanGaalen grabbing at crawfish while the Consonant C collect sea glass. Which is to say that they make their focus the pretty things, the gleaming things, lulling lullabies and lovely love songs. And yet — thank goodness — Ghost is not too nice. It’s a song still rightly haunted, filled with creaks, drones and the singer’s stray syllables. A summer beach with an autumn wind. (Capes and Crowns is out now.) - The National Post, 09/02/08

"The Consonant C: like Krazy Glue, only more so"

by Kyle Francis in Music Previews

“There’s been this huge trend in pop music lately toward cynicism,” says Jennifer Crighton, vocalist and harpist of the astoundingly upbeat sextet the Consonant C. “And I just find cynicism incredibly lazy.”
It’s this sentiment more than any other that resonates on the Consonant C’s debut LP, Capes and Crowns. Relentlessly sanguine, the fluttering vocal harmonies and light-hearted instrumentation is exactly the kind of music you might expect to hear in the background if — for whatever reason — bluebirds started braiding your hair on a sunny day. Despite its cheerfulness, Capes effortlessly avoids naiveté. Intelligent, literate and downright brooding in places, the Consonant C often subvert their own positive facade with darker lyrics, contrasting the form with the content. The result is a perfectly reasoned argument for optimism — one powerful enough to win over even the most entrenched cynics. As a pun: brilliant.
“If you think about it: track 1 is about a relationship, track 2 is about death and decay, and ‘Wait’ — which is later on the CD — was always called ‘The Suicide Song’ by us,” says vocalist Clea Foofat. “It was only when Morgan (Greenwood, of Azeda Booth) remixed it and called it ‘Wait’ that we decided that was a better title.”
“We all have these emotions that anyone has, but I think, in general, we have a positive outlook,” adds Laura Leif, yet another of the group’s many vocalists.
With their LP out next week, at least one CJSW DJ calling them “the best band in Calgary” and a number of strong relationships with other Calgary bands through their work with the Summerwood Warren music collective, the Consonant C have plenty to be positive about. The Summerwood Warren in particular, they say, has been an enormous boon to the band on both the business and creative ends.
“The Summerwood Warren shows aren't just made with the intention of having musical events,” says Foofat. “You have performance artists, installations, video pieces. They're mostly to encourage people in Calgary to meet each other and make art together.”
“I've found that the more shows we do, the less work it actually is,” says Leif. “When it started, (we were) basically just working our butts off, but now, all the people who are a part of that community are really helping out a lot. People just step up to decorate or whatever. It's super sweet.”
The shows themselves tend to follow a particular theme, often conjuring images of a postmodern Brothers Grimm storybook. The forest show had branches and other flora decorating the EMMEDIA space (where the shows take place), and the performers gussied themselves up like hipster fauna. The spelunking show was spackled with paper mache stalactites and stalagmites, the only light in the entire area provided by headlamps the artists wore, or the flashlights audience members carried (a dollar was shaved off the ticket price for those carrying one).
It’s this childlike glee through the lens of grownup music that defines the Warren shows, and isn’t a bad way of summarizing the Consonant C, either. As an organization of musicians, the Summerwood Warren currently acts as a facilitator of music in Calgary, but aims for national notoriety — a sort of database of contact information available to all Canadian artists looking to set up tours anywhere in the country. More than that, though, it’s a community, and a tightly knit one. Well into Crowns, a song dedicated to local indie darlings Azeda Booth pops up, peaking with the line “What we mean is, what we really mean is… you are so fucking inspiring.”
“They're so amazing,” says Leif. “They've done so much for us. It makes me really emotional. When Morgan remixed (“Wait”), that was just such an amazingly beautiful thing. It meant so much to us.”
“That song is about other people too,” Crighton adds thoughtfully. “It was inspired by them, but when we sing it, it's not just about them. There's a lot of people who have really helped us out.”
The song goes on to recall wintertime toboggan adventures and other such whimsical, Narnia-esque memories. Characteristically juxtaposing happiness with uncertainty, light with dark, the song also subtly deals with Leif’s decision to remain in the city after spending time with the “Azeda Boys,” despite being dead-set on moving away months earlier. Even this small, easily overlooked detail acts as a microcosm for Capes; the entire album — even its darker portions — was forged from an unyielding sense of community and togetherness.
“I think there's this feeling to your music that reminds me of that kind of sing-along fun-ness, but the more you peel the layers back, there's this real artistry to it,” Danny Vescarelli, the band’s latest addition, offers as a semi-outsider’s perspective on the group’s songwriting. He supposes that the tone of the songs is always positive due to a sort of utilitarian look at the emotional content: even if the feeling comes from a darker place, he and his five closest friends just expended a great deal of effort to turn it into something constructive — music. And it's tough to be a cynic about that. - FastForward Weekly, Calgary, 04/05/07

"The Consonant C spreads the love"

By Jesse Locke

Even with such instruments as the cello, harp, clarinet and glockenspiel at their disposal, what's most striking about The Consonant C are their voices.

