May 27th 2023

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Lia Kohl and Macie Stewart are a Chicago-based duo creating freely improvised music that explores rich harmonies, timbres, and textures. Starting from the quartet of their two voices, cello, and violin, the duo’s varied sound centers curiosity and an uncanny receptivity to each other. They have recorded two albums, Pocket Full of Bees (2019) and Recipe for a Boiled Egg (2020), both on Astral Spirits. Downbeat magazine calls their music “more filling than a four course meal”.

Our earliest exposures to music can often be the most formative. For Toronto-based artist Eliza Niemi, that influence came from her Dad who taught her the basics of music at home. Playing together by ear instilled in her craft a sense of playfulness, and a focus on making music with loved ones. Those honed skills make Eliza an ideal collaborator: starting in Halifax’s rich music scene with the mid-2010s groups New Love Underground and Mauno, and later in her role supporting Jonah Yano, Le Ren, Poolblood and Evan J. Cartwright.

For over a decade, Dorothea Paas has honed her unique, prismatic style of folk songcraft, and has lent her talents as a guitarist and vocalist to artists like Jennifer Castle and U.S. Girls. Her debut album, Anything Can’t Happen (2021), was described by Exclaim as “Joni Mitchell fronting Shellac at a coffee shop”. Paas is now working on a second album while continuing to engage wholeheartedly in Toronto’s independent music community.

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