Go Long (!) – Strings Untied (Independent)
All three members of Ottawa’s Go Long (!), Danielle Allard, Lucas Haneman and Nicolas Crisafi, were making music individually for a decade or more before coming together to form their group. They quickly made a name for themselves on the Ontario live circuit, playing distinctive covers of popular songs and new, original material that gig-goers seemed to enjoy. Their wide variety of influences – they cite jazz, folk, alt. rock, metal, electronica, and hip-hop as primary inspirations – has led to sound and style they can call their own.
Combining favoured covers and their own material; their debut album combines their influences in an acoustic setting, and does so without losing sight of their own, distinct artistic vision. Beginning with the single “Hurricane”, its clever lyrics and banjo propulsion makes for a stirring introduction. Songwriters Allard and Haneman consistently get it right, uniting intelligent words with melodies that stick around. Allard’s a fine vocalist, whether she’s singing her own songs or other people’s, and both “Overwhelmed” and their take on Alannah Myles’ “Black Velvet” are standout tracks. Fans of Amy MacDonald, KT Tunstall and Edie Brickell’s early records should take note.