Five Questions With Claire Coupland

Toronto, ON-based folk-roots singer-songwriter Claire Coupland has released her newest single, “Leave Me Alone” which blends her style of intricate guitar playing and jazz-influenced melodies, progressions, and arrangements. Check out the video below and find out more about Claire via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi everyone, my name is Claire Coupland, I’m a singer-songwriter based out of Toronto, Ontario!   I’m originally from Vancouver Island though, so naturally, I enjoy long walks on the beach and hikes in the mountains…

Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.

My music has elements of folk, rock and Americana sprinkled into it. Sometimes a bit of groove and funkiness too, and there are certainly some jazz-influenced chords and progressions I like to use, to keep things interesting. People often compare my voice to Susan Tedeschi and Eva Cassidy (they’re both very different from each other), but in other words, I like to belt my heart out just as much as singing in a quieter, smooth, silky delivery. I feel the use of volume/feel dynamics is important to my songs and their arrangements, so I use the versatility in my voice to do this.

I have many writing influences, so I think I’ve got a fairly eclectic mix of writing styles interwoven into my brain!  In the past, I’ve based songs on alternate tunings, which often give strange, lush chords and progressions. Other times, I’ve based my songs on fingerpicking over simple chord structures in standard tuning. Lyrically, I’ve been really focussing on pinning down one idea for the song, and not complicating it with too many ideas. It seems so obvious and easy, but actually, having one simple idea expressed throughout a song in an effective and emotional way can be quite tricky!

My main goal, whatever the tuning or progression I’m using, is to tell a story and be able to connect with my listener in a way that makes them feel connected to me or to music in general.  I always love it when I hear a song and think, “yes, I’ve felt that!”. I think we probably all relate to that. And then I like to dig into the song to discover what lyrical methods they used to paint a picture for the listener, with only the necessary words…

Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?

For the moment, I do not have anything planned (due to COVID) for the next few months…there are some festivals I’m playing in July and August but we will have to see about those too! I will probably do a live concert at some point though during this quarantine.  If you want to be updated with this and my upcoming real-life shows/festival dates, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

People can expect powerful vocals, with clear tone and intonation!  That’s people always say, anyway.  I also like to make sure I put on dynamic performances, and simply take my listeners on a journey with me, perhaps they can use an escape. I love it when I am at a show, and I can sink into a song with the performer, there is nothing more special than that moment. I try to do this during my performances. I’m naturally a goofball too, so I’ll probably do some sort of accent or a cartoon character or something during my set to ease the nerves…It can’t all be heavy, can it?!

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?

Well, probably my newest single that dropped a few weeks ago!  “Leave Me Alone“. There’s a funny video with it too (i dress up as the bad boyfriend), see it above.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

Andy Shauf, Hannah Epperson, Mo Kenney, Donovan Woods, Sierra Noble, Sarah Harmer, Dayna Manning, Hannah Georgas, Bahamas

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