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On the eve of Fiona Noakes Band setting to release their latest album Fury of the Sea, Curve has been lucky enough to sample some tracks. Fronted by Fiona Noakes and accompanied by Cliff Chamberlain (lead guitar), Danae Tsikouras (drums) and Benoit L’Ecuyer (bass), this band sets out to take you on a journey through love, loss and other things on the side. The first sampling from this album is the catchy “Misunderstood”. It opens with a guitar introduction that is as familiar to you as the introduction to the Indigo Girls’ “Pendalum Swinger”. Quickly though it takes you on its own path where Noakes and the band deliver a solid pop-folk track. Slowly the haunting sound of the guitar winds you through the verses of “Your Stare” with the smoky vocal line leading into a change of beat for the chorus. The track is mellow and hints at flavours still to come on the album. Title track “Fury of the Sea” has a strong instrumental line with the percussion melding nicely with an upbeat guitar and bass while Noakes’ vocals tie it all in. Closing out this preview is “Billy Davis House”. This track has that recognisable sound of a mid-nineties indie ballad. It would fit nicely as the soundtrack to a classic montage scene fit for a “But I’m a Cheerleader” or “Empire Records”- esque angst driven teen drama. Whilst there is a heavy folk influence to their sound, that draws from greats that have come before them, this four-piece Ottawa, Canada based band have managed in this small snippet of tracks to forge their own way. http://www.curvemag.com/Reviews/Fiona-Noakes-Band-set-to-Release-Upcoming-Album-Fury-of-the-Sea-140/
On the eve of Fiona Noakes Band setting to release their latest album Fury of the Sea, Curve has been lucky enough to sample some tracks. Fronted by Fiona Noakes and accompanied by Cliff Chamberlain (lead guitar), Danae Tsikouras (drums) and Benoit L’Ecuyer (bass), this band sets out to take you on a journey through love, loss and other things on the side. The first sampling from this album is the catchy “Misunderstood”. It opens with a guitar introduction that is as familiar to you as the introduction to the Indigo Girls’ “Pendalum Swinger”. Quickly though it takes you on its own path where Noakes and the band deliver a solid pop-folk track. Slowly the haunting sound of the guitar winds you through the verses of “Your Stare” with the smoky vocal line leading into a change of beat for the chorus. The track is mellow and hints at flavours still to come on the album. Title track “Fury of the Sea” has a strong instrumental line with the percussion melding nicely with an upbeat guitar and bass while Noakes’ vocals tie it all in. Closing out this preview is “Billy Davis House”. This track has that recognisable sound of a mid-nineties indie ballad. It would fit nicely as the soundtrack to a classic montage scene fit for a “But I’m a Cheerleader” or “Empire Records”- esque angst driven teen drama. Whilst there is a heavy folk influence to their sound, that draws from greats that have come before them, this four-piece Ottawa, Canada based band have managed in this small snippet of tracks to forge their own way. http://www.lotl.com/Reviews/Curve-Previews-the-Latest-to-come-from-Fiona-Noakes-Band-124/
Bitter State (Radio Edit) - Fiona Noakes Band Now Available on iTunes! https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/bitter-state-radio-edit/id897191009?i=897191022&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Skopemag.com Article Continued ....
Stoli: It can be very hard to find good people. Did you have to cut people prior and what commitment do you expect from your bandmates?
I think the biggest thing in any form of relationship is communication. It is pretty easy to tell from the start if someone is interested or not and if there is an issue get it out there before it becomes a bigger issue. My band has been incredibly committed to this project and even though they are also involved in other musical projects they are able to manage it all very well. We are all on the same level in this band with our goals and ambitions and the direction we would like to head.
Stoli: Your new EP ‘Staring at the Ceiling is out now. How long were you working on that album and where can readers listen & buy?
For Staring at the Ceiling were in the studio maybe for a full 5 days? We were also very lucky to be working with the amazing Dean Hadjichristou at Addictive Sound Studios who recorded, mixed and mastered the CD. Dean is very efficient and speedy with the recording process. The songwriting process for us begins with me coming up with something on guitar, from there I put lyrics to it, bring it to the band who build on that/make the songs come to life and then from there we rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.
You can find all the songs on our website: www.fionanoakes.com
The album download is also available through iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/staring-at-the-ceiling-ep/id669079795
If you’d like a physical copy of the CD holler at us and we can send you one through snail mail or in person depending where you are!
Stoli: I love the video and song “Breathe In the Fear.” What does that song mean to you and how does the video represent your vision for the song?
