They perform as part of the University of Guelph’s Summerfest lineup on Sunday, June 25, and are looking forward to the return trip.
“We visited Guelph for the first time during the ArtsEverywhere Festival in January, when we got to play the beautiful River Run theatre. It was one of our best performance experiences so far,” says Midnight Shine frontman Adrian Sutherland, who hails from the remote Cree community of Attawapiskat.
“This summer’s touring is going to take us far from home – including going all the way to the west coast for the first time – so it’s nice to be starting out in a city that already feels a little bit familiar to us.”
Midnight Shine has had a banner year, with their career on a serious trajectory. They’ve had unprecedented amounts of media coverage, and continue to garner rave reviews and earn new fans every time they play.
They are also getting some pretty unique opportunities, too. Sutherland – a self-taught hockey player – was invited to play in this year’s JUNO Cup in Ottawa alongside former NHL players, and musicians like Jim Cuddy, Dallas Smith, Sam Roberts, Chad Brownlee, and Barney Bentall. For Sutherland, it was a dream come true.
“These are musicians I’m a fan of myself, whose music I’ve been listening to for many years. And the NHL players, I’ve followed many of their careers. So it was surreal to suddenly be out there on the ice playing hockey with them.”
With the help of industry heavy-hitters like Toronto-based booking agent Ralph James, known for working with the likes of The Trews and Nickelback, Midnight Shine is starting to break into festival markets that might otherwise be out-of-reach.
“We’re fortunate to have a really good team in place, who believe in us, and are able to help open doors,” says Sutherland. “It’s a lot of hard work and commitment from everyone involved, and it’s exciting to be gaining momentum in the music industry.”
Midnight Shine released a new single called Sister Love in March, which has been garnering some solid attention. The upbeat ballad has been called ‘catchy’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘touching’, and holds special meaning for Sutherland, who co-wrote the song with his sister, Iris.
“It’s about trying to free yourself from the burdens and struggles we sometimes have to carry. Some of us get stuck in a hard place, and when we do, it would be nice to be able to go back to those days when life was simpler. In our thoughts we can go there, and be in that good place again, even just for a brief moment. That’s what the song means to me.”
Midnight Shine has been working on a new batch of demos, with plans underway to record their third studio album. Watch for a release this fall.