Ladybird Sideshow Live At The Orange Lounge

Although Melissa McClelland may be the most known of this collective vocal quartet, her voice and songs are only one aspect of this talent-laden group that also includes Toronto-area singer-songwriters Lisa Winn, Erin Smith and Janine Stoll. Why they would all take time out from their own individual careers to sing together is obvious from the first notes of this album, as the soaring four-part harmonies are heart-melting. They’re all equally great songwriters as well, somehow managing to fuse their four distinct perspectives on life and love into a cohesive and thoroughly compelling package. As the album goes on, you realise you’re not rooting for one of them to emerge as the dominant voice. I’m even reluctant to point out specifics for fear of slighting one of the others. Suffice to say, Ladybird Sidebird is a true collaboration in every sense of the word, and four of the most powerful female voices in Canada right now. (Independent)