Thank you very much Stoli. The song is a powerful song to perform. It definitely invokes a state of panic and fear from within and it’s open-ended enough that people can interpret it on all sorts of levels. Some people have interpreted it as an environmental song that talks about the end of the world, others as internal struggle. The song to me is about internal struggle and not being able to let go. I’ve always had a fascination with horror even though I still check under my bed for monsters every night. I approached the lovely director, cinematographer, editor Derek Price (Say Ten Productions) with the song, telling him I wanted to do a video on the scarier side and he really brought that to life. It was a bloody great time on set.
Stoli: The EP has 6 songs. How many songs did you have to choose from and how did you decide on those 6 songs?
Bitter State was actually re-recorded. We had been wanting to re-record an electric full band version of the band for a while, so figured why not put it on the new cd.
The other songs were the newer songs I had written at the time/were fresh to the band, so that was more new material to record that had not been recorded yet.
Glow that was the only song that was not recorded at Addictive Sound Studios. We had actually recorded it a few months before with my friend and sound master extraordinaire Jesse Newell.
Stoli: When we visit you in Ottawa, Canada where can we go to hear live music & enjoy cold beer?
So many awesome joints in town to choose from. Zaphod’s, Maverick’s, Cafe Dekcuf, Brass Monkey, Babylon, Darcy McGee’s, Ritual, my balcony.
Stoli: Do you feel that Justin Bieber’s behavior is giving off a bad vibe for other Canadian musicians?
See Skopemag.com for remainder of the article March 11th, 2014
THE FIONA NOAKES BAND ARE DOING MUCH MORE THAN JUST ‘STARING AT THE CEILING’
My guests today coming from Ottawa, Canada is The Fiona Nokes Band. I caught wind of the group after hearing “Fake” on Skope Radio and they also have a 6 song EP out now ‘Staring At The Ceiling.’ These 4 are fun, talented, and make catchy music. Join me today as Fiona speaks on starting the band, talking to me while sick in bed, live music in Ottawa, and so much more!
Stoli: Where are we talking from today and are you ready for this winter to be over?
Dearest Stoli. You are talking to me from my bed today. I am at home sick surrounded by a bed of used kleenex and my 3 loving cats. I am pretty sure I am ready for this winter to be over.
Stoli: As I write this the US will play Canada in Olympics hockey for women and men. Being that you are Canadian does this game matter to you?
I’m all about the Curling actually. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=777_1392789840
Stoli: Growing up how much did music play in your life and do your friends/family support your musical ambitions?
A huge part – my parents put me in piano lessons at a young age. I grew up with Much Music being my favourite channel. Ever since I can remember I have always been coming up with tunes in my head.
My family has been incredibly supportive of my passions. I am grateful for having them put me in piano and buying me my first guitar. My friends have been incredibly supportive with the music – coming to our shows/cheering us on. There’s been a lot of love.
Stoli: At what point did you realize that music was more than just a hobby and it was something you wanted as a career?
The point at which I knew I wanted to pursue the arts in general/performing was while acting in Peter Pan in my graduating year in high school. The feeling I got from being on stage was such an amazing rush. I knew that at the point I didn’t want to “grow up” as they say and leave my dreams/passions locked away.
Regarding music, while in my early years at University, I contacted a friend from high school who I knew was a great guitarist (my former guitarist Tim Trant) and asked him if he’d be interested in working on some songs I had come up with on guitar. From there the rest is history.
“Breathe in the Fear” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_wddLJO34M
Stoli: Obviously this is your band and it is named after you. Offer us insight into how you found 3 other musicians that shared your vision and wanted to be involved?
Cliff was my guitar teacher at the time. My former guitarist was moving and so I was looking for a new guitarist. Cliff is an incredible guitarist with a passion for all sorts of music – he liked my music as he said it was different and wanted to try something new. I met the equally talented Danae through Cliff. She also dug the tunes and with Ben we found him on the street actually. He’s just here for the ride. Actually we met Ben online. He liked the genre/tunes and from there we all just gelled really well together – as friends and as a band.
Interview Continued in Part 2 ...
Quick Q&A with the band
How did you all meet?
Fiona Noakes: In prison. No wait, that’s not right. Cliff, my guitarist, was my guitar teacher a few years ago. Danae, our drummer, I met through Cliff. Ben, our bassist, I met after he responded to an ad I posted. We all just really clicked together musically and as a group. We’re also friends which I think is very lucky and important.
Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
Fiona Noakes: So many. Tegan and Sara, Metric, Emily Haines, Regina Spektor, The Pretty Reckless, KT Tunstall, Mother Mother
What’s the greatest concert you’ve ever been to or performed?
Fiona Noakes: Mother Mother was probably one of my most favourite concerts I’d been to. I just loved the energy on stage, the power of their vocal-driven songs and the awesome light show they had. Also, they have a very unique sound to them which I love. They do their own thing and that is refreshing.
