The annual music industry festival and conference Canadian Music Week brought with it a slew of incredible talent, from Canada, Australia and around the world. One act that caught our eye in particular ventured to the Toronto based event from Dublin, Ireland, and made a splash with a series of showcase performances, while also closing the Canadian Live Music Industry Awards. It was here I saw the band perform, and was immediately struck by the five piece’s musicality (cello and all), the lead’s voice and stage presence and the sheer pop beauty of the song itself.
The group, who call themselves Elm, clearly know how to write a tune. They also know how to sell themselves to an industry audience – I was impressed to see lead singer Dylan Walsh walking around after their performance, handing out Elm seeds and cards promoting the band. We briefly got to talking, too, and from the limited information he passed along, it felt like this was a group on the cusp of something really special.
Though their latest music isn’t yet available, a quick search of their website takes you to a couple of older tunes… “Concentrate” and “Amends”. In “Concentrate”, you’ll note Walsh’s stunning voice, initially set against a stark, beautiful musical background. The song then builds in a simple, but beautiful way that casts our mind to some of the best Sigur Ros moments, before it’s stripped right back again.
“Amends”, strips things back even further, with Walsh’s voice front and centre, against a cello and a light drum beat. Again, the song explodes towards its final breaths.
Both songs – which were released almost a year ago – are starkly different to the song they played at the Canadian Live Music Industry Awards – which was a rollicking pop gem, though it carried a similar strength in vocals and musicality. So with music like that (and assuredly more on the way), while the stars seem to align, Elm are looking destined to be the next big thing. Keep an eye on the band on their official website HERE. We can’t wait to hear what comes next.