Canadian Music Week Follow-Up: Long Story Short and John Nathaniel

Connection makes the world go round.  Through my love of music, and particularly in the last 5 years through social networking, I’ve been able to hear music and meet people that never would have happened before that.  On March 12, I took in an evening at a small club in Toronto called The Central for a brief set by Canadian/US duo Long Story Short accompanied by their producer and co-songwriter John Nathaniel.  Here are my comments about recent releases by both.

Long Story Short “What A Scene”

Montrealer Daniel Luka and L.A.’s Nicky James are Long Story Short, and have been writing songs together for about the last year and a half.  Their debut independent release What A Scene is thoughtful adult contemporary pop with an edge, featuring songs that would not be at all out of place next to ones from Lifehouse, The Fray, fellow Montrealers Mobile, and The Script.  The CD kicks off hard and in your face with the rockin’ “Fall Awake” and “Caved In”, certainly one of the record’s best tracks which won second place in the Canadian Radiostar songwriting competition during Canadian Music Week.  Softer and romantic songs find their way into the music later on, such as the touching “What Mattered Most” (my favourite song, (which Daniel said began as a melody when he was in the shower – had to get out to write it all down!), “Forever” (which Daniel says has already been played at weddings!), and “Someone”.  The duo both play piano and sing, with Daniel’s lead vox reminiscent especially in his lower range from songs by Howie Day (“Collide”, “She Says”) from a few years back.   All in all, with sparkling production by John Nathaniel, What A Scene comes off as slick and savvy.  It’s available on iTunes Canada and you can visit the duo’s Facebook page right here.  Hear “What Mattered Most” and see a pic of the duo below.

John Nathaniel featuring Phoebe Sharp “Undecided”

Montreal singer/multi-instrumentalist/ and award-winning producer (Pat Groulx, Marie-Mai) John Nathaniel was one of the first indie artists that I encountered when I joined MySpace back in its 2006-08 heyday.  John had already used that site in his campaign to promote music that would end up on two records, Crash and Burn as well as Shades Of Grey, in 2008, and he acquired over 100,000 friends which led to numerous fan sites being developed throughout the world.  This led to a third album, Overdrive.  Most recently, John has issued a single with U.S. singer Phoebe Sharp called “Undecided”.  Much different from his quieter songs (“Ever” is my favourite and reached #6 on my chart in 2008) or Collective Soul-inspired rock (such as “Crash and Burn”), “Undecided” starts off as a rocker that whirls into a duet that has this Big Movie Feel – you can visualize it being played over the opening credits of a major movie, reminding me of songs like Train’s “Ordinary” (from “Spider-Man 2”).  All of John’s records are available through iTunes Canada, and you can visit his MySpace site right here.  Listen to this interesting pairing below and see a pic of John below.

Although their set was sabotaged by poor sound, Long Story Short have great potential, and it was terrific to spend some time with Dan, Nicky, and John afterwards.  Sometimes I think it’s best to see sets like this first in a small club setting. I was also very pleased with calibre of talent that Canadian Music Week put together for this evening.  Enjoyable sets by 17 year old Maddy Rodriguez, Montreal’s Matt Stern, and Vancouver’s Steph MacPherson all followed.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] may recall that I blogged about Montreal/L.A. duo Long Story Short earlier this year, who have debuted with their album What A Scene which includes the song “Caved In”. […]

  2. […] Story Short for a good part of the year since I met Daniel Luka and Nicky James back in February, and told you about their debut album What A Scene.  The deluxe version of What A Scene will be on iTunes very soon, and will include their latest […]

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