The Runaway Catholics
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The Runaway Catholics

Band Rock Folk


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"E.P Review"

"The Runaway Catholics introduce themselves with sunny soft folk-rock. As they delightfully combine slower and faster tracks between five songs, it’s easy to see that each stands out for their own merits. Ghosts in Memories illuminates the sweet melodic vocal partnership of Shawna Sormin and Brodie Dakin to a pop-based tune that would definitely wake you up in the morning.

Melody of June and France flow beautifully into one another with simple, nostalgic beats and chord progressions, quietly highlighted by the piano or xylophone, respectively. Crazy Sorrows has the collective at its strongest, while both impressive electric and acoustic guitars work together in a way that should take them back to Woodstock or at least blasting the speakers out at a backyard party. The live recording of “Charmed Life” has them in a dream-like jam session state, with just enough to leave the listener hanging, wishing there was more, or at least that they were at the show clapping along." - Jessica Lewis (Roundletters)

"Live @ The Horseshoe"

"An inspired psych-folk sound that sounds so fresh in the face of corporate banal. A gilded stew of 70’s FM Gold, Love’s ‘Forever Changes’, the alt-roots of Wilco, while basking in the revivalist glow of San Francisco’s ‘Summer Of Love’. Acoustic guitars-a-plenty, breezy male-female vocals, and hook-driven harmonies, this is music that reveals a starry-eyed - Lonely Vagabond

"3 Toronto bands that are up and coming"

Soft melodies, mental images of sunny afternoons and long drives. What more can you ask for? This little folk band is just starting to feel their legs and we can only hope said legs turn out sturdy and full of growth spurts. - Dork Shelf

"TO Snob E.P Review"

One of the great things about this time of year is that the break in the release of new music allows you to go back and explore albums that may have slipped by you earlier in the year. That's exactly what happened to me with the debut self-titled EP from Toronto's The Runaway Catholics. It's hard to imagine in retrospect how a shining gem of a record managed to go undetected, but alas it did.

When one listens to The Runaway Catholics the first thing that strikes you is the vocals. Principle songwriter Brodie Dakin and Shawna Sormin trade lead duties with a pair of voices that complement each other perfectly. More impressive still are the gorgeous harmonies that they create. In Dakin and Sormin The Runaway Catholics have a vocal tandem that could easily be the best to come out of Canada since Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan.

The songs themselves are based on simple pop structures. Layered over these are a series of arrangements that lend a dreamy feeling to the music. From this we get the ethereal, mesmerizing "France". Adding a piano flourish gives us the delightful strumming pop concoction of "Melody of June".

The band are not a one trick pony either. "Crazy Sorrows" is a legitimate rollicking rocker that demonstrates that even with some rough edges, Dakin's pop songwriting is rock solid. The results could be the sound of Apples In Stereo writing a song for Brian Jonestown Massacre to perform.

Because of the band dynamic, it's difficult to avoid drawing comparisons between The Runaway Catholics and Stars. However, over the course of this EP, Runaway Catholics do more than hold their own against that measure. - TO Snob

"Grayowl Review"

Review- “The Runaway Catholics EP”- The Runaway Catholics
The Runaway Catholics are a Toronto-based band which have a decidedly light-hearted tone. What I received from them was their debut EP, and a pretty good one at that. It made my heart warm seeing the liner notes that were all handcrafted and handwritten.
According to their fact sheet they have been together for just over a year, but for being together for such a short time they sound surprisingly solid. The two vocalists, Brodie Dakin and Shawna Sormin already seem to know what vocal styles suit them best.
The two’s voices really work well together, with Sormin’s vocals reminding me a lot of Sheryl Crow in “Soak Up the Sun” but not nearly as annoying as that song was.
The lightheartedness comes from the instrumentals, which usually consists of gentle guitar chords and a light drumline.
The music is really hard to dislike- I can only imagine this album played during a day at the beach, or maybe on a picnic in the park somewhere. And those are both great activities to think of during the winter time.
The most upbeat songs are probably “Charmed Life” and “Ghosts In Memories,” with “France” being more slow and melodic.
“Ghosts in Memories” is a great start, with the characteristically light guitar riffs and drums, as well as Sormin’s sunny and pleasing voice. “Melody of June” goes a little more slow with an added piano and absolutely beautiful vocal harmonies.
The final song, “Charmed Life” was recorded live from a show at the Horseshoe Tavern and shows that the band has some great talent and a live show worth seeing.
Give this band a listen- or better yet- go and find them playing a show at the Horseshoe Tavern or Lee’s Palace- you’ll definitely find them. Their sunny folk-rock is a pleasure to listen to.
Top Tracks: “Crazy Sorrows”; “France” - Grayowl

"Fazer Magazine Review"

By: Alex Young

Toronto based independent five-piece lo-fi garage rock band, The Runaway Catholics, have been stirring up a buzz for themselves with their self-titled debut EP. The Runaway Catholics have earned attention from CBC Radio 3 with their stripped down sound and straightforward songwriting. The band would fit nicely on a bill between the Constantines and Broken Social Scene. Their EP contains cuts that primarily consist of charming acoustic guitar chords intertwined with delightfully captivating vocals and occasionally feature a delicate touch on piano or xylophone. The real magic lies in the fragile yet fertile balance between lead vocalists Shawna Sormin and Brody Dakin. The focus goes back and forth between Sormin’s soothing singing and Dakin’s howling.

The six-minute track “France” sees the band extend their songwriting beyond the typical pop format. It features a few enchanting piano interludes along with some graceful grooves on lead guitar. The unbridled enthusiasm found on “Crazy Sorrow” has Dakin’s vocals flying high over top distorted guitar hooks that could get Frank Black of the Pixies to crack a smile. The closing track is the live cut “Charmed Life” that collectively incorporates everything the band has to offer with a touch of underdog charm. It gives you a clear idea of how the band operates as a live act.

All in all, as encouraging as it is to hear a good debut from any band, only time will tell what the Runaway Catholics truly have to offer. We should have a better idea after they release a full-length album.
- Fazer Magazine


We have an e.p on our Myspace page. More recordings and shows this new year.



Toronto based collective, born out of the imagination of singer/songwriter Brodie Dakin. Initially as a solo project, he wrote and performed original songs on acoustic guitar around the city. Over time, the songs yearned for fuller instrumentation and he decided it was time to form a band. Now with the help of some sympathetic souls his sketches have an identity w/ each member of the band bringing in their own unique musical ideas and songwriting skills. The sound is reminiscent of '66 Dylan, the charm of Belle & Sebastian, the sunny optimism of The Kinks, Gram & Emmylou's heart melting duets, the county/rock stomp of early Wilco, the mournful melodies of Neil Young and the psychedelic heartbeat of the 13th Floor Elevators.