Sunday, April 1, 2012

CMW: Sidney York

If someone asked you to differentiate between an oboe and a bassoon, would you know which is which? Well, Calgary-based band Sidney York hopes that you do after seeing them perform.
Sidney York came to Toronto during CMW to showcase and they were excited to get to experience it for the first time as a group. The trio of classically-trained musicians, Brandi Sidoryk (lead vocalist, keyboards), Krista Wodelet (backup vocals, bassoon) and Sheryl Reinhardt (backup vocals, oboe), has been performing all across Canada and their unique instrumentation sets them apart from your typical pop band.

What also sets them apart is the amount of education and experience they’ve gained over the years. Sidoryk has a master’s degree in opera, Wodelet has a master’s degree in classical bassoon, and Reinhardt not only has a bachelor’s degree in oboe but is also a music teacher.

The three of them are “classical musicians who are in love with indie music," Sidoryk explains. "We like to break that super rigid classical mold and have a little bit of fun on stage."
“We’re way too educated,” says Wodelet jokingly.

“We’re like those Catholic school girls who leave home for the first time who do everything they’re not supposed to do. That’s us on stage. We’re jumping around and we’re like we’re never allowed to jump around when we’re playing classical music!” says Sidoryk.So it’s nice for us and it’s a really fun outlet for us and as a way for us to fuse our two worlds.”

Although they are originally from Calgary, the group is split apart for most of the time; with Wodelet living in Toronto, Reinhardt in Calgary and Sidoryk mainly in Vancouver (however, they have connections at WestJet, so they travel a lot!).

But from my interview with the girls, their chemistry together is undeniable.

Q: Being from Alberta, how has that influenced you as musicians?

Brandi: The Alberta music scene is a bit fresher and younger, relative to the rest of Canada. It’s more of a budding scene and there is still a lot of room for growth. But I think that’s really helped us in a way. The scene is small and you get to know everybody. We have the benefits of travelling elsewhere and spreading the Alberta music scene farther than just Alberta. And I think that’s starting to happen with a lot of Alberta musicians.

Q: What do you want your audience to walk away with after seeing you perform?

Sheryl: Hopefully they’ve had a really great time. And hopefully they’ll remember something from the performance, a memory of a moment or a song that really spoke to them and connected with them.

Brandi: We want them to leave having a good time. And knowing that we are serious musicians, we always have been, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. And that’s pretty obvious on stage, we love to have fun. And we want our audience to have fun with us, not just in front of us, but with us. Our fans are our friends too. As soon as someone becomes our fan, they are now our friend. So that’s really important to us. Oh and we also want them to know the names of an oboe and a bassoon.

Krista: I always hope they’re inspired by the sounds we make. We always get some weird looks when we’re setting up our instruments. So we hope that after our show people come away thinking that was really cool and these instruments really do have a place in pop music!

Q: Who are some of your musical inspirations?

Brandi: We’re very influenced by our Canadian contemporaries in this industry. I feel like our peers influence us a lot and people that we admire in Canadian music. We listen to a lot of Canadian music and we’re proud of it. We love Feist. We love Metric. We love Mother Mother, they’re friends of ours and we love their music. Those are all bands that we respect in this industry and we love their music.

Check out "Dick and Jane" - one my favourite songs from Sidney York!

For the rest of the summer, Sidney York will be doing the festival circuit and working on more music, so be sure to follow them on Facebook ( and Twitter (@SidneyYork)!

And here's their most recent music video for "Cold in Here" off the album Apocalyptic Radio Cynic:

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

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