Ottawa-based folk singer-songwriter Amanda Cottreau blends haunting melodies with themes of love and redemption.
It’s not often an artist can point to one profound life experience as being the central turning point in her career. Ottawa-based singer-songwriter Amanda Cottreau, however, has just such a moment. While working at a hospital, Cottreau was tasked with helping rehabilitate a patient who had suffered a head injury that affected his ability to communicate. “I had heard that he was a musician so I decided to bring in a guitar for him one day. As soon as he picked it up, he played ‘Norwegian Wood’ flawlessly. It was amazing.”
Born in Nova Scotia, Cottreau, Stereofame.com’s November 2010 Artist of the Month, grew up singing in church choirs. But not until her experience with the recovering musician did she fully understand the power of music. “I decided at that point that I wanted to learn how to play the guitar. That’s when I began playing and writing my own songs.”
Since then, the Canadian songstress has been busy refining her hauntingly beautiful brand of folk, elevating sadness to triumph and desolation to celebration.
Her tunes are wrought with internal conflict but always seem to offer some sort of resolution through self-awareness. “Couldn’t Wait” is a heartbreaking account of a lost relationship that held out for too long before burning out. Cottreau’s tender vocals are gorgeous in their subtlety, almost ghostly, and the track bears the sparse, plodding acoustic guitars and tasteful string arrangements that are characteristic of most of her material. However, Cottreau has a playful side, as well, as evidenced by the ragtime feel of “County Fair.”
“I try to make my music about authenticity more than anything else,” Cottreau said. “Being honest with yourself, expressing grief and experiencing the beauty in sadness. I want to speak to those difficult parts of the human experience but I also want to put a positive spin on it.”
While she cites Tori Amos and fellow Canadians Sarah McLachlin and Sarah Harmer as influences, Cottreau has a voice all her own. There’s something almost old-timey to Cottreau’s approach that recalls the sweetness of artists like Feist. These are mere comparisons, however, as Cottreau’s individuality is her greatest asset. According to Cottreau, Stereofame.com has provided her with a unique platform through which she can share her music as well as experiences with other indie artists and fans. “I needed a place to go where I could communicate with other artists who were where I was,” Cottreau said. “It’s the community element more than anything, I never thought I’d win anything.”
Her new album, “Universe in a Soft Shell” is set for its digital release later this month. For more information on Cottreau and to hear her music, visit http://www.stereofame.com/amandacottreau.
As Stereofame’s November 2010 Artist of the Month, Cottreau will get valuable exposure to an international audience in addition to a ,000 prize. Stereofame is a one-of-a-kind community where artists are judged objectively by the listening audience. Artists gather more points as they rise in rank and refer their fans from other sites. Plus, artists can sell their music here, too, so they’re getting serious points while making money, something iTunes doesn’t offer! Listeners are also rewarded for their input, as they can earn points for listening to a song and giving it a “thumbs up or down,” and writing thoughtful reviews. They can help talented artists get the attention they deserve by signing artists to their virtual record label and then promoting their signed artists to their friends. Of course, fans get tons of points for buying music and bringing people to the site, too. All these points can be cashed in for various prizes such as iPods, musical equipment, gift cards and more.
Think you’ve got what it takes to be Stereofame’s next Artist of the Month? Then go to Stereofame.com and upload three songs to http://www.Stereofame.com/contest/artist-of-the-month.html. And if you’re a fan, log on to Stereofame.com today to help some of tomorrow’s biggest and brightest stars get heard and earn some sweet prizes at the same time!
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Posted On: San Marcos, CA November 2, 2010