Local female folk trio, The Musettes, have had some major successes since they first started playing together in the music room at Canterbury High School.
Shortly after forming in 2010, their eclectic sound won them the Galaxie Rising Stars Award, giving them the opportunity to play at the Ottawa Folk Fest that same year.
Since then, they have gone on to share the stage with some big name Canadian artists, such as folk star Serena Ryder and Juno nominated, Annabelle Chvostek, a former member of The Wailin’ Jenny’s.
But the past few years have been a bit of a winding road for the band. The departure of founding member, Laura Inostroza, left the trio short a Musette. But it did not leave them short on inspiration.
After receiving a FACTOR grant, the two remaining founding members — fiddler Meaghan LaGrandeur and guitarist Rachel Harrison — began recording their first EP, titled Wanderlust, which will be released in spring 2014.
“It’s a very minimalist, but very well done — I think anyway — collection of songs,” said Harrison. “We really wanted to capture the feel of our live show and get that kind of energy that we have there. So we’ve got some really great foot-stompin’, hand-clappin’, head-bangin’ songs — as head-banging as folk can be anyway.”
Jonathan Chandler, who is the front man for the Ottawa-based indie band Amos the Transparent, produced the album in his basement studio.
“It’s really cool,” said Chandler about The Musettes sound. “It’s really refreshing too. They’re educated girls, so they really know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.”
Lora Bidner, who has toured Ontario and the Maritimes as a solo artist, joined the band in the summer of 2013, near the end of the recording process.
They did not have to search far and wide for their newest member — Bidner is from the same talented group of friends who attended Canterbury.
According to Chandler it is this talent, coupled with their work ethic that will allow the band to “be wherever they want to be in five years.”
Which for these three dedicated ladies is none other than the Juno’s.
But for now, they are gearing up for an East Coast tour that will begin this summer.
“[We’re] super excited,” said Bidner.
“The Maritimes are just so awesome,” said Harrison. “I grew up there and I miss it so much. And I think you can kind of hear that in our music. I think it definitely has an East Coast Canadian folk influence. So I feel we’ll have fun out there and we’ll fit in.”