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The Once


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About The Once

Over the past five years, the Once has been quietly making a name for themselves in their native Canada. The Newfoundland-based band has collected a trio of Canadian Folk Music Awards, been named Newfoundland & Labrador Art Council’s Artist of the Year and earned a Juno nomination for best Roots/Traditional album. In the coming year, however, the rest of the world will get to discover the joyous, harmony-rich acoustic music that have made them such favorites in their homeland.

This summer, the trio (Geraldine Hollett, Andrew Dale and Phil Churchill) released Departures – their first album on Nettwerk Records – as well as embarked on a world tour opening for Passenger, beginning in America, before heading to Europe and then Australia and Asia.

Departures proves to be a fitting title for this album. The songs themselves often touch upon a sense of departure - whether it is in a poignant tribute to someone who has died (The Town Where You Lived), a vivid tale of murder (The Nameless Murderess), a song to a loved one left behind (the on-the-road love letter All The Hours) or a tune about leaving someone (the breakup ode Fool For You). Although the songs come from different band members, the shared lyrical themes isn't surprising since the three, as Churchill notes, have spent many years together, travelling in the same small van and going through similar life experiences. The Once also operate very much as a democratic, collaborative unit so that everyone contributes to each other’s’ tunes.

Although the band’s name derives from an old Newfoundland expression that means right away or imminently, the Once actually evolved rather gradually as a band. It wasn’t really until 2009, when they made their first album, that the band became their main, full-time concern.

The Once will play Brighton and London in April 2015.