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The Good Weirdness of Ronley Teper


If Joanna Newsom gave birth to Tom Waits' illegitimate daughter and then refused to breastfeed her, the girl might grow up sounding a lot like Toronto's Ronley Teper. When I first heard the buzz about Teper, people told me she was weird - good, but definitely weird. Imagine, if you will, Kate Bush in her youth in a more rootsy, acoustic setting. Pretty cool, actually.

I recently had the opportunity to distract Teper from mixing sessions for her third album just long enough for a quick chat about her music. Like the aforementioned Mr. Waits, Teper writes in persona, telling stories "in character." She explained that she pretty much has four main characters, each one expressed in a unique voice, that come up from time to tell their strange little tales. I personally like the breathy voice employed in the song "Lovers on Tuesday," a quirky little piece about why the rest of the week just doesn't seem to work out.

A constant songwriter, she's managed to amass quite a stockpile of material for this album. In fact, it might even end up being two records, if not three (she's presently undecided). Evidently Teper's got her work cut out for her.

The good news is that you can hear many of the new songs on Thursday, December 27th at the Gladstone Hotel Melody Bar from 6-9. The fourth and last in a series of monthly shows, this holiday celebration sees Teper joined by Christine Bougie on guitar, Chris Banks on bass, and Roman Tome on percussion. The band has three 45 minute sets to fill, which should leave plenty of time for jamming out as yet unreleased material.

Photo by John Davidson


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