Leaving the skyline for some shine
By Jonathan Hale
Anyone familiar with Toronto's Mrs. Torrance has to be aware of the similarity between its lush guitar and the beautifully melodic vocals to various acts that have emerged from across the pond in the past few years. Having never heard an interview with the lead singer, it came as a surprise to find her connection with Britain was much stronger than merely being a fan of the vast array of music coming out of it.
"I lived in England until I was 23," says Tamara Williamson with an eloquently sweet accent.
Oddly enough though, this singer is somewhat surprised at the musical comparison between her band and other English acts.
"People haven't said that to me for awhile, but I'm sure there must be, cause that only makes sense," she notes of the similar sound. "We certainly thought that Britain was one of the markets we were going to try to send this album over there to see how it does, because we thought it might appeal to the public there."
Ironically, the band has not met with any backlash due to the foreign similarities but criticism has been tossed at Williamson, as some believe the accent is fake.
"It's funny because when I play on stage sometimes, people think I am putting on an English accent," Williamson notes. "And I feel so sad if I heard somebody say, 'Oh God, this singer is putting on an accent.' And it's like, what do I have to do, stand there and say, 'No, I'm really English.'"
But all of this aside, the band has grown over the past few years from its humble home in Canada's largest city which according to Williamson is called a village in comparison to London, England beginning as a three-piece known as Why The Sky. A short period of playing and recording a self-titled cassette saw this band generate the interest not just from fans, but also from various major labels.
"We kind of had one of those wars over us for a little while there," explains Williamson. "Which was strange and actually horrible for everyone involved, but the money got better and better for us."
The band signed to BMG, feeling the success of Crash Test Dummies proved this label could break a Canadian act in the international market. Why The Sky chose to release its roughly recorded album on CD through Cargo Records, then changed its name to Mrs. Torrance, which came from a character in The Shining, a film Williamson says is "one of [the band's] favourite horror movies."
Though the band's debut album, I'm The Bird, is still waiting to be released, Mrs. Torrance decided to feed its fans with a six-song EP that contains only three tracks which will be featured on the album, including the first single "Porn." This song has been turned into a humourous video that is based around a trashy, evening soap.
"Melrose Place for me is like gross, and for some reason, just before Christmas, everyone was talking about it," explains Williamson. "We were getting clips based around porn, and did this instead for fun."
But Mrs. Torrance is beyond the average trash that sifts through the entertainment scene. It is currently promoting "Porn." And they never fake.
©Gazette file photo
IF THEY WEAR THOSE VELVET CLOTHES. Mrs. Torrance will be at Call The Office Saturday night performing both new and old songs with London's Julia Propeller.