You and Me
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You and Me

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"You and Me (Lonesome Music)"

So whilst gently buzzing I thought I'd bring your attention to a band called you and me. Now for me that's triggering a mental image of a crow and a doormouse standing beside each other, maybe for you it's the best song by the wannadies. Hailing for Montreal, they fill the gap left in my life by the lack of a new Mojave 3 album quite nicely. Sweet and downtempo country rock/folk/indie with boy/girl vocals and the sort of ennui I already feel for my holiday. Their album is called The Romantic and the Realist.

Posted by Howard @ - Lonesome Music

"La Valse des Compilations (Voir)"

La valse des compilations,m M pour Montréal, Maître J, Lesbians on Ecstacy, Loco Locass, SoCalled, Torngat, Matt Lipscombe

Profitant de la rentrée culturelle automnale, le SIMM, CISM, la SOPREF, l'émission Baromètre et le festival Pop Montréal ont tous lancé une compilation scène locale à quelques jours d'intervalle. Ironiquement, aucune de ces cinq galettes ne se retrouvera sur les présentoirs des magasins. Seule celle de la SOPREF, Québec Émergent 2007, sera remise aux clients des disquaires indépendants à l'achat d'un album de musiciens émergents.

Une bonne nouvelle pour le consommateur puisque avec ses 46 pièces, elle propose un portrait plus complet de la scène indé québécoise. Artistes anglophones et francophones s'y croisent peu importe leur style (pop, électro, country, reggae, rap, punk, rock, métal). Les initiés y reconnaitront Numéro#, Gatineau, SoCalled, Miracle Fortress et Jacquemort, mais découvriront également quelques perles dont Banjo Consorsium, Little Birdie, You and Me et Boo Hoo.

Remise lors de tirage sur les ondes du 89,3FM, la compilation J'aime CISM se démarque également par son nombre de titres inédits et enregistrés en spectacle. Elle comprend aussi quelques pièces difficiles à dénicher sur disque, qui ont fait belle figure sur les palmarès de la station de radio (Et Gregor, Otarie, Matt Fuzz, 011). Ne serait-ce que pour la jolie version jazz de Couple stérile et assorti de Mahjorbidet, se tenir près du téléphone en écoutant CISM
en vaut la chandelle.

Olivier Robillard Laveaux
27 septembre 2007

- Voir

"Scene and Heard with Will McGuirk"

Tonight I was planning Catl and Bradley Boy at the Dakota in TO but I really wanted to get out of the city. Instead I stayed at Isabella's for Montreal's You And Me. Shawn and Sandra Donnelly play quiet harmonious coffeehouse folk. Perfect for Isabellas. There was a small crowd but it was sufficient. Artemis who heads up SASS came in and after our chat we have agreed to work on a series of events for Isabellas. Maybe a monthly thing.
Git 'er done eh!
Awesome Austin and his Dad Ken were there. Austin and my son hung outside enjoying a real life episode of COPS. Inside it was a pleasant valley friday night unwind. Awesome has a fan in The Oprah Show it seems and his videos on YouTube are up in the tens of thousands of views.
You & Me are playing the Spill in Peterborough as part of the Pitter Patter Fest. - News Durham Region

"You and Me and I (Lucid Forge)"

Can you think of a more blissfully simplistic band name than You and Me? It brings to mind easy listening harmonies and smooth melodies that take you away to a happy place on some lazy Sunday. You and Me, the musical duo of Sandra J. and Shawn Donnelly from Montreal, can appreciate that comparison, after all, their music was born out of a romance that started over a decade ago.

“I didn’t sing before I met Shawn and I didn’t play any instruments,” explains Sandra J amongst the 20s, speakeasy décor of the Rum Runner in Kitchener. “On my 18th birthday he gave me a mix tape of all these songs and I started listening to them over and over and I started working out little harmonies and he discovered that I have a little bit of talent and we started working on them together.”

For 11 of the 12 years they’ve been together as a couple, Shawn and Sandra have been making beautiful music together. You and Me is the latest musical incarnation for the duo, and as the bands have changed over the years, so has the inspiration for their music. Donnelly says that when writing he’s now as inspired by general life experience as he is by the romance that started this fruitful music collaboration. “The songs can be a little sadder these days then they were 11 years ago, but they still come from the same place: from the heart.”

