GayCalgary® Magazine [copy]

Boy&GurL Wow and Amaze

Interview by Evan Kayne (From GayCalgary® Magazine, May 2011, page 31)
Boy&GurL Wow and Amaze
Image by: Chris Matteo
Boy&GurL Wow and Amaze
Image by: Chris Matteo

Boy&GurL are a Calgary-based musical duo, consisting of singer/songwriters Jarred Nicklen ("Boy") and Crystal McGrath ("GurL"). Currently they are promoting the release of their new album Love Crimes featuring the single "Around Again."

On this new album, fans may notice a difference in sound from the previous album Loves Parallel. This time around, Boy&GurL relied on the skills of Russell Broom, producer/engineer for Jann Arden’s "Uncover Me", who has done a lot of work with other musicians in Canada and internationally.

Jarred mentioned that "I think with Loves Parallel, we went into the studio, it was very stripped down, very acoustic. Love Crimes, it’s full band, we actually had Jann Arden’s drummer play on it, Russ (Broom) did a lot of work on it, we had some symphony people up from Toronto to work on it. It’s a totally different approach...and so far the reception has been great."

The musical arrangement on Love Crimes is at times very reminiscent of some of Jann Arden’s work. Additionally, you can hear the impact of some of Crystal and Jarred’s musical influences from Tori Amos, Chantal Kreviasuk, and Jewel, to name a few. However, they have their own personalized style that breaks away from the majority of auto-tuned and prepackaged pop pablum already over-saturating the market.

This recent album was an evolution in Boy&GurL’s sound, and for that they do credit Broom. "Working with him was a really great experience" Crystal said. "He’s a very talented musician and he knows the ins and outs of the industry. He’s very good at taking our sound and making it something unique and original."

Regarding audience feedback, it has been very positive: "...we’re always surprised by different audiences." Citing a series of concerts they recently performed in Mexico, Jarred said one night they would see a young audience, the next night an audience of seniors; yet both had the same enthusiastic response. While it’s hard to know who is going to respond best to your music, "so far we’ve had a great reception from pretty much all ages."

Currently, they are still touring and promoting Love Crimes. "Later this year we’ll be planning to go across Canada and the United States," Jarred explained. They’re getting a lot of airplay on Canadian stations, including The Mix 97.7 and Amp 90.3 in Calgary, along with NOW! 102.3 in Edmonton and Kraze 101.3 Red Deer. But it’s social media that is really driving their sales, especially with their songs being available on iTunes.

As for upcoming events, in Calgary, you’ll have the opportunity to see them May 13th at Club Sapien. However, the big event that Boy&GurL are anticipating is the Utopia Music Festival June 17th and 18th in Edmonton. While it occurs on the last day of Edmonton Pride, it is a separate event billed as "Edmonton’s first Summer Solstice Cultural Celebration." Boy&GurL are looking forward to performing alongside such artists as Ani DiFranco, David Usher, and Suzie McNeil. If you can make it to either event, I highly recommend it.(GC)

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