Music has the power to change moods, unite people and open doors to new experiences. Nobody knows this better than the Good Lovelies, the Toronto-based all female trio composed of Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough and Sue Passmore. This dynamic group of instrument-switching musicians has charmed audiences all over with their pretty harmonies and whimsical lyrics. In an interview with the newspaper, Caroline Brooks (a former U of T student) talked inspiration, life on the road and crazy pre-show rituals.

Q: How did you ladies meet?

A: There's a bit of folklore about that question. We all have different stories. I think it was in a chess tournament, Kerri thinks it was in a bar fight, and sue thinks it was a t a limbo competition. The truth is that Kerri and Sue grew up together in Northumberland, in the Port Hope, Cobourg area. They met each other in elementary school and sang on and off together through high school and choirs and stuff like that. I met Sue in university through a mutual friend, and started doing open mics with her. As a one-off, we decided a few years ago to do this show at the Gladstone Hotel at the Art Bar, through a song writers' circle and collaborated on a few tunes. The Good Lovelies were born, like, immediately.

Q: All of the Songs on Let the Rain Fall were written by the three of you. What does the writing process look like between the three of you?

A: What happens is, there's generally a lead person on each song, so we all contribute a chunk of song to the recording process. We never really feel like a song is done until the other two people have had their mitts in it. We'll bring songs to the table and collaborate on finalizing the tunes, putting arragnemtns together vocally and instrumentally. We've always shared writing credits, so it was like a really important part of being a part of a team. The songs are never really Good Lovelies songs til all three of us are in it. It's a really collaborative process, but also you have a chance to sort of be on your own. It's not like we're sitting in a boardroom, writing songs together.

Q: What was the inspiration behind your latest studio album?

A: Our first full-length album has a lot of themes about quitting your day job, wanting to go on the road, which we all did; we all quit our day jobs.This new album has a lot to do with being on the road, the camaraderie, the way we get along. There's lots of these sweet references of being buddies on the road. There's also this theme of longing for home, and the obvious results of being on tour a lot. It's a very happy record, with a bit of melancholy.

Q: As a band, who are some of the artists you look up to?

A: That's a great question, and if you asked anyone of us, it'd be a totally different answer. If you wanted to take a snapshot of our ipods, you'd be hearing our peers, so people like Elliot Brood, musicians that are in the community with us. When we started singing in three-part harmony, a natural sound emerged of a 1940s, 50s swing sound. Because we sounded like that, we started going back and listening to some stuff like, the obvious one, the Andrews Sisters. The less obvious ones are the Mills Brothers, Hank Williams, a little bit of old country, the Boswell Sisters; we do a Boswell Sisters song. But we also listen to hip hop too. We do a cover of k-os' "Crabbuckit" on our record. We're big fans of him. Canadian music in general, it fills our ipods.

Q: What are your hopes for this upcoming tour?

A: We're just going to keep soldering on. The last 5 dates in Canada are pretty exciting for us because they mark the end of our CD release tour.

Australia and UK is all brand new to us. We've been touring with an upright bassist for the last few months. We'll be going back to just the three of us for the big tour abroad. For us, it's just a matter of bringing our sound to a new place and just experiencing it in a new setting.

A lot of what we do is really super Canadian. If you listen to the record, there are lots of references to Canadian places, about being on the road in Canada. It'll be interesting to see how that goes over. In the States, it's been going really well, we just started touring down there last yearl. I guess for us the next few tours are really about exploring new places and getting to know different cultures and figuring out how we fit in that big picture.

Q: Do you ladies have a pre-show ritual, like a prayer circle or something?

A: Yes! We do. We jump at each other and hit our bellies together. It's really weird. I don't even know what to call that. We just jump at each other and hit each other. It’s weird.

Q: What does the future hold for the Good Lovelies?

A: We are really excited to put out this record. We're already writing songs for a new album. We have big picture ideas for some cool, media related stuff that's sort of in the works. We have a lot of ideas about how to grow musically, but also media-wise. We're going to be putting out a new record in the next year and a half to two years, and then going from there, and building on what we've got, and of course touring. We tour about 150 shows a year, and that's what we are. We're a touring band, and we're just going to keep at that for a while while we can, while we're all young and don't have babies.

The Good Lovelies will be in Toronto on April 2nd, at the Great Hall. For more info, visit www.goodlovelies.com

Additional Info

  • Subtitle: Canadian female group the Good Lovelies go on tour in support of their new album, Let the Rain Fall
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