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Tess Roby

with Bernice and Dorothea Paas
All Ages

$9.99 advance, $15 door

From the Promoter

The April 2018 installment of Wavelength’s year-round Monthly Music Series will féte the release of one of 2018’s best albums to date: Beacon is the debut record by Montreal-based, Toronto-raised Tess Roby. The synth-pop artist is blessed with both a rich, haunting voice and a gift for imaginative songcraft. Beacon will be released on US independent label Italians Do It Better (also home of Johnny Jewel and Chromatics) this spring, with tracks already premiered by Gorilla vs. Bear and The Quietus. Roby’s music has been positively compared to Kate Bush, Nico, Broadcast, Stereolab, and Steve Reich.

The April 21 Wavelength-presented release party will take place in the beautiful, acoustically rich 918 Bathurst Centre, located in a former Buddhist temple in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood. The space will be transformed into an immersive visual environment through projections created by media artist Michele Ayoub. A common thread runs through the artist-curated musical line-up: all three acts are female-fronted projects led by former members of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company. Tess Roby and Dorothea Paas in the CCOC at the same time, while Bernice’s Robin Dann was a few years ahead of them.

Tess Roby explains: “After losing touch for a few years, Dorothea and I reconnected in Montreal, when we realized we were playing music in the same circles. We began to play shows together in Montreal, and she introduced me to Bernice’s music, noting that frontwoman Robin Dann

had also sung in the CCOC. From there I began to conceive this ‘dream’ line-up that consisted of all vocal-driven female fronted projects. Studying choral music and performing so often at such a young age had such an impact on my voice and music, so it was great to see other women from the chorus following a similar path.”

About the artists:

Tess Roby

Tess Roby is an artist born in Toronto, and currently working in Montreal. Accompanied by her brother, Eliot Roby, on guitar, her music rides the melancholic line between classic ‘80s new-wave and lyric-driven pop. The listener simultaneously feels the intimacy of Roby’s bedroom, cut with a romantic urgency akin to Hounds Of Love era Kate Bush. The arrangements are strictly minimal and hauntingly sparse, giving way to the richness of Roby’s voice and the hypnotic pulses of her analogue synthesizer. Her debut LP Beacon will be released in Spring 2018 on Italians Do It Better (Chromatics, Desire, Johnny Jewel).

Bernice, the project of Toronto-based vocalist/songwriter Robin Dann, blends "melodies reminiscent of artists like Sade with the playful sounds of artists like Deerhoof and Dirty Projectors" (Pigeons & Planes). Dann went through music school and completed a Masters in Music from Goldsmiths, University of London, and her band — Thom Gill (keyboards/samples), Felicity Williams (vocals), Phil Melanson (drums/e-drums) and Dan Fortin (bass) — features active members of Bahamas, Owen Pallett, Leif Vollebekk and DIANA. Bernice toured much of 2017 supporting Martha Wainwright and released Puff, a 5-song EP on Arts & Craft in June 2017 to resounding critical acclaim from Pitchfork, NPR, Stereogum, and The Fader. Puff was produced by Grammy-award winner Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Lucius) and Matt Smith (Prince Nifty). Robin recently spent two weeks at Artscape Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island, dividing her time between writing new songs and looking for beavers.
Dorothea Paas

Dorothea Paas, a guitarist and classically-trained vocalist, creates songs with contemplative lyrics and undone instrumentations that never stand still. The lilt in her vocal tone is comforting and familiar, while her songwriting and arrangement take an exploratory approach to rock and folk sounds. Her intricate, thoughtful and heavy songs explore intimacy, anxiety, the body and beyond. This year, Dorothea and her band have been focusing on writing and arranging new material, honing in on tighter and more nuanced arrangements.