“Amazingly charming,” – Don Ross, Canadian guitar icon
“The best of both folk and jazz,” - AOL Spinner
“The Jessica Stuart Few’s playful indie rock could be one of the most charming takes on the genre to come along in some time.” – Canadian Musician Magazine
You wouldn’t expect it from a white girl who grew up in Vancouver, but the Japanese ‘koto’ is in Jessica’s blood. Growing up in a household with a koto master for a mother, Stuart also lived in Japan as a child, and came upon the traditional 13-stringed floor harp honestly, taking lessons with her mother’s sensei. Now, following extensive Canadian touring plans in support of their new release Two Sides to Every Story (March 12, 2013), Jessica and The `Few will head abroad for their first tour of Japan in fall 2013.
Jessica Stuart’s deep musical history and love of guitar heavy rock and soul music are put on equal footing with the Canadian singer-songwriter tradition. On Two Sides to Every Story, Stuart exhibits a pitch-perfect vocal sensibility strikingly reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, with stunning harmonies proudly laid free of auto-tune. Her innovative take on the Japanese koto, and her exceptional guitar work are both inspired. Performing and recording alongside Dan Fortin on double bass (Serena Rider, Bernice) and Tony Nesbitt-Larking on drums (The Most Serene Republic, Tanika Charles), Stuart and her long-time band mates are all vital players in Toronto’s indie music community. The ‘Few’s instrumentation is one-of-a-kind, and Stuart’s approach to songwriting is fresh, taking influence from folk, soul, rock and jazz, while creating a distinctive new sound that has earned the trio main stage performances at some of Canada’s top festivals (North By Northeast, Canadian Music Week, TD Toronto Jazz Festival, Islands Folk Festival, Vancouver Chutzpah! Festival, to name a few). The band also received two 2012 Toronto Independent Music Award nominations (Best Live Performance, Best Recording), and continues to enjoy their songs and videos in regular rotation on CBC Radio and Bravo! TV.
Produced by Jessica and long-time collaborator Mischa Chillak (K-OS, Herb Alpert), and mixed by Ian Bodzasi (Sam Roberts, Hey Rosetta), Two Sides to Every Story was recorded almost entirely live-off-the-floor, capturing the warm sound and charismatic energy of the band’s live shows. The album transports the listener – it’s storytelling set to music that takes surprising turns, all the while maintaining sing-along hooks and harmonies that you can’t forget. Aesthetically, this album is part of an ongoing collaboration between Jessica and noted Japanese-Canadian visual artist, Takashi Iwasaki, whose playful original artwork on the recording’s packaging is the perfect visual accompaniment to the listening experience. The two have developed a routine of sharing their art and music back and forth, inspiring each other’s projects, and fittingly, this album also features an art insert coupling Takashi’s images with Jessica’s words.
On March 12, 2013, ‘The Few’ launched their sophomore album, Two Sides To Every Story, the long-awaited follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2010 debut, Kid Dream. Musically innovative and lyrically refreshing, it also features a brilliant koto rendition of the EurythmicsHere Comes the Rain`. The album muses with the theme of dichotomies; work vs. play, right vs. wrong. Lead single ,’Don’t Ya’ was already chosen as a Song Of The Week by CBC Radio One, and called “the perfect 3-minute pop song” by music critic, Errol Nazareth. Check out the first two singles and their accompanying music videos, ‘Don’t Ya’ and ‘Winter Warm’.