Few can deny that the Canadian country music landscape is largely a male-dominated business. Toronto group Ladies Of The Canyon stand an excellent chance to dramatically change that landscape though. Their latest record Haunted Woman (released in June) sees the group mine territory previously covered by band favorites like Fleetwood Mac and The Band with gorgeous harmonies as an added bonus. Lady Maia Davies, whom The MusicNerd Chronicles had the pleasure of speaking with in September, takes lead vocals on the album’s title track that would have Tammy Wynette smiling down from heaven upon the band.
“From the time we met to deciding to form a band, we had all worked at various bars, playing in different bands,” Davies says. “We all really liked and respected one another’s music and gradually, we each started playing with each other’s bands. The harmonies that we sing arose from the fact that we were instrumentally limited in the early days. It was the best way that we knew to accompany one another, by singing harmonies.”
Though she doesn’t outright deny bands like The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac being influential upon their music, Davies says it is more a matter of being on common ground with those legendary acts as opposed to drawing direct influence from them:
“I think that if you put four acoustic guitars together with a four-part harmony, you are going to start sounding like acoustic-folk music no matter who or what you’re inspired by. The Eagles influence is definitely prevalent within the band but is also a good example on where we don’t happen to agree on everything,” she says.
Haunted Woman was produced by fellow Canadian Colin Cripps, whom Davies gushes about having had the opportunity to work with.
“He definitely knows a lot about the kind of music that our writing tends to reference. He definitely helped us perfect the live recording style which isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do, especially when you’re not used to it. He had incredibly inspired ideas and was so extremely patient in the studio; working with him was life changing for the band.”
Though the group had previously released a four song EP prior to the release of Haunted Woman, Davies says that one of the group’s biggest promotional boosts came from Apple’s iTunes who featured one of the band’s songs as their renowned Single Of The Week, available for free download to anyone with an iTunes account. Even though Davies doesn’t share exact numbers of downloads they received, the publicity arising from it was good enough for them.
“We are all big fans of iTunes and are always checking out their recommendations and their single of the week. So to have our band plastered all over iTunes for a week was almost shocking,” she laughs.
“Really though, it is such a great way to discover new music. We all have iPods and iPhones and so whenever we’re on tour, it is very common for us to be buying music to check out.
“And though we all have iPods, we also have extensive vinyl collections at home. Quite the dichotomy we have going on but nothing beats the sound and feel of vinyl.”
Check out the band’s video for Follow Me Down below: