Exclaim! Heads into March with Grimes, Sinéad O'Connor, Said the Whale, the Wooden Sky in Our New Issue

Exclaim! Heads into March with Grimes, Sinéad O'Connor, Said the Whale, the Wooden Sky in Our New Issue
Though still stuck in winter, this month, we turn a welcome eye toward warm weather and upcoming festivals in Exclaim!'s March issue. Here's just a handful of our highlights.

First off, we shine the spotlight on "accidental pop star" Grimes (aka Montreal chanteuse Claire Boucher). The self-taught composer and programmer never had a music career in mind, yet here she finds herself on the cover of Exclaim! and touted by blogs worldwide as a talent to watch. Any more hype, and she just might have to get a cellphone.

Next up, it's not easy being Sinéad O'Connor -- at least, that's the sense one gets looking at a chronicle of her fascinating career and troubled life in this month's Timeline feature. From the abuse she suffered as a child to the tribulations she's faced as a public person to the choices she's made in her unusual career, we're pleased to hear that new record How About I Be Me (And You Be You?) is one of her strongest to date.

Meanwhile, given the dark lyrical imagery that suffuses the Wooden Sky's work, you'd be forgiven for thinking that members of the band were all moody, spooky loners dwelling in the dark woods. But what we find in sitting down with lyricist and frontman Gavin Gardiner is hopeful curiosity about the meaning of life.

Vancouver indie rockers Said the Whale, on the other hand, discuss crafting the follow-up to their acclaimed 2009 album, Islands Disappear. The Juno-winning troupe had a choice to make: continue doing what had been successful, or invert the formula. They chose both, retaining the folk-influenced vibe of their sound, but expanding their lyrical purview beyond their West Coast home.

In other interviews this month, we have tech-death metal masters Beneath the Massacre explaining the evolution of their sound, Nardwuar the Human Serviette keeping Vancouver covered with his latest compilation Busy Doing Nothing, and jazz pianist Robert Glasper revealing his music-bending mission.

Lastly, Toronto punks Teenanger discuss how they kept it simple on new full-length Frights, while Napalm Death's Mark "Barney" Greenway takes our Exclaim! Questionnaire. And with South by Southwest, Canadian Music Week and JunoFest all fast approaching, we look at how to survive festival season, featuring advice for musicians on how to maximize exposure and take advantage of the opportunities in front of you.