The Calgary group has garnered a small but budding reputation this past year as one of the most heartfelt and unpretentious acts this city has seen in recent memory.

Now filled out as a six-piece, they are made up of the three multi-instrumentalists Laura Leif, Clea Foofat and harp specialist Jennifer Crighton, alongside acoustic-bassist Jared Andres, guitarist Danny Vescarelly and drummer Mark Connolley-Mendoza.

Their sound is soft and subtle, but powerful nonetheless.

The Consonant C has worked extremely hard in the past year, organizing and playing countless shows in Calgary, self-releasing the five-song Bunnyfish EP, and even touring down to the States in typical shoestring DIY fashion.

Now they're set to release their debut full-length, the eclectic 15 song collection Capes And Crowns.

"When we were entering the album process, we had to decide whether we were just going to do the songs we could do then, or if we wanted to try and do all the songs that we really wanted to do, even though they weren't totally ready," Foofat says during tea at Cafe Beano.

"Being us, we just decided to do everything."

"Because we kind of rushed through it and had to kind of fly by night, it gave the recordings an energy that is actually super important to our live shows," adds Crighton.

"That's one thing I always worry about when recording music, that it's not alive or is lacking that kind of emotional connection with the audience, even if it's just one person in front of a CD player. In that sense, letting it be a little rough was really good."

Capes And Crowns was recorded by engineer Grant Howarth at Calgary's Outhouse, a basement studio that regularly houses punk, hardcore and metal. Nonetheless, the group feels it was a perfect, freewheeling fit.

"There were points when we could conceptualize, and all had ideas of how we wanted the songs to feel or sound, but hadn't necessarily planned ahead how we were going to deal with that," explains Foofat.

"For one track, in my head I really wanted it to feel like a circus. Jennifer suggested we try wrestling, so Grant recorded us pulling each others' hair on the floor."

"I think this is kind of a rare band in that you can get away with any kind of layering in the studio to get the certain feel you're going for," adds Vescarelly.

"But because of the emphasis on the voices, when you go and play it live again and it's more stripped down, it's not going to sound like it's missing something."

The group is also highly involved in the local all-ages community, throwing monthly themed shows under the name The Summerwood Warren.

"The reason we started putting on shows was because we were starting to become depressed about how scattered the community in Calgary can sometimes seem," says Leif.

"Even though you know there's awesome people, sometimes it's really hard to find them.

"We wanted to make it easier for people to connect and work together, and also to give them an actual space."

"Through The Summerwood Warren and the tour, we've created connections that we can then pass on," continues Crighton.

"So the work that we've done can hopefully make it easier for other people down the line.

"We're totally into being co-operative, and spreading the love around."

The Consonant C play their CD release party on Sunday at the Hillhurst United Church.

Azeda Booth and Woodpigeon are the openers, and tickets are available at Megatunes, Melodiya and Sloth. - The Calgary Sun, 08/03/07

"Sailing the Consonant sea"

by Alvy Singer

...The Consonant C is an assemblage of inspired and inspiring music lovers creating impressively orchestrated sounds (can you name another Calgary group with a harp?), as well as doing wonders for the all-ages community. The Consonant C’s five-song Bunnyfish EP is a fantastic little sonic document, and the band is now readying the release of its debut long-player, while still making the time to play four shows this month.

"Everyone in the band brings unique and distinct elements to the music," says singer and multi-instrumentalist Clea Foofat. "We all have our own styles and write extremely different songs, but once we add all the parts together a strange, homogenous and eclectic mix is created."

"I’m really excited about scrambling the lines between disciplines," adds vocalist/harpist Jennifer Crighton. "There is a climate in Calgary that is like a pressure cooker for creative production, and people really badly want to prove that there is more to this city than the Stampede."

