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Weeping Tile


Country of origin:

Canada

Type of music generally:

Folk-flavoured alternative rock, and folk/rock

Status:

Final release, valentino, 1997. Singer Sarah Harmer now is playing solo.

See also:

A Weeping Tile site

Lead singer Sarah Harmer's official page and The Ectophiles' Guide's page for Sarah Harmer

Comparisons:

Sarah Harmer's solo work

Covers/own material:

Mostly own; occasional covers

General comments:

They're a four-piece from Kingston, Ontario, with a fabulous lead singer named Sarah Harmer. I'd like to say I hear shades of Natalie Merchant or Lisa Loeb in here, and maybe a vocal quality reminiscent of The Cranberries at times, but those are really unfair comparisons...unfortunately I really can't put my finger on anything better. None of this came through at the show, though. In fact, they sounded more like the next band on the bill, Crash Vegas, than anything, straightforward, but tight and strong. They came off very similar to Crash Vegas in their new songs, energy and performance. The band has changed since eePee was recorded, and the new CD, would "rock". For now, I can highly recommend eePee, which has songs that vary from quiet pieces with piano and cello instrumentation to a version Neil Young's Don't Let It Bring You Down" (the only cover) with telephone-type vocal distortion, very cool. Well-written lyrics too in all of their original material.
     eePee ended up being one of my favorite releases of that entire year, but subsequent Weeping Tile releases were all disappointments for me as the band's lineup and sound changed. (carnivore@bigfoot.com)

if you like sarah, you should dig up her previous band's cds. (jeffw@smoe.org)

And I'd strongly disagree in classing Weeping Tile as a straight ahead rock outfit--their albums are strong reflections of Sarah's writing, and they certainly had their quirky side (particularly for those of us who had the pleasure of seeing them many times). And "Westray" is an amazing piece of angry Canadiana (which I won't detail the background of) which lyrically is a long way off of the straight line. (dlw@sympatico.ca)

Recommended first album:

eePee is still my favourite

Recordings:


eePee

Release info:

1995--WEA Canada--CD 11279

Availability:

Available in Canada

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of folkrock

Group members:

Joe Chithalen--vocals, viola, cello
Sarah Harmer--vocals, guitar
Gord Tough--guitar, vocals
Chris Smirnios--drums

Guest artists:

Jason Euringer--bass
Luther Wright--harmonies
Spencer Evans--piano
Joe C. & Grant Ethier--Gregorian chants

Produced by:

Weeping Tile & Steve Willis

Comments:

Do yourself a favor and go back and buy eePee. It's Weeping Tile's 7-track indie they sold at their shows, which was repackaged and released in Canada by Warner. Half the songs and twice as good as Cold Snap. It's more acoustic, and Sarah has emotion and expression on here that she didn't duplicate on Cold Snap, including the original version of "Westray" done much better. She's much better suited to the melodic, passion-drenched acoustic material than the full-tilt rock tracks on Cold Snap where she seems to be straining too hard. (carnivore@bigfoot.com)

A little uneven, but there are some great songs here, especially "King Lion" and "Westray" about the mining disaster in Nova Scotia. Sarah Harmer re-recorded "Basement Apartment" for her first solo album You Were Here, "Westray" was re-recorded on cold snap. This also includes a cover of Neil Young's "Don't Let It Bring You Down". (Neile)

There are some great tunes on here--some that were re-recorded for Cold Snap with a higher level of production, and a heavier touch. (dlw@sympatico.ca)


cold snap

Release info:

1995--WEA Canada--CD 12383

Availability:

Wide in Canada

Ecto priority:

Recommended for folkrock fans

Group members:

Sarah Harmer--vocals, guitars, cowbell, piano
Luther Wright--guitars, vocals
Sister Mary--bass, vocals
Paul Gurnsey--drums

Guest artists:

John Richardson--drums on 5 tracks
Kevin Fox--cello
Pauli Ryan--tambourine
Camille Giroxux--brushes on 1 track
Robin Aubé--helicopter bass, low moans

