One Hundred Dollars Hold it Together

One Hundred Dollars Hold it Together
The music of Toronto, ON trio $100 would be forlorn and heavy even if it weren't for the sad set of circumstances the band have faced in the past year. Simone Schmidt has been a secret weapon for some time, thanks to a rich twang that she warbles with understated power and grace. Together with Ian Russell (Jon-Rae and the River) and Stew Cookes, Schmidt drafts timeless, subtle folk songs for $100, which are captured in intimate, parlour room-style performances. Hold it Together came about in one night in 2007, a year that saw Russell diagnosed with leukaemia, bravely battling through chemotherapy, staving the illness off and entering remission. The gravity of Russell's struggle only makes the songs here more poignant, as Schmidt delivers "Nine Hundred Miles" in a heartbreaking wail and paints a vividly depressing portrait of domestic relationships on "Careless Love." It's rare to be so moved by five songs but this first EP by $100 is so raw and stark that it resonates like only the most honest country music can. (Blue Fog)