"I’m also pretty excited that the harp is now a cool thing to have in a band," she says. "When I first started playing it seemed mostly like a wedding instrument or a hippy instrument, and for a long time I resented the cliché. I’m still kind of amazed that the harp has become trendy."

The band’s members also work under the title The Summerwood Warren to co-organize monthly themed all-ages music/art events, most often held at EMMedia. "The shows we put on are part of the bigger effort to contribute positively to the artistic community," explains singer/multi-instrumentalist Laura Leif."Every show has been spectacular in its own way," Leif continues. "One time everyone was dancing so hard that the lights were falling out of the ceiling of the business below, so to solve it we all laid down on our backs and flailed our limbs upwards. There was a beautiful blanket fort and a lovely cave, helium balloons and a tobogganing party. So much spectacular and heartfelt fun."

The Consonant C is recording its debut long-player at The Outhouse with engineer Grant Howarth. "The new record is going to have a different sound for sure," says drummer Jared Andres. "Based on the rough mixes we’ve heard, it sounds a little more professional, and the music itself has evolved. This time around, the songs have been written by all of us as a group, whereas the EP was mostly songs that Laura and Clea already had. I think that the full-length will be a bit more of an expression of where we’re at as a band right now."

You can catch The Consonant C live on April 6 at Re-Store (which is also Azeda Booth’s all-ages CD release), on April 15 for an intimate set at the Devonian Gardens, on April 26 at the cheese-themed EMMedia show and on April 28 at Cliff Bungalow Community Centre, both with Jane Vain. Check out for updated info, songs and awesome videos. - FastForward Weekly, Calgary, 04/05/07

"RAMP First Anniversary"

By Aubrey McInnis

[live review]

...Although very conservative in their song selections, younger musicians were more playful in their performances. The Consonant C leapt off the stage to sing Azeda Booth songs a cappella while interpretively dancing around a band-mate devouring lemon meringue pie. Adding to a sugary twee love fest, the Tetraktys along with Azeda Booth covered the Consonant C... - Exclaim! 10/6/07

"Woodpigeon / Azeda Booth / The Consonant C"

By Aubrey McInnis

[live review]

For the first time in ages, three Calgary bands packed a local club and had an hour-long line-up of music fans eagerly waiting outside. With heavy buzz surrounding the double headliners, newcomers the Consonant C kept their set short. Disarmingly sweet, the young band clustered around keyboards and a harp and gave a light-hearted performance as chipper as an art pop glee club... - Exclaim! 01/12/07


Capes and Crowns LP [Independent; 2007]

"The Consonant C delivered on all the hype with Capes & Crowns, a masterpiece that captures the childlike glee of their songs in a beautiful little package.” - FastForward Weekly

Rabbitfish EP [Independent; 2006]


A Sound Experiment: Live Sessions from CJSW 90.9FM - Live recording of the track "Distance" [CJSW; 2007]

Oak & Elm Festival Promotional CD - "Bear" [Independent, 2007]



Drawn together by love and a desire to make good music, The Consonant C is committed to creating interesting experiences for their listeners. They regularly help collect the Calgary music community for heart-bursting evenings of adventure and creativity. When performing, The Consonant C engages the audience with surprising orchestral elements and vocal ambience, but it is their distinct choral harmonies that are most memorable.

In the fall of 2006 The Consonant C performed for the first time, opening for Montreal's Camaromance at a small Community Hall in Calgary. The next eight months involved a frenzy of songwriting. In May of 2007 The Consonant C was ready to record their first album; a 15 song full length entitled CAPES AND CROWNS. Upon its completion they departed on a month long tour of the West Coast, returning to their hometown Calgary in time to perform in the inaugural Sled Island Festival.

In August of 2007 the Consonant C independently released CAPES AND CROWNS for their Calgary fans at the Knox United Church with guests Woodpigeon and Azeda Booth. Since its release CAPES AND CROWNS has made it in the top 10 in Vancouver, Prince George, Edmonton, Sudbury and Halifax, while also reaching the #1 spot in both Lethbridge and Calgary.

Last summer, the band played at the Sled Island Festival and the Calgary Folk Music Festival, where they shared the stage with Julie Doiron and Basia Bulat. They are currently working on new material and a collection of creative projects over the winter.

What hasn't changed for The Consonant C is their commitment to creative performance with the hope of inspiring their audience to pursue artistic expression, they continue to lure those around them into fragile fables and joyful sing-a-longs.