As when they began, Shawn writes all of the songs for You & Me, which he then brings to Sandra to add her signature touch to the vocals or a new melody on the xylophone or melodic. But given their close relationship, is there ever any friction between the two over the music? In an affront to all the gossip mongers out there, the answer is no.

“I would say that our music interests are pretty similar since we both have musical fathers that play the guitar, who grew up in the 60s and shared The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel with us,” says Donnelly. “The details vary from time to time, but generally when it comes to composing or listening to music that we solely enjoy, it’s definitely a musical agreement.”

“Sometimes I hear a song and think, ‘I have nothing for that,’ but the more I hear it, the more it evolves and our band is constantly evolving,” adds Sandra J.

“I never have anything set in stone for her,” continues Donnelly, “so she has carte blanche when I present the song for her and that’s what gives it the nice dynamic is that she’s able to have her say and put her expression into my expression. We’re trying to take our love and put it into the music.”

And when things aren’t going as smoothly, working as a musical act is actually a pretty good diffuser. “It’s definitely a nice perk having music in our relationship,” says Sandra J. “When times are tough, or we’ve had enough of each other, there’s always music and we can still be creative together and share that time together.”

Performing as a duo for only a couple of months now, You & Me are trying to find a way to expand their fan base, and this past spring they toured several cities in Ontario where they say their folky charms find more followers, particularly in low key shows in coffee houses and church basements.

“We’re definitely not the party atmosphere type of music,” says Sandra. “Coffee houses have been good to us, people tend to be alert and when they give you complements, they mean it. It’s not two in the morning and they ‘love you.’ They tend to be more supportive, and really listen.”

Like many struggling musicians, Sandra and Shawn work day jobs at a daycare; Sandra teaches while Shawn prepares the meals. It affords them some flexibility in their schedule to get out on tour, and given the kind of music they do, a captivated audience to try out new material on.

They credit the usual influences: The Beatles, Elliott Smith, and Belle and Sebastian, but Sandra says that she’s also come to see the value of music in classic kid shows like Fraggle Rock and Sesame Street as important, early musical inspirations. “They’re very happy, poppy, melodic songs as well,” she says. “They weren’t just composed on some synthesizer; there was actually a bit of heart and soul put into those songs.”

Heart is the very thing that Donnelly is trying to get at when writing songs. “As a song-writer my main objective is to just to strike a chord or pull on the heartstrings,” he explains. “Whatever emotion I’ve provided, I feel good and I feel like I’ve done my job when I reach someone else like that.

“There’s no thought process for my songs, they’re from the heart and I just open up what I need to say and what I need to feel. There’s no compromising about that.”

And there’s no compromising about the direction of the band either. On their own as a duo, Sandra and Shawn have been able to be more nimble in committing their time. “We couldn’t believe how flexible we are” says Sandra. “We know each other’s schedules so it’s so much easier to get together and say ‘here’s what we’re going to do.’”

And what they’re doi - Lucid Forge

"Tweeview (Panic Manual)"

Canadian Twee (Cantwee?). A genre that seems to be as elusive as the Samsquanch. I was hard pressed to think of a good Canadian indie pop act off the top of their head, so I took it upon myself to try and find one. I figured the best place to start would be Myspace as every band and their mom seem to have a site there, but it proved to be way to daunting. Next step, which should have been the most obvious was CBC Radio 3. After about an hour of searching using every twee related genre I could think of, I typed in Belle & Sebastian and up popped perhaps Canada’s best kept tweecret - You & Me, an acoustic quartet hailing from Montreal.

With only a single album their belt (The Romantic and the Realist), You and Me already have a sound of a well polished band. Shawn Donnelly’s lone vocals are reminiscent of Elliott Smith, combined with Sandra J’s sweet harmonies, which gives you the feeling equivalent to sinking into a comfy chair with a warm cup of tea on a rainy Sunday. With it’s downtempo acoustic plucks and strums, boy/girl vocals and clever lyrics The Romantic perfect addition to your indie pop collection, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that You and Me inspire more Canadian indie pop acts to peep a little further out of their Anoraks knowing there is still hope amongst the Arcade Fire’s and Tokyo Police Club’s.

