Who we are
Ottawa band Paragon Cause have transcended national and genre boundaries with a set of stunning releases. The songwriting, production and musical duo take an eclectic approach to their music influences, fusing disparate sounds including hip-hop, jazz piano, 80's synthesizers and 50's guitars to deliver their personal brand of atmospheric rock-tinged electronica.
Singer Marnie, from southern Ontario, Canada is a trained jazz singer however her voice defies placing in any one genre as it effortlessly captures qualities both modern and timeless.
Subtle colours abound: from achingly heartfelt blues to the emotive rock tones of fellow Canadian Ann Wilson of Heart, whispers of Beth Gibbons and Eva Cassidy all combine in a voice that is as magical as it is mystical. The vocalist is also the main lyricist, she uses her considerable creative prowess to discuss topics that are often thought-provoking, encouraging the listener to embrace the deeper meaning and emotion in both the lyrics and also their own lives. Musically, she cites artists such as Mamma Cass, The Beatles and Beethoven as influences, lending the band’s music that classic, familiar aspect of their overall duality.
Fellow band member and co-producer Kirwan, is originally from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia absorbed by osmosis his home’s natural Celtic musical roots. As he grew older, he explored the wider musical world and added influences such as Tribe Called Quest, Digible Planets, as well as his love for the more brooding sounds of The Cure, Janes Addiction and The Raveonettes to his musical palette. The result is a perfect counterpoint to Marine’s influences: a bit more rock in the mix, urban percussive rhythms, shimmering 50s melodrama and gothic undertones that invoke comparisons with Ry Cooder and Lana Del Rey’s more reflective moments.
The various strands are all drawn together in a production style that serves up arrangements that are dense, sometimes dark, instinctually expansive but always open to making an emotional connection with the listener. You’ll not have heard many bands that sound like Paragon Cause.
Individualistic, with well-crafted songs, enriched with emotionally literate lyrics and a cinematic musical style that complements the work of directors like Wim Wenders, the band intoxicate and delight with equal measure.
The duo is know for their penchant to lean into the darkness, exploring every corner of a darkened room. They somehow discover new shades of black and color with the hues of oblivion and vast emptiness. They take these daunting concepts and make them comforting and relaxing. They call to embrace complicated topics and find comfort in them.
Vocals, Keyboard, Synth / Marnie VonKheul
Guitar, Bass, Drums / Kirwan Opthof
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