Barbadian young lady doing well in Canada’s Alternative scene

Got an e-mail from a girl whose tracks I reviewed about 3 years ago, now, she’s earned cult status in Canada… Jennifer Mahon is very grounded career-wise, yet ethereal in her vocal delivery when combined with the grunge-like aspects of Alternative delivery she is a younger version of Evanescence worth watching out for!

She has a whole slew of songs available for free download on her MySpace page, and this is what I originally said about her when I ran a column in the Advocate –

…30 days after Jennifer Mahon completed her latest EP or extended play disc ? longer than a single but shorter than an album, her songs made it to the top ten chart at WeedShare with the catchy melody of ?Collide? taking the #1 spot?

?i don’t need your last minute sympathy
don’t need you to tell me what to be
all i see now is something i believe
its all alone

to find it in you i find it in me
you’ve made it so hard to love anybody

but you see now i believe
now i’m on my own

?wake up angel
try a little harder to find us
wait in the distance
maybe someday you will find us

run a little further
oh someday we’ll collide love

can we collide love??

Weed is a new service developed by Shared Media Licensing that rewards file traders for sharing music on the internet. Jennifer?s website also tracks back to WeedShare
{Ed’s Note – unfortunately, the Paper Burns site is no longer running as she formed this key alliance with Ada}

The website?s top ten charts include musicians from all over the planet, such as ?Love Hurts? by legendary rock group Heart at # 9.

?It was very exciting to see my music being accepted and recognized by this program,? says the 17 year old Jennifer, ?Weed?s a creative way to address illegal file sharing and I?m glad to be one of the artists fighting it.?

Jennifer was born and grew up here in Barbados, and started out with regular performances on the west coast. Punctuating her lyrics in a manner similar to the late ee cummings? Her vocal style is a mix between the female lead vocalist in Evanescence and Canadian Sarah MacLachlan, to me ? ?For Asphodel? is what can be construed as modern-Goth? She plays an instrument very similar to the Japanese koto and arranges the instrumentation in this track?

??eyes possessing
the room with a blessing
undressing the anger
in us three
hide your soul

in the hole you are digging
return to the safe ring

through the trees
closing your eyes ’til you

?return to where you’ve never been
leave now from this place you’ll never leave
hold familiar sights of what you’ve never seen

The Bajan teen recently recorded and co-produced her three-song EP in Canada at Iguana Recording, Toronto. Other recent clients of Iguana include ? Our Lady Peace and Nelly Furtado.

Jennifer is currently planning out live shows with other musicians in the Toronto area.

That was 2005, and here it is close to 3 years later, now she’s a part of ADA which is gaining popularity –

ADA – Another Way to Sound
By Jason Daniel Baker

As we mourn the recent loss of local landmarks on Queen Street West scorched by a suspicious fire it perhaps offers us fresh perspective on appreciating those great historical buildings in our city which still stand including our very venerable rock clubs. Toronto’s legendary El Mocambo has, over its long and storied existence, been a favourite of the world famous Rolling Stones and countless other noted musical acts for good reason. The environs within are truthful to that which is most appealing in any good bands sound.

An outfit like Toronto’s own ADA is no exception in that regard and they fully appreciated and deserved the distinct honour they had of playing there on February 22nd, 2008. I had not yet heard this band and as such was amongst a very select few of the packed audience in attendance there that night.

My initial thoughts during their performance went beyond recognition that I was hearing something a bit different and drifted towards “That would be a cool way to sound too“.

What I heard evoked Portishead and Broken Social Scene, acts which unpretentious and loose ADA singer Jen Mahon likes but does not necessarily list amongst her own personal influences. Ethereal looking Jen is adept at using her vocals as an instrument. This towering young woman has a big voice voice to match her physical stature. But what is distinctive about it are her slick transitions in style reflecting the various tempo changes over the course of ADA’s sets characteristic to their particular sound. Guitarist Pouya Birgani writes all of the band’s material but seems more than happy to yield centre stage to his vivacious and exotic frontwoman.

The persistent percussion drive provided by drummer Mike Petroianu and a mysterious gentleman known only as “Wolfman” on bass punctuate the rhythm behind Jen. The combo plays well together and does not upstage each other striking a more balanced approach than other groups generally do.

We’re a band that’s been through a lot together, and through that we’ve learned to just relax and feed off each other and our crowd. Maybe that’s the main appeal to our shows – we dedicate ourselves so much to our music, but still try not to take our performances too seriously.’ Says Jen matter-of-factly.

The way they perform is laid-back but hardly casual and certainly not easy listening. They have reached a comfort level with their own repertoire and what they can do using the language of music. While it’s definitely alternative but it can’t really be classified as punk or avant garde though some might pin them down as such. ADA’s independently produced CD, which is set for release in spring 2008, is the first accurately recorded interpretation of how this band sounds at their best in live performance.

It appears to actually have been composed on instruments rather than simply programmed in studio and that means it sounds natural, which is the way music should. But it does break some new ground both for the band and alternative music in general.

With acts of the calibre of ADA, Basia Lyjak, Billy & the Lost Boys, and Frankie Whyte & the Dead Idols amongst those gracing its stage over the past six months it would appear that the El Mocambo is enjoying a remarkable resurgence. It’s great to see the Elmo continue to attract such top flight, cutting edge bands and enthusiastic crowds after so long on the scene and a few lean years.

Good news for those appreciative of the local alternative scene, she’s planning on doing a return –

We’ve released a single that will go on the album, which will come out Spring/Summer of this year. You can hear it up on our MySpace if you like. Things have come a long way and I’m hoping to play a big musty show in Barbados sometime. Maybe you can review us then!

Would love to do that! Look fwd to it, is that a promise?

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