Spotlight on independent music

Seven Queen’s students started blogging in October to emphasize worthwhile music from Canadian artists

Event organizer for the Vault Matthew Muto (far left) says the group tries to hold a music event every semester with live bands playing throughout the night.
Event organizer for the Vault Matthew Muto (far left) says the group tries to hold a music event every semester with live bands playing throughout the night.

The key is an open mind. The doors lead to the Vault: a new student-run music blog dedicated to giving a spotlight to worthwhile independent musicians.

The blog has been live online since October, and the students in charge post every day with new songs from independent Canadian artists they’re listening to at the minute. Their posts range from popular favourites like Yukon Blonde and Jason Collett to lesser known bands like Ivory Hours and Cider Sky.

Guest Editor Graham Hutchings edits submissions to the blog from other parts of the country, including posts from Vancouver and Halifax.

Hutchings said the goal of the blog is to promote independent music.

“We specifically, but not exclusively, focus on Canadian music, and the emphasis is on independent music not indie, because we do have a broad array of music,” Hutchings, ArtSci ’14, said.

For the writers on staff at the Vault, their ambition is to give attention to bands they feel deserve to be heard, Hutchings said.

“We want to create a more cohesive theme in Kingston as well in terms of live music, and not just Queen’s students, but getting locals and more people out to shows,” he said.

Hutchings said the people behind the blog hope to expand to doing music interviews and holding live recording sessions with bands coming to Kingston to play gigs.

“One of the things we have in the works is something called ‘The Vault Sessions,’ where we’d meet up with the artist and start recording acoustic sets, like in-house special sessions,” he said.

Until then, the group at the Vault will continue to throw music house parties. Event organizer for the Vault, Matthew Muto, said the next event will be held next Saturday.

Muto said the music nights were started because the band was fed up with the Kingston club scene.

“We saw people do it on TV and we thought, ‘Why can’t we do this in real life?,’” Muto, ArtSci ’14, said.

“Last semester we threw our first event for selfish promotion, and at our next show we have a lineup of four bands playing all through the night.” Muto added that they try to have a variety of different bands at their music events.

“We try to have one Kingston band and a few Queen’s bands as well,” he said.

Emma Koza, marketing and communications manager for the Vault, runs the blog’s Twitter account and its advertising.

Koza said the style of the blog is completely informal and “self-managed,” with seven different people writing, editing and posting their articles every day of the week.

“We each cover a different day,” Koza, ArtSci ’14, said. “We make an effort to put up a post every morning of every day including Christmas and New Year’s.”

One band Koza is particularly excited to post about on the Vault is Stars.

“They’re an all-time favourite for me and they’re coming to Kingston again,” she said.

Koza said the best part of the job is getting to tell other people about music she thinks is worthwhile.

“It’s the best feeling in the world when someone tells me they found a new song they like from the blog.”

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