by cheryl santa maria

There are a gazillion different “types” of artists out there but for the sake of saving space, I’m going to group them into two categories.  First, you’ve got the artists that use big words you won’t understand.  They’ll tell you that most things come from pain and that the masses are unenlightened.  This group tends to really like Jack Kerouac.  And Douglas Coupland.  I’m not insinuating anything – that’s just an observation.

The second group is the one that enjoys the process of making art.  These guys don’t tend to over analyze and they aren’t serious all of the time.

Both groups have their merits, but I tend to favor the latter. The fun group isn’t as judgmental, and you probably won’t require a fucking English degree to decipher their lyrics.

I suppose that’s why I like We’re For Barton.


These guys fit quite nicely into the “fun” category.  They’re based out of Toronto and since they formed about a year ago, they’ve toured the Canadian Maritimes and have played at a variety of greasy spoons and lounges around city.

I had the pleasure of seeing We’re For Barton perform live at Rancho Relaxo Lounge, at College and Spadina, a few weeks back.  There’s a great pizza place on that corner.  If you ever find yourself in the area you need to go there and order the Mediterranean pizza.  It has basil on it.  Ever since that night I’ve been putting basil on everything.

But I digress.

I’m sitting here, listening to WFB via their myspace, and I’m trying to place them into a genre. I can’t. You try.  You’ll probably come up empty too, because every song is a little different in style and substance.  Pianist Benita says their music sounds like “friendship” and that the members “have a lot of ‘like’ for one another”.  I love this description, and it’s surprisingly accurate.  WFB draws inspiration from a variety of outlets: indie and mainstream music, popular culture, and all things fun and cute and likeable, like Benita’s wedges, who are arguably the band’s harshest critics and their biggest fans.  Each member has their own distinct style: Vocalist/guitarist Mike has a folksy sound that pairs well with Benita’s poppy piano and with Will’s drums.

My top two song picks are “Messenger Pigeon” because I like birds and also because vocalist/bassist Rachel has this “Kim Deal” thing going on with her voice that makes me jealous, because I will never sound like that.  I’m also a fan of “Lectured on Geology” because it reminds me of snowy days, when I lock myself inside with a blanket and a book.  Like comfort food in song form, you know?

WFB is a pleasant, unexpected surprise, not unlike finding basil on a pizza, which is absolutely divine.

Check them out on CUIT 89.5 Take5′s website, where they are currently featured.  You can also catch them at Alex P. Keaton in London, Ontario on Nov. 30.

Will someone please sign these guys?

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