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No One ‘Matches’ Better than Tragedy Ann

Tragedy Ann is Liv Cazzola and Braden Phelan: two voices together in such harmony that they must be in love. Their first full-length album, Matches, was released September 21 and features 11 tracks with rich and expertly weaved instrumentation and a mix between heartfelt and tongue-in-cheek lyrics.

“This one definitely feels like a fall album to me, cozy and homey,” said vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Liv Cazzola. The songs were selected from a pool of material the two had written since releasing their debut EP in 2016. The Guelph-based pair have been touring extensively and even met their producer, James Paul, while on the road.

“He was running sound for us at a show at the Painted Lady in Toronto and it was some of the best onstage sound we had,” explained vocalist and guitarist Braden Phelan, “so we told him that and he really dug our tunes.” A year later, the duo reached out to Paul to record and produce their album. Paul’s experience and expertise guided the band to draw connections between the songs and uncover the underlying themes that bound them together.

“That was something that James was so great for,” said Phelan, “finding those connections, because to us they’re very unique pieces and it’s harder to draw those themes. There ended up being a lot of contemplating loss and loneliness and grief and how we cope with that. One of the big conclusions that we come to in the album is that the help and support of loved ones is so paramount in those struggles and challenging times.”

The album spans several musical genres and many different instruments, but remains firmly rooted in the tradition of the singer-songwriter. “My favourite song to record was ‘Holy Water’ because I was able to explore instruments that I played in a new way,” said Cazzola. “I played singing saw and piano parts and we got to go into my mom’s classroom and record her students singing some important poignant lines. Our friend, Jillian Sauerteig, arranged some beautiful cello on that song. We had a super old orchestral drum. It was really fun to craft. I really like the feeling of bringing out the things that I see that are heart-filled and beautiful.”

For Phelan, his pick from the album is ‘Regulars’, “I’m really proud of how much we were able to say in so few words – a satisfyingly succinct tune.”

Tragedy Ann performs at Mahtay Cafe with Joe Lapinski. Doors are at 7:00PM on Saturday, October 6, 2018. $10 at the door.

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