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Highlights of the ECMAs 

From industry nominee and cool lady Adria Young

click to enlarge Les Hôtesses
  • Les Hôtesses

Holy smokes! St. John’s, Newfoundland was an amazing host for East Coast Music Week and the annual East Coast Music Awards! It was an honour and pleasure to be among some of the region’s most talented artists, publicists, industry pros and journalists. Congrats to Stephen Cooke for the Media Person of the Year award, and thanks to everyone who voted for me in that category! And congrats to everyone!



The ECMAs are a great opportunity to discover new music and experience some crisp-sounding performances (shout out to the sound techs). Under the guidance of ECMA staff (who did an amazing job with organization and support this weekend), here are a few of my favourite #ECMA2015 moments:



Cyndi Cain: I saw two sets by Halifax’s honey bee of soul and both were hip-grooving and body-moving. Cain is energetic, sensual, and exciting with an amazing full-band and an even sassier attitude. Her home-style jam, “Soul Food” from her 2013 same-titled album, gives Nova Scotia some southern flavour, and the range of passion that Cain has for her craft is exceeded only by her vocals. I was wowed.



The Town Heroes: Instead of reading scripted thank yous when accepting one of their three ECMAs, The Town Heroes rattled off a grocery list that included Pogos, cheezies and toilet paper, which sounds like Cape Breton to me. The duos several performances rocked the Rock, but a Saturday morning solo acoustic set by Mike Ryan stripped the Townies’ large, loud songs down to whispers, which gave the tunes a whole different texture and dimension, and which was also very soothing to my hangover. 



Mo Kenney: Our Dartmouth girl has to be one of my favourite singer-songwriters of all time. Her Friday night set at the Delta Ballroom featured a sludgy track from her imaginary band, Creep and The Pervs, and I think Kenney would absolutely kill a punk band (please do it, Mo!). She also played heart-stoppers “Sucker” and Mardeen’s “Telephones,” and she’s hilarious on and offstage. She’s so rad. 



Soho Ghetto: Halifax five-piece Soho Ghetto was the biggest surprise of my ECMA experience with a slate of classic pop tones, creative riffs, the piano-stylings of Leanne Hoffman (Magnolia), and frontman Marc-Antoine Robertson’s bombastic personality that caught a lot of attention. Familiar and yet totally unique, Soho whipped out their secret weapon when Robertson spoke and sang in French. C'était chaud. 


Les Hôtesses d'Hilaire: This Francophone ensemble is a mix of Andrew W.K., American Beauty, and Angie’s Show Place Moncton. Les Hôtesses seem to be both an art-rock band and alt-rock band. Their ECMA awards show performance included topless petal-tossing and heavy classic rock flair. It was sick!



Overall, ECMW 2015 was fantastic and inspiring. So many regional artists work incredibly hard with incredible passion and it rules. See you at ECMA 2016 in Sydney, Cape Breton, Canada’s Pogo capital.

click to enlarge Les Hôtesses
  • Les Hôtesses

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