Produced by:

Weeping Tile with Robin Aubé

Comments:

Louder rock than eePee, but still with some folky touches. Sarah Harmer is a very good songwriter and it's clear on this album. I hadn't listened to it in quite a long time and recently put it on again, and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it--it has aged quite well, by which I think I mean that ten years on its energetic sound and strong songwriting and Sarah Harmer's powerful vocals are pretty timeless. (Neile)

After their brilliant debut, eePee, this one is disappointing. The first single, "UFO Rosie", is a moody & haunting sound, with energy that simmers but doesn't flat-out rock. Like the rest of the album, it's based on electric, not acoustic instruments as eePee was. A change in direction, but I still like it. (carnivore@bigfoot.com)

wow! i seem to remember seeing a bit of discussion here about this band, so when i saw this record i snapped it up. i'm quite glad i did. what really makes this band (for this lyrically biased 'phile) are lead singer sarah harmer's wonderfully eliptical lyrics, which are about things like ufos and corporate mergers and "shadowless figurines coming up from below." whoo-hoo! the music is very '90s alt-rocky, with cello accents here and a folky acoustic track there. after only a few listens it's hard to say whether i'll be humming the tunes incessantly or not, but i think there will be plenty more listens. (dmw@mwmw.com)

i like this album quite a bit, despite the band's multiple personalities--at times, their sound has similarities to bands as diverse as hugo largo, the breeders and the indigo girls. okay, well, those bands aren't *really* that far apart in the greater scheme of things, but my point is still, i think, valid.
     one would think that this array of styles would imply a young band trying to find their voice, and that is true to an extent, but they do not create the impression that they are copying anyone. when they sound like someone else, the similarity is an approach, not an emulation. they don't seem to copy anybody, but seem to be, rather, dabbling with various styles, but liking them all.
     hmmm. i just read what i've written and see that i have failed to describe their sound. for lack of a better term, "alternative rock" will have to do. standard line-up with some, but not much, odd noodling here and there.
     one thumb up. (woj@smoe.org)


valentino

Release info:

1997--WEA Canada--CD 19928

Availability:

Wide in Canada

Ecto priority:

Recommended for folkrock fans

Group members:

Sarah Harmer--vocals, guitar
Luther Wright--guitar, vocals, bass
Sticky--bass, vocals, flute
Camille Giroux--drums, vocals

Produced by:

Weeping Tile

Comments:

This isn't quite as outright noisy indie rock as Cold Snap nor is it as country, though there are a couple of driving songs, too. Nor is it as folky as their eePee. Overall, I'm guessing that this will appeal to both sides of their audience--the people who liked their folkier eePee sound and those who liked the more rocking Cold Snap. I still like Sarah Harmer's voice and the way this group sounds, but this hasn't reminded me to put it in the player. (Neile)

I picked it up and have given it a couple of listens. More diversified style-wise than Cold Snap or eePee. Hasn't grabbed me like either of them yet, but I really got much more into both of those recordings after I saw them live. Seeing them here on the 2nd of October, so maybe that will trigger it... :) (dlw@sympatico.ca)

I think I might have been the first to write about Weeping Tile over two years ago, after I became so infatuated with eePee. That CD still does it for me every time, but Cold Snap was a disappointment. It featured a new band lineup and a new direction, with Weeping Tile abandoning the emotion-drenched acoustic material I liked so much on eePee in favor of a style that I classify as the "Canadian Indie-rock" sound. Still, I thought Cold Snap had its moments and I had hoped the new CD might spell a return to the eePee feel. Unfortunately, I listened to Valentino today, and was disappointed. It seems very 'discombobulated' to me, jumping from more of that emotionless Canadian indie-rock jangle to acoustic songs that are downright country in feel. Again, I think this one has its moments, but I will find it hard to listen to as a package from beginning to end. More like a source for a song or two destined for a mixed tape. (carnivore@bigfoot.com)


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Entry last updated 2004-09-26 20:33:15.
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