You and Me will be playing at the Yellow Door in Montreal on September 26th.

August 27th 2008
- The Panic Manual

"C'est Cool! (Detroit Metro Times)"

C'est Cool!Expect the unexpected at Windsor's first fringe fest ever!

For Sandra J of the Montreal folk-pop band You and Me, impressions of the Windsor-Detroit divide come from the film Bowling for Columbine. "It's funny, Michael Moore, I have him in my head. He's standing in Detroit looking over at Windsor saying, 'Let's go over to Windsor! People are so friendly and don't lock their doors. They don't have 9-year-olds walking around with guns."

She and musical partner Shawn Donnelly will be traveling southwest for the first-ever Windsor International Fringe Festival. The 10-day event takes place at several venues in downtown Windsor and includes shows produced and performed by metro Detroiters.You & Me, who dub themselves a kind of "male and female Simon and Garfunkel," will be one of the musical acts during a fest that features 26 theater companies and 176 performances, including musical acts — and many within walking distance of one another.

Organized by Actors Theatre of Windsor (ATW), this particular Fringe is the latest to join the circuit of Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals, a group founded in 1982 in an effort to "provide a direct link between theater artists and their audiences." The circuit has grown to include more than 15 festivals across Canada and a few in the United States too. It's based on the famed Scottish Edinburgh Fringe model from 50 years ago that not only allows but encourages artists to produce the play they want — "no matter what the content, form or style."

In contrast to traditional theatre fests, "fringes" — like FRIGID in New York and the Indianapolis Fringe Festival in Indiana — are open to all performers. There are no auditions. Instead, selection is based on lottery, with performers paying $500 to $600 for inclusion, but receiving all their ticket sales.

According to Windsor's Fringe producer Mona el Baroudi, the main purpose of a fringe is to be an "arts incubator." Groups have the opportunity to perform works they might otherwise not get a chance to show because of limited funding or lack of a venue. Whether the results are fantastic or horrible, hilarious or horrifying, is another story altogether — to be judged by the public.

For performers, these events offer something that typical shows can't. Veteran performer Glen Callendar of Vancouver, whose show Transcendental Masturbation will be at the Boom Boom Room, says: "You can do the weirdest stuff. You can bring a motorcycle on the stage and just work on it for an hour and not even look at the audience." Although audiences might stay away in droves, he adds wryly.

In many ways, Callendar is a shining example of the tradition. His one-man show, which he calls "a melange of music and mayhem," features him in glowing underpants and other weird outfits, performing music on everything from a cheap accordion to keyboard and spoons. "The whole show I call musical, physical, stand-up comedy," he says. "It's a wide-ranging smorgasbord of comic dementia."

Another production pushing boundaries with some innovative techniques is Surf's Up! by the Windsor company Monkeys with a Typewriter. The play is about "couch surfing" and the "hidden homeless," says Allison Prieur, the show's co-producer, who's with the Windsor area's Homeless Coalition. These are the people who sleep night after night on couches of friends, relatives and even strangers, because they don't have homes of their own. Surf's playwright, Rob Tymec, has a passion for theater that forces the audience to sit up and take notice. But he doesn't have a high impression of local theater, at least in Windsor.

"Eighty-five percent of our theater is what I like to call fluff," he says, meaning well-worn musicals. In this piece, the writer also plays the role of a muse who appears to help a few of the surfers work through their dilemmas by revisiting traumatic events in their pasts.

Detroiters are participating in this year's fest, but el Baroudi, who is ATW's artistic director and an acting coach in Detroit, says there are only two American productions this year. She's holding out hope for a real collaboration between the two cities soon.

Michael Carnow is a Los Angeles native who moved to Detroit last August and has already worked with Ferndale's Who Wants Cake? and the Matrix Theatre Company in southwest Detroit. He says he's impressed with the local theater scene, and also gives props to Planet Ant and Abreact. "A Detroit fringe would be great," Carnow says. "It would really enable a lot of these intimate, smaller theatres to showcase themselves and highlight all the talent that really is out there."

