State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Canadian Artist Spotlight: City and Colour

Since starting school here at Penn State, it has come to my attention that many are unaware of just how many ridiculously talented musicians Canada has produced. Before you ask, the answer is yes, there are other successful Canadian musicians besides Justin Bieber and Celine Dion. And no, I am not going to apologize for the Biebs because whether you love him or hate him, you have to admit he’s talented. Now, since coming to this realization, I have decided to start a new segment where I will introduce one of my fellow Canadians at least once a week. These artists may be wildly successful or completely unknown; maybe I’ll surprise you by featuring one of your favorite artists that just so happens to be Canadian and you didn’t even know it. In these features, I’ll provide you with some background information on the musician/band, and showcase a few of my favorite tracks. I hope you come to enjoy my Canadian Artist Spotlight sessions and perhaps learn a little more about your northern neighbors.

I will start you all off with an easy, relatively popular musician before taking you into the depths of totally unknown indie artists. My inaugural artist is Dallas Green, more popularly known as City and Colour. You may know him from the post-hardcore band called Alexisonfire, where he was a vocalist, guitarist, and pianist. But seriously, if you don’t know City and Colour…where have you been? The alias City and Colour was inspired by Green’s own name: Dallas, a city in Texas, and Green, a colour. Genius, right? The musician was born in 1980 in the city of St. Catherines, Ontario. For those of you who don’t know your Canadian geography, that’s by Niagara Falls and is northwest of Buffalo, NY. I’d classify City and Colour as folk rock, acoustic rock, or just music that’s so beautiful you want to cry. When his debut album Sometimes was released in 2005, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. I definitely did not expect an album full of soothing, beautiful, acoustic tracks which is exactly what he delivered. Green’s work under City and Colour is an extreme contrast to the intense, hardcore sounds of Alexisonfire. Since his debut album, Green has released two more entitled, Bring Me Your Love and Little Hell. Each and every album is full of melancholy acoustic tracks with lyrics full of heart. He has received much recognition for his music and has even won three Juno Awards (Canada’s very own Music Awards which is actually kind of a big deal for Canadian artists). These days, Dallas Green can be found playing shows on the European leg of his tour. Guess we won’t be seeing a new album for a little while, but I am definitely looking forward to what his next one will bring!

Below are a few of my favorite City and Colour tracks, one from each album. Be sure to check out the rest of his music if you like what you hear!