SCARLETT JANE is one of the most exciting new collaborations in recent Canadian music — the marriage of the distinctive songs and beautifully haunting voices of Andrea Ramolo and Cindy Doire.
And now, Stranger, their debut recording, captures their strength and their vulnerability, and a progressive roots sound which embodies the raw and candid demeanor of Lucinda Williams, the moody sensuality of Stevie Nicks and Nick Cave, and the tender playfulness of Dolly Parton.
Both Andrea and Cindy are road warriors. Andrea has two previous releases behind her, while Cindy has three — two of them in French, which has given her a following in both French Canada and Europe.
They met several years ago at a tiny Toronto music venue; their solo careers were starting to move forward, and they shared a passion for prose, poetry, theatrics. and songs in minor keys. They liked blues and country, old school soul and rock’n’roll.
The blend of their voices stopped conversations; their musical sensibilities interweaved seemingly without effort. Soon, they began collaborating as songwriters, performing on each other’s shows and singing on each other’s solo albums.
But seemingly endless solo tours — both of them back and forth across Canada, and Cindy often on the other side of the Atlantic — made it difficult to build the inevitable duo they had begun to plan — they recall occasional meetings somewhere in the prairies, brief ‘hellos’ at roadside stops, and occasional reunions in small Toronto clubs.
Inevitably, the need to write together and sing together became more and more important. Last fall, at a music industry conference in Niagara Falls, they debuted Scarlett Jane in front of audiences of festival bookers, agent, managers, publicists, and their own peers; the response convinced them they were on the right track.
The groundwork laid in small Toronto clubs — perfect public rehearsals as they honed their songs, their harmonies, their band and their sound — began to pay off. Making their first major recording was the next logical step, and now Stranger is a reality.
Stranger is produced and engineered by one of Canada’s most innovative producers, Stew Crookes, (Hawksley Workman, 100 Dollars, Doug Paisley, Justin Rutledge). The CD is a collection of ten alluring stories about longing and loneliness, about love, loss, and desire.
The songs came together organically over a brief two months in the fall of 2011, wih Cindy and Andrea writing together at retreats in Mexico and northern Ontario, and in their shared apartment in downtown Toronto. Result: A rootsy folk/noir album with enough country-edged rockin’ wailers to keep dancers moving, and gorgeous ballads and moody set-pieces to satisfy the indie-pop fans.
The singers’ collaborative songwriting, sultry performance style, and full band arrangements open up windows for the duo on both the indie scene and in major markets, nationally and internationally.
Scarlett Jane: powerful and irrefutable, musically and dynamically. From the studio to the stage, this intriguing female duo is geared for great things. Listen for them on the radio; see them as they set out for a 35-date cross-country tour starting in May, and ending in early July at the famed Mariposa Folk Festival.
Scarlett Jane: In a word, ready.
Meet Scarlett Jane’s partners
Andrea: She was two records into a solo career when she joined forces to create Scarlett Jane. She’s the queen of taking music to places you may well have never heard of; she’s completed (and booked) four major national tours across Canada. She’s of Italian heritage, a sweet city woman with fire in her heart, embers in her voice, and a background that includes school teaching (yes, she has her qualifications), acting in films, and even tap dancing.
Cindy: She calls herself a troubadour and a vagabond. She’s from Timmins, Northern Ontario, bilingual, and she’s as at home in a Paris bistro as she is hitchhiking in Cuba, busking in Spain or making her CDs in Nashville. Her voice can whisper or roar, as the song (and the lyrics) demand. She has three solo albums, two in French, and she’s toured regularly in French Canada and Europe.