Local bands enter search for Canada’s next top act

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Local musicians are trying to break out on the Canadian music landscape and are looking at home for a bit of support.

Bow Valley bands Elk Run & Riot and Trundled are entered in CBC Music’s Searchlight 2018 with hopes their songs will advance through a gauntlet of rounds while gaining exposure in the Canada-wide contest.

Searchlight is from CBC Music and puts out a call for new songs from emerging Canadian artists.

There are four rounds that bands must advance through in order to win. The first round, which runs until Feb. 28 at 1 p.m., includes an online public voting portion to whittle down the songs to the top 100.

Trundled entered “Inchoate” from their self-titled EP release this past December, while alternative folk band Elk Run & Riot entered “Wandering” from Animalia, from their upcoming third album set for release March 2.

The contest is open to single musicians, bands and choirs.

Round two starts March 1 and the top 100 songs selected will be chopped down to 10 finalists and then in the final round a champion is crowned.

The grand prize winner earns a spot in the Allan Slaight Juno master class artist development program this October and a performance slot at the 2019 Junofest, among others.

Ellen Braun, one half of folk duo Trundled with Joseph Shea, said winning Searchlight is the ultimate prize, but being recognized in the top 100 would be a major step for the band.

“That would be an amazing place to get to,” said the singer/songwriter/guitarist.

“‘Inchoate’ is a song I wrote and preformed as Trundled. That song is about developing and starting over and I can say I’m happy to have it out there and I’m proud of it.”

Andrew Cotter (vocals, guitar) of Elk Run & Riot, said: “We thought the timing was really good for our song to be in the contest and to get our name out there a bit more.”

Elk Run & Riot’s “Wandering” is about “coming to terms with a relationship that is too far gone to bring back.”

Elk Run & Riot’s next local gig is Feb. 23 at Hy5 in Canmore. On April 14, the band will have its Canmore album release for Animalia at artsPlace.

Braun’s next performance will be at Canmore’s Paintbox Lodge on March 1, where she’ll perform alongside Lori Reid.

For more information about Searchlight and to vote, visit www.cbcmusic.ca/searchlight.

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Rocky Mountain Outlook