Harmonica wins prestigious Canadian live award

This week saw Norwegian outfit Harmonica winning the prestigious best live-act during the Canadian Music Week in Toronto.

Harmonica_Monica Johansen

This week saw the unsigned Norwegian act taking home the coveted best live-act of the Canadian Music Week in Toronto ahead of such relatively well established acts as 22 Pistepirkko, The Pipettes and Under Byen. A total of more than 600 acts participated at the important Canadian music industry event.

Over the course of the tree day festival, each band was assessed by a jury which awarded each act points ranging from 0 to 100. Harmonica scored no less than 99 points and was garnered the following review:

”Harmonica might just be the friendliest and most fun indie band on the planet. They're a burst of musical sunshine led by three blonde bombshells and two head-turning gentlemen who charmed the audience with their coy banter, jokes, thank you’s and flirting. The room was in frenzy by the end of the set.”

Another comment read:

“Their incredible energy rubbed off everywhere and didn't let up to the very last second of their performance. Imagine Debbie Harry times three, on valium, playing with a band she loved, and you can imagine how awesome Harmonica is (…) Loud, easy to dance too, clever and fun… Very DIY and into group harmonizing, even when Harmonica slowed things down, they were still sweet and poppy. There wasn't a moment of darkness in this stellar set. (…) The band confessed they had never been outside of Norway to play and it showed. They were extremely thankful and bursting to show off their fresh sound. With uniquely honest, energetic indie pop, there's no-one out there who sound like Harmonica.”

Says jubilant Harmonica front-woman Monica Johansen to Ballade.no: “It was a blast! In fact, we were quite lucky in that the head of the CMW festival is an avid Harmonica fan after seeing us at this year’s by:Larm festival in Trondheim. This led to us being singled out among the top five acts recommended by the festival. In addition to this, we also played the festival’s “Best of the Fest” stage, sharing the bill with well established acts such as The Pipettes, giving us increased exposure during the event.”

Johansen says to Ballade that the band has never experienced a better audience feedback than the Canadian response: “Lots of people would come to see us during all of our three shows – we met this girl who had been waiting in line for six hours just to get a chance to see us. We had brought something like 70 to 80 EPs with us, but those records were swept away immediately.

Says Johansen on the importance of the award bestowed on them: “It gives a tremendous boost to our confidence, and it confirms the fact that our audience appeal transcends the Norwegian borders. We had expected that maybe 10 people would show up for our shows but it turned out that we played for packed houses each night!.”

Harmonica was founded in 2005 by vocalist/composer Monica Johansen. The line up is Geir Pedersen (guitar), Nina Hammervoll (bass), Karl Magnus Bjorøy (drums) and Ingeborg Selnes (keys, back-up vocals).

More info on Harmonica here.

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