Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Canada's Chic Gamine Get UK Tour & Single Release

Chic Gamine Pic
Chic Gamine Pic

Canada is really hot, hot, hot right now for class music acts hitting the global stage and making a huge impact across many genres. The latest maple leaf exports are Chic Gamine, who release a single here on 1st December and embark on a UK tour on the same date.

The five piece – four female singers and a male percussionist - focus on acapella and really mix up the musical styles, straddling R&B, nouveau-pop and vintage soul. In Canada they won a Juno Award (Canada’s Grammies) for their first album, and were nominated for their second album this year. They've caused a storm at SXSW in Texas for the last two years in a row. They were invited to perform at the last winter Olympics held in Vancouver in 2010. The great Mavis Staples has compared them to the early Staple Singers. The latest album was mixed by famed producer Rick Rubin's Grammy-winning team. They have performed twice on the iconic US radio show "A Prairie Home Companion."

Described as “the enigmatic soul collective Chic Gamine,” their debut UK tour kicks off on the 1st December at London’s Rich Mix – one of 3 London dates – and continues to Brighton, Leeds, Manchester and Dublin. They support US jazz-soul infused band Lake Street Dive on five of the seven dates. To coincide with the tour Chic Gamine release their first UK single, "Shake Off Your Worries," on December 1st. For the video, the band strips it down to the basics: Four voices, minimal percussion, and that's it. Filmed at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis, MN, the video offers a unique fly-on-the-wall perspective into Chic Gamine's world. It captures the spirit of the stomp and call, gospel-infused single.

Formed in 2007, almost immediately out the gate, Chic Gamine (loosely translated as mischievous young thing) took the roots/vintage soul scene by storm. In 2008 came their self-titled Canadian debut, which went on to win a Juno Award for Best Roots Album of 2009. In 2010, they released their sophomore Canadian release, and were rewarded with a second Juno nomination, again for Roots Album of the Year. 2011 was spent touring intensely, playing U.S. and Canadian music festivals as well as a six-month, coast to coast tour with Marc Broussard. For the album "Closer," Chic Gamine enlisted Rick Rubin studio virtuosos Andrew Scheps, Russell Elevado and Dana Nielsen, whose previous work with Justin Timberlake, Jay Z and Alicia Keys delicately melds a crisp, studio sheen with the warm, intimate harmonies and naturally vibrant soundscape of Chic Gamine.

"Closer" finds the band mining dark themes, all the while retaining the band's optimistic rhythm and swing. "I would say that it’s very autobiographical of each of the individuals in the band respectively," says Chic Gamine. "Recurring themes would for sure be heartbreak and figuring out life as a 20-30 something, but also there is hopefulness and a childlike playfulness in the way that those themes are represented, so it’s not just one big sad record. We’re good at disguising really sad songs by making them more up-tempo so you can still dance... even when you’re sad!"

The UK tour dates:
1 December LONDON / Rich mix
2 December LONDON / Slaughtered Lamb
8 December BRIGHTON / The Prince Albert*
9 December LONDON / The Borderline*
11 December LEEDS / Hifi Club*
12 December MANCHESTER / Sound Control*
13 December IRELAND, DUBLIN / Workman's Club*
*supporting Lake Street Dive

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