Trent Severn delivers modern Canadiana

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

The album artwork was done by Fort St. John's Megan Brooks, and the track numbers are featured on instagram photos taken by people from across Canada.

Made up of Manning, and fellow Stratford, Ontario natives Emm Gryner and Laura C. Bates, Trent Severn aims to capture Canadian folklore, and pay tribute to the country's legends. The album is purposefully simple sounding, with no doubled tracks, as Manning says it was important to the the group that they sound the same live as on their recording.

"We just really got down to what we all wanted out of music, and that we want to perform a show that people are going to have a good time at, sing about things they know about, and make sure the CDs sound like the concerts."

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Common goals and experience in the business is what Manning says makes the newly formed group work. Instead of nitpicking over album fonts or perfecting production, they focused on the writing.

"I think that we have enough experience with making recordings and releasing records to know what's important and what's not, and what's in your control and what's not," explains Manning. "Most everything is out of your control so you have about 10 per cent of the things that happen on your record that you can make decisions about."

To them, it was important to make something truly Canadian. In fact, it's so Canadian, that it will be sent up to the International Space Station for the astronauts to listen to, as Chris Hadfield, who becomes the first Canadian Commander this December, is from the same hometown as Gryner.

Manning explains that what she's known of the music industry in the past, it's all about getting a hit in the U.S. or overseas, and not about simply entertaining your own community.

"We didn't write one second of this record hoping to have a hit in the United States," she says. "I really think the present mentality of it really sets it apart from a lot of other work of the past 10, 20 years. This is where the standpoint for this record came from: how are we going to get on stage and wake up our audience out of a coma and have a great time and send them home with a record that sounds like our concert?"

In concert and on their album you can hear Manning on the guitar or banjo, Gryner on a bass and stomp box and Bates on a fiddle, with all tracks written by the trio themselves. The album also features a one-track guest appearance by Joel Plaskett and additional drums by Fort St. John's Dave Tolley.


To celebrate its release today, an informal listening party will be held from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Whole Wheat & Honey Cafe, where the album will be played in its entirety. In addition to feedback on the album itself, Trent Severn would also like to hear of other "Canadian" stories. Included in each album, which will be for sale at the listening party, is a postcard that listeners can send in their own ideas for songs on.

To listen to Trent Severn's first single, Snowy Soul, click here.

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