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18.5.08

Coral Egan




Coral Egan - My Favorite Distraction - 2004 - Justin Time

For those of us who like music that moves and modulates, Coral Egan’s My Favorite Distraction is a treat. In fact, the entire collection of 11 original songs can be heard as a protest against the tide of monophonic music that has crashed down over and disfigured our once favorite and familiar shores of sound. If Canadian winters are endless and unchanging, Egan’s music plays like spring, bursting with new life and exciting, unpredictable transitions. Mixing jazz with other genres, her music restores faith in composition where each song reveals the architecture upon which the fate of all lasting music depends. The writing, led by a highly developed creative impulse, can be edgy and restless, but always at the service of her emotions that she lays bare with refreshing subtlety and nuance. And if she is sometimes guilty of over-composing, the consolations are in abundance. Not yet 30, Egan has delivered a collection of compelling material that does us proud; just as we know that she’s only going to get better at what she already does well: compose and perform original music. © Robert J. Lewis,
http://www.artsandopinion.com/
You really should buy Coral Egan's "The Path Of Least Resistance" album. The lady is a breath of fresh air in the doldrums of what is classified as pop music today. Both these albums should be bought to promote Coral Egan's rare talent. (A.O.O.F.C).


TRACKS

1 State Of Grace
2 I Don't Think So
3 Sacrifice
4 Just Animals
5 Breathe
6 Lullaby Life
7 My Favorite Distraction
8 Here's Hoping
9 Fair-weather Friend
10 Idiotsyncrasies
11 Power

REVIEWS

"She says she finally found her place / It did not take a fortune, no just a pleasant pace." So begins Coral Egan's album My Favorite Distraction, released February 10 by Justin Time Records. And if this eclectic and compelling recording is any indication, Egan is certainly on her way to establishing her place in the Canadian music scene. But where, exactly, does she fit? Until now, Egan has been known in Quebec as a jazz vocalist, an easy and natural niche for her to fill as the daughter of Karen Young. Like the title she chose for her debut recording of jazz standards with guitarist Alex Cattaneo, she had certainly followed The Path of Least Resistance. But My Favorite Distraction could not be more different; it's a myriad of styles and genres comprising folk, reggae, pop, R&B, soul, and world beat, as well as jazz. Egan no longer wishes to be locked into the jazz vocalist category; her music is "without borders," she says, and "whatever demographic enjoys my music, they're the people I want to be playing to." Her new niche? Simply "Coral the singer/songwriter." The new space Coral Egan is creating for herself doesn't come without unforeseen challenges, however. Up until now, she says she always felt "an incredible sense of liberty in interpreting other people's songs," a sense now replaced by the weighty and restrictive responsibility of being true to herself in her own work (Egan wrote or co-wrote all 12 songs on her new album). In this recent process of establishing her own voice, the singer has discovered the paradoxical phenomenon of "freeing yourself from the melody you've written." This has proven difficult, but she feels that through recreating her own songs again and again in concert, she will eventually rediscover her former interpretive freedom, but with a new edge. In the meantime, she is working on "making the song the whole, rather than the singer," with raw emotions dictating all aspects of her music making, be they the poetic themes conveyed, the musical structures created or her interpretations of the material. As she goes further inward, Egan believes her music can only become more authentic, her contribution more distinct. "Intuition is the best way to express profound things," she claims. And this effusive 30-year old has a lot to express; in fact, Coral the singer/songwriter/philosopher might be a more accurate title for her. Her lyrics are generally earnest in tone, touching on themes ranging from political activism to more personal angst-ridden reflections. In her view, "change or resistance to change" acts like a common thread in all her poetry, a preoccupation that clearly mirrors her current artistic position. One can hear that, for example, in the politically charged refrain of the song Just Ani25mals when she intones, "My greatest fear is that all that's going on here/Will continue to flow as it has throughout time/My greatest wish is to be part of some great change." And such sentiments, it can be safely said, apply to her own career as well. For now, we will be watching for those great changes with interest, but in the meantime, Coral Egan's My Favorite Distraction seems like a good space to settle down in, at least for a while. © Lenore Alford / April 26, 2004, © La Scena Musicale, www.scena.org/lsm/sm9-7/Coral-Egan-en.htm

“Singer Coral Egan is getting a lot of media attention these days, but as she tells Mark Miller, she’s not letting it distract her ” - The Globe And Mail Justin Time Records was just one of the record companies interested in signing singer/songwriter Coral Egan. We’re very pleased that our offer prevailed; My Favourite Distraction is the exciting result of our labours. The Montreal-based artist’s first recording, The Path Of Least Resistance, revealed a great voice with a rare, resplendent phrasing style able to cast a fresh light on standards. With this new album, Coral Egan shows her highly personal approach to songwriting and reveals her talents as a complete artist. Involved in every aspect of the production, from the lyrics, the music and the arranging, Coral also plays both piano and guitar. But it’s the voice, first and foremost, that will captivate you. Coral Egan’s music was influenced by aspects of soul, reggae, folk, pop and jazz, creating a focused, fresh and innovative hybrid all her own. The daughter of singer Karen Young, Coral was from an early age immersed in music - and it shows. At eleven, she joined her mother on stage singing a Brazilian composition a cappella, and her first song-writing efforts came soon after. Regardless of the genre or the language of the song, Coral Egan charms her audience with her committment to excellence, authenticity and above all, her passion for music. © 1999 - 2007 : Distribution Fusion III Inc.