In the meantime, Carnow presents A Trois for the Fringe. The producer and director says he was captivated when reading playwright Barry Hall's script because it's a new take on an old theme.

"It's just a phenomenal piece and it's really unlike anything I've ever seen or read. It kind of flows between scenes," he says. "Somebody says - Ron Stang / Detroit Metro Times

"You and Me Echo Weekly"

Playing: April 17, The Rum Runner Pub
Members: Shawn Donnelly (acoustic guitar), Sandra J. (melodica, xylophone).
Genre: Melodic acoustic
On Playing GO!:” Well, last year we had a record snowfall. We were at the Moho in Peterborough the night before and we were like, well we're almost there. We drove 5 more hours in the snow and made it just in time to have a nice meal at a little Chinese restaurant before our show. I think half the bands cancelled, and some of them were even from KW. The promoters were so kind and thanked us up and down for making it out and even gave us a little extra money. That night we played at the Duke's of Wellington and it was packed and warm inside. We even met a couple who snow-shoed in!
When we saw the festival date had been moved to April we were thrilled so we let Sylvia Horn know we were interested in coming back. She's a sweety!”
With a sound familiar of The Beatles or Belle and Sebastian, Montreal-based You and Me are bringing their simple and beautiful music back to this year’s Go! Festival. Lovers in life and founding members Sandra J. and Shawn released their first album, The Romantic and the Realist to rave reviews, and it’s now available as far away as Tokyo, Japan.
“We aren't a show, as much as we are live music. We really try to get comfortable on stage, cause we feel we're up there, sharing our love life with the audience. Unfortunately, we tend to banter too much and make stupid jokes, and we've realized over the years it's because our songs are so serious and some times quite sad, so to lift our spirits up we joke, and we laugh a lot!”

By Carrie Humphries
Echo Weekly
April 16-22 2009
Vol. 12 No. 29

- Echo Weekly

"Toi et Moi Forever (Catherine Mathys, BangBang)"

Catherine Mathys Toi et Moi forever

"Avec le printemps viennent les duos musicaux amoureux. Après Tricot Machine, voici You and Me. Les Montréalais Shawn Donnelly (guitare et voix) et Sandra J. (voix, xylophone, mélodica) s'apprêtent à lancer leur premier album The Romantic and The Realist en Juin prochain.

Le nom est plutôt révélateur de l'esprit de la formation. You and Me, c'est d'abord un couple mais aussi une simplicité assumée. Au duo d'origine se sont greffés deux autres membres, Danny Roy (basse) et Edmund Lam (guitare). D'ailleurs, ce dernier est en terrain connu puisqu'il rejoint le frère et la belle-sœur de Heidi, sa partenaire dans Hexes & Ohs. Vous vous y retrouvez? Bref, c'est presque une
histoire de famille. Le résultat est intimiste avec des harmonies vocales qui ne sont pas sans rappeler celles de quelques-unes de leurs influences tels Elliott Smith, Iron and Wine et Belle and Sebastian. L'album à paraître est en fait enregistré depuis deux ans. «On a vraiment pris notre temps, on y est allés à notre rythme», précise Sandra. En 2006, le groupe a lancé un mini-album, Patience and Prudence, disponible seulement dans les Distroboto de la métropole et sur Internet par Duotone Records (Tokyo, Japon). Trois des pièces du EP se retrouvent sur le nouvel opus entièrement autoproduit dans l'appartement du couple. Cela dit, le groupe ne s'est pas trouvé une voix tout de suite et est passé par plusieurs états d'âme musicaux avant d'opter pour cette simplicité qui lui est si caractéristique. Au dire de Sandra, il aurait flirté avec l'idée d'ajouter une batterie ou même des sonorités électro. Mais il est rapidement revenu à une formule plus acoustique qui laisse toute la place aux ambiances planantes des voix et guitares qui s'entremêlent. Partis des chansons d'amour de Shawn écrites en toute candeur pour Sandra, le quatuor a voulu prolonger cette intimité dans une musique à son image.
L'aventure en est à ses tous débuts pour la formation qui a bien hâte de voir la réaction du public devant son dernier-né. Dans les préparatifs du lancement, le groupe cherche à peaufiner certaines pièces. Sandra prend même des cours de violoncelle pour le soir du 13 juin, date du lancement qui aura lieu au Divan Orange. You and Me aspire ensuite à faire voyager ses nouvelles pièces. «La première étape est de sortir de Montréal», souligne Sandra. Elle et ses acolytes prévoient donc une tournée qui les emmènera présenter quelques spectacles à Québec, notamment. Ces anglophones souhaitent davantage se mêler aux francophones pour une scène locale plus unie. Depuis un concert organisé par Bande à Part l'été dernier qui réunissait Pony Up et Alligator Trio de Québec au Petit Campus, Sandra rêve de mixité anglophone-francophone. Le groupe qui mûrit ses chansons comme du bon vin depuis quatre ans trépigne d'impatience d'enfin vous les présenter. Si le disque est lancé le 13 juin, sachez qu'il sera disponible en magasin dès le 5 juin prochain."