The greatest concert I have ever performed…For me ever concert has had its special moment. What touches me the most is when there are complete strangers in the crowd who don’t owe you anything, but come up to you after a show and tell you how they enjoyed your music. That to me is pretty great…doesn’t matter how many people you are playing in front of…as long as we’ve moved one person with a song.
Working on anything new? What can we expect from you in the future?
Fiona Noakes: Great question. Always and forever (maybe:P). We are currently working on new material, as we will be going into the studio very soon (April). 7 new songs and re-recording electric versions of a couple older acoustic songs. I haven’t told the band yet, but I think the album art theme will be nautical, as some of the nautical sayings really reflect common themes you will hear on the album.
February 12th 2014
Hailing from our nation's capital, Ottawa, Fiona Noakes is pursuing her creative dreams. While juggling a full time job, acting opportunities and music - and somewhere in there a tour - you can't help but root for her to succeed in whatever she chooses. Read on then listen to her tracks through the social media links at the end of the article.
.How would you describe your music? Indescribable. Just kidding. Indie alternative folk rock.
When did you know you wanted to pursue a music career? I've always had a passion for the arts since I was little (acting, writing, etc.), but started getting serious about songwriting after high school. I've always been coming up with songs in my head since I was young. Writing songs is therapy for me. It comes naturally, from the soul, so it just made sense to want to get into it even further. I made that decision after high school in getting together with a friend of mine – showing him the songs I came up with and playing them together acoustically. I love performing and playing characters and so music for me allows this and performing live gives this instantaneous gratification.
Where does inspiration for your writing come from? I write when I am in the mood. I don't force myself because I've learned from past experience that that doesn't work. The songs I write are based off of personal experience and/or sometimes a combination of friends' experiences/world events.
I personally like to challenge myself every time I sit down and work on a new song - whether it's lyrically or musically – I like to push myself and explore different things to continuously grow and evolve as an artist.
Music to me is therapy. It is my creative outlet. I usually write to let my feelings out. Some songs are based on past relationships, heartbreak, yearning, etc. Some inspiration is also based off of friends experiences, sometimes off books I have read or shows I've been watching.
Describe the Ottawa music scene. Ottawa music scene is growing. Same as the film scene. It's great to see that the talented hidden gems are starting to come out of their shells. In my experience, what I love about the scene here, is that it is very supportive.
Musical influences? Tegan and Sarah, Emily Haines, Metric, The Pretty Reckless, Lorde, The Kooks, MGMT, Florence & The Machine, Regina Spektor
Last song playing on your iPod/mp3 player? Tennis Court by Lorde.
Where do you see the band in 5 years? Doing shows in Toronto. Hmmm, actually that may be pushing it. Seriously though, I see us past out in a motel room, surrounded by gluten-free pizza boxes and half empty cartons of juice. Okay, in all seriousness, being able to make music full-time would be awesome. Going on tours, Canadian-wide and also anywhere around the world would be pretty sweet too.
- http://www.hershemag.com December 2013
Fiona Noakes moves out of the shadows MUSIC / Local singer says all her songs have personalities Samantha Everts / Ottawa / Wednesday, April 11, 2012 Fiona Noakes has been walking the line between actor and musician for many years. Her music has finally taken centre stage. Members of the queer community might remember Noakes as the brunette rocking out at the afterparty following last year’s Dyke March in Ottawa. “That was my first show with the band!” Noakes recalls excitedly. Many shows later, in mid-March 2012, Toronto-born Noakes and her band released their debut album, Out of the Shadows. “It began like a journey,” says Noakes, who also recorded several professional music videos that were released before the album. “It’s a new challenge to write for the band.” “I was worried my voice wasn’t good enough,” Noakes says about the first stages of recording her new album. Noakes works closely with guitarist Tim Trant when writing songs. “I learned what works, and I found my voice,” she says of their collaboration. The two first paired up and started going to open-mic nights in 2010, yet even with a background in acting, Noakes admits she was nervous about recording songs. “There are a lot of songs that don’t make the cut. I was worried my voice wasn’t good enough,” she says. “I’m so happy to finally have my CD out there.” Like her idols Tegan and Sara, Noakes draws on life experiences to inspire her lyrics. She says it’s become a game for friends to ask, “Is that song about me?” While Noakes is no stranger to the spotlight, she says she wears different masks that come out in her music. “All my songs have personalities,” she says. “When I go on stage, I’m ‘stage Fiona,’ but I’m pretty quiet with my friends.” Out of the Shadows is a mix of aggressive rock mixed with solo acoustic songs. The songs touch on themes of disappointment, lost love and anger. “Ways to Get Over You” is a cross between Bif Naked and Florence and the Machine. “That song is very energetic and fast-paced for me,” Noakes says.