The Once The Once

Newfoundland trio the Once mine their province's music traditions on their debut album. There are no fiddles or jigs though. Instead, they apply their talents to the gentler styles of the Maritimes. The collection features traditional folk songs and compositions by Newfoundlanders such as Emile Benoit and Amelia Curran, with a few folked-up, harmony-heavy versions of songs by the likes of Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits thrown in for good measure. Whether they keep it a cappella or pile on layers of accordion, bouzouki, mandolin and guitar, each track is a treat. Geraldine Hollett's strong, clear voice and the rich vocal harmonies of bandmates Phil Churchill and Andrew Dale brim with passion and warmth. Self-released in 2009, and recently picked up by folk label Borealis, this superb debut has already won them four Music Newfoundland and Labrador awards, and a 2010 ECMA nomination. It's time for the rest of the country to listen up. (Borealis)