BIO

With a voice that glistens like a snowflake caught on a spider’s web in the late winter sun, warmed by a quilt of meandering musical threads that envelope even the most weary music fan, Coral Egan may well be Canada’s next international diva-in-waiting. Known predominantly in Quebec as a jazz vocalist, the release of My Favorite Distraction will serve as a captivating introduction for mainstream audiences to this beautiful and talented artist. Jazz, R&B, folk, pop, soul, reggae - Coral has explored them all, and it is that eclectic approach to music that has shaped the sounds found on My Favorite Distraction (Justin Time Records). Hers is a unique, hybrid style, accented by bittersweet melodies and a certain solemnity, but lifted by a healthy dose of humour and observation. The songs are incredibly personal, with lyrics that have something to say, and although rooted in her jazz heritage, Coral incorporates such a mélange of sounds on her first original recording that it makes it difficult to pigeonhole her to a particular musical genre. Produced by longtime collaborator Charles Papasoff, whom Coral met when she was 16 and has worked with ever since, and recorded in Montreal’s Studio Frisson, My Favorite Distraction is in every way Coral’s project and demonstrates her completeness as an artist. Coral wrote the lyrics, composed the music, participated in the arrangements and played both piano and guitar on the album. Although taking the leap to recording her own material came with some trepidation, she wholly embraced the process. “It’s definitely the most challenging thing I’ve done,” she claims, which is saying something when you consider that she has performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival, recorded a Jazz Box special for Musique Plus, and is a top-flight player on the Quebec Sr. beach volleyball tour. “People hearing me as a singer-songwriter is a lot more terrifying than people hearing me as a jazz singer.” Her longtime association with Papasoff and his understanding of her needs as an artist was both a comfortable and reassuring element in the studio. “Charles did a wonderful job of letting me find the styles and the colours that I wanted for the songs,” Coral states. “Neither of us had done anything like this project before so it was very much new territory and every day we were learning. We didn’t want to limit ourselves, and I’m not sure we would have known how to.”Unlike her first album, the 2002 Juno-nominated collection of jazz standards entitled The Path Of Least Resistance that was also recorded by Papasoff and completed in essentially a couple of weeks, the recording process for My Favorite Distraction ran from May-September 2003, including six-weeks of pre-production and nearly two months recording time. Many of the songs that would eventually appear on the album were drafted during the pre-production sessions, allowing for greater input from the musicians she worked with on the album. Working with a core group comprised of respected Montreal musicians Gilbert Fredette on drums, Remy Malo on bass guitar, and Guy Kaye on guitar, the songs were recorded digitally through an analog board, to give the final outcome “as organic a feel as possible,” Coral explains, and rather than treat individual tracks as a part of the project, they approached every song as its own entity, using the vocal and melodies to link the pieces. “We worked on each song in respect to its nature and didn’t necessarily focus on the continuity of the entire thing. Charles allowed me the room, the time and the space to really choose what I wanted for each song. I’m very easily influenced by the people I work with and he knows that so he really tried to give me the opportunity to get what I wanted to out of each song.”Although the inevitable comparisons to other artists expanding the reach of jazz-based music - Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Sade to name a few – are likely to be made, Coral is comfortable with the connection. “If I’m going to be related to them, if I’m going to be brought into the pop world by association, and because the music’s accessible enough, then I will consider myself extremely lucky. It’s not something that you can anticipate with this kind of album.”Growing up around music and the industry, it is not surprising her path has led Coral to this point. The daughter of well-known Quebec singer-songwriter-arranger Karen Young, who, while best known for her jazz recordings, over her career has increasingly incorporated a mélange of sounds from around the globe, creating an diverse and constantly evolving style of music. Coral drifted into music naturally, or as she puts it, “I always did it by interest and occasion.” She began singing occasionally with her mother in concert when she was only 11 years old, and was performing on her own by 16, but it would be more than a decade after her initial taste of stage life before she would see the inside of a recording studio for the first time. “My mother didn’t try and turn me into a star. In fact, she was probably a little wary of it,” Coral says. Instead, she took her time and moved forward with pursuing her passion at a pace that made sense for her. The added maturity borne of having been involved in the business since such a young age brings an ageless beauty to her work that is captured in the grooves of each track on My Favorite Distraction. “I always wanted to do music for the enjoyment of it,” she explains. “The last year has been incredibly enjoyable, and also incredibly committed. I’ve finally realized what I have to gain from immersing myself in this. I look at this as a crossroads, a beginning for me. Where I want to go is limitless if I’m given the opportunity.” [ (Bio info courtesy of the Justin Time Records website). From www.vaniercollege.qc.ca/ All rights reserved. Copyright Cégep Vanier College. ]

3 comments:

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Anonymous said...

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A.O.O.F.C said...

Hey! Thank you! You're v. welcome. Come back soon!