Ontario’s Kelly McMichael has been played in some synth-sational Canadian bands like Gentleman Reg and Rouge. Her sound is a modernized spin on Liz Phair (when she was awesome) or Sleater-Kinney, and other 90’s Riot Grrrl acts. It’s a throwback, but with a contemporary appeal. Her voice sounds like someone mixed Sarah Harmer with Sharon Van Etton. Which is nice.
McMichael moved here about a year ago with her musician boyfriend (and local fellow) Daniel Banoub. Daniel had a chance to do the second year of his PhD here. “I had visited a few times before,” Kelly says, “and thought it would be an alright place to spend a school year. Plus I was looking forward to being a part of the fun and supportive music scene.”
Kelly finished up her own art degree years ago, at the University of Guelph, and decided to get back to focussing on her music. Her first band, David and Kelly, won the Peterborough Folk Festival’s Emerging Artist Award. Another act of hers, the electro-pop group Rouge, played several Canadian music festivals, and toured regularly between Ontario and Newfoundland.
Kelly has also performed with acts like Ohbijou, Sarah Harmer, Hidden Cameras, and Forest City Lovers. After a stint in Manchester, England, she moved back home and put together Kelly McMichael and The Gloss. Though the band stayed behind when she came here, a pool of locals became the new Gloss, including her boyfriend, as well as Steve Maloney on drums.
You can catch them Saturday night at The Ship, alongside Thom and the Tomcats + Ilaa Nicholl. If you’re unfamiliar with Kelly’s music, it’s been a welcome addition in diversifying the local music scene, which is a great music scene, but has relatively little in the way of a bridge between quieter and louder breeds of music. Stream her EP, Liminal, below. It was recorded with Ohbijou’s James Bunton.