February 22, 2011
By Lauren Mulcahy
It started out as a quiet Tuesday evening at The Media Club in Vancouver B.C. however it didn’t last for long. First on tonight’s bill was acoustic, folk artist Jonas Shandel. Shandel is a Vancouver local and best known for his work in Canadian band, Headwater. But now after releasing a 7 track self titled EP in 2009, Shandel is branching out on his own.
Shandels set started out a bit on the calm side, playing to a crowd no bigger than thirty. But despite how unnerving it may seem, he made the most out of it. Shandels songs The Difter and All Good Things are the kind that makes you long for warm summer days and carefree afternoons. He relates to the crowd by drawing inspiration from everyday life, especially Facebook creeping as he mentioned. Listening to them in an intimate setting couldn’t have been better.
Afterwards, headlining band of the evening, The Heartbroken took the stage. Damhnait Doyle, Peter Fusco, Stuart Cameron and Blake Manning who make up this Ontario band describe themselves as “Whether they’re on guitar, piano, mandolin, drums, banjo, bass or monosynth, it doesn’t matter who’s playing what, they are lungs to heart and heart to blood” And after seeing their set, I wholeheartedly agree.
The Heartbroken’s name alone can essentially sum up the power and emotion behind their songs. With songs about troubling past relationships that come off as raw and real, they’re songs that are extremely relatable and each song is it’s own a story that keeps you wanting to listen to from beginning to end.
When front woman Dahmnait Doyle rang out her first two notes, the strength in her voice alone brought life into the crowd. Their first song, Tonight Tonight, was a stunning opener that gave the crowd a feel for the style of the band; however it set the bar high for what songs were to come later that night. The Heartbroken’s set list only got better as it went on, emotional ballad, Save Yourself, a song about toxic relationships and abuse, held such strong lyrics it brought a wave of silence across the crowd, even bringing one audience member to tears. The Heartbroken continued to play tracks off their album, titled Tonight, Tonight for the rest of the evening.
The Heartbroken are an extremely talented Canadian band that you need to be on the lookout for. Although their Canadian tour is now wrapping up, I am certain they will be back.