Catherine Mathys
Vol.02 no.04
- Catherine Mathys/ Bang Bang

"Mini CD Reviews (Mirror)"

You and Me
The Romantic and the Realist (independant/LOCAL) The meek, the cute and the pretty join hands on this local acoustic pop project, with a delicate foundation that lets the songs and harmonies shine. 7 (LC) CD launch at Divan Orange on Wed., June 13, 5-7p.m.

Lorraine Carpenter - Lorraine Carpenter

"You and Me (Longeur D'Ondes)"

You and Me
"The Romantic and the Realist"
Inspire par le regrette Elliott Smith, le groupe folk-pop anglophone parcourt depuis 2003 les hauts lieux de la releve musicale montrealaise pour offrir de petites pieces melodiques qu'on garde au creux de la main. Un talent pour depeindre le quotidien et creer des images fortes se manifeste a travers leurs airs acoustiques qui trottent dans la tete. L'harmonie des voix de Sandra J. et de Shawn Donnelly (le couple qui constitue le noyau de You and Me) est omnipresente et appuyee par Danny Roy (basse) et Edmund Lam (guitare). Apres un mini CD, il s'agit d'un premier album reussi qui temoigne de la beaute de la simplicite. Epure, accrocheur et un brin naif. A decouvrir: le planant Head Noise Pollution, aussi sur la compilation Quebec Emergent 2007 (Sopref) et la douceur intimiste de March.
Marie Mello
(Longeur D'ondes, no 42, hiver 2007-2008, p.36). - Longeur D'ondes


The Romantic and the Realist (independent/LOCAL) 2007
1. x-x-x
2. head noise pollution
3. run
4. zip
5. plastic bubble wrap
6. search party
7. for five
8. in the still
9. looking after you
10. march
11. silently
12. rainy mid october
13. x-x-x

Quebec Emergent Compilation 2007

Patience and Prudence (3" CD) 2006
-For Five
-Search Party

vol. 01 / cd no. 02 (2004)
-Dots Garden
-Too Many Morals
-Plastic Bubble Wrap
-Gift Wrapped
-Dirty Air

vol. 01 / cd no. 01 (2004)
-Too Many Morals



Look up “Country-Folk” and you get quite an earful, but for lovers and partners in life Shawn Donnelly and Sandra J. of You and Me, these two little words now hit close to home. The couple recently moved from Montreal to the quiet, country mountain side of the Laurentians and find themselves applying the term to who they are and what they sound like . With a couple hood that spans over 13 years, this duo feel the rich country air has breathed new life into their relationship as well as their musical aspirations.

Working with other musicians for many years, they released their first full length album “The Romantic and the Realist” in 2007 and gained some attention from media and radio alike. With distribution across Canada their music reached some new fans and helped the band tour in Quebec, Ontario and on the east coast.

Of all their accomplishments, Shawn and Sandra J. are most proud of the fact that they continue to share a musical and home life and that every year brings them new prospects and growth. Although being a songwriter often means you air out your dirty laundry for everyone to see, the couple feel their audiences appreciate their sincere characters and simple love songs.

When the band formed in 2004, a close friend suggested they call themselves You and Me. It’s simple and sweet and at the end of the day, when all is said and done, it reflects a certain common ground. And there’s comfort in that. But ask the duo if they would consider it a good band name today, and you‘ll get another earful…..