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Emergence. A new life. Gala Gardens 

It has been a strange year. 

While tracking demos for a future vocal album a war broke out in Ukraine. I wrote a song for the people of Ukraine. These are compositions I am working to release, however I got sidelined unexpectedly. 

During March I felt overwhelmed. I started learning midi because I wanted to make beats for a chill track, quick and unapologetic. A song for me without any regard for what I had ever made before. I tried to make a lo-fi track in a day. It was so fun. By April I’d created 11 songs. A mosaic of melodies, the songs are comforting and relaxing. Warm vocal harmonies paint soundscapes for intricate refrains and counterpoint. Improvised trumpet and electric ukuleles groove over laid back lo-fi hip hop beats. Being able to create it all on my own was so liberating. I was putting solid ground under my feet and taking control of my life through creation. It felt natural. 

Throughout the pandemic my garden has been a safe haven. A place where I’ve spent many hours, be it in the labour of growing the vegetables, or simply reading in the afternoon sun with my bearded dragon. When reflecting on the feelings I expressed through each song, I found aspects of wonder and a connectedness to the natural world. Where these songs came from and how they were connected to my own relationships to nature. 

I am pleased to release my new instrumental album, Gala Gardens on November 4th, 2022. I wrote, produced and mixed it myself, and brought in Chris Gestrin (Public Alley 421) to master it. I enlisted Emily Valin (EACV Designs) to create the artwork, a fantasy garden fit for a gala. The first single is “Golden Hour” for which I co-produced a super sweet music video with Patrick Collins (Alwaysfurther Films). 

So yeah, I accidentally made an instrumental lo-fi jazz album this year and it’s my new desert island disk. I have changed, grown into a different kind of creator. It is a new chapter on my musical journey and in my life. I remain plotting my next vocal release, anticipating now a shift in style and interpretation. All good things in time. 

Please sit back and enjoy Gala Gardens. It is the best music I have ever made.

A lady is reading aloud to a bearded dragon in her lap while sitting under a tree during the golden hour of the evening.

Here are some things that you can do to support this work and help it reach to more ears. It all makes a huge impact and means everything to me to have your help. 

  • Purchase a digital copy or CD + digital directly from my website
  • Save it to your library or "heart" it on your streaming service of choice 
  • Add songs from Gala Gardens to playlists 
  • Follow me on Spotify and Subscribe on YouTube 
  • Use these songs as your "sound" on TikTok vids or Instagram reels & stories 
  • Mention it to friends, play it for them when they visit, share it on your socials, etc. 

Thank you so much! xo Anita

Girl A Girl B  

So I started a band this summer with my twin sister Elizabeth Eccleston (Blythwood Winds, Prof. Queens), and my best buddy Doug Gorkoff (Black Dog String Quartet, KSO). It all started with a Sound of Music and Phantom of the Opera Medley for my brother's wedding in May (the wedding theme was musicals). We killed it and never thought about it again until jazz fest. As Lizzie and I plotted future plans for my solo act, we also began a list of all the songs we've always wanted to play. And the list got long and longer and continues to grow. I guess we are kind of a cover band at the moment, picking tunes hearkening back to our teenage years, while tinging our sets with peculiar, quirky contemporary songs. Who knew that Gollum's Song would pair well with Daft Punk's Instant Crush?

Our rather unusual instrumentation challenges the cover band format, ukulele paired with cello, highlighted by oboe and english horn supporting our twin vocal harmonies dancing above.

A concept we've maintained with Girl A Girl B is to invite guests to sit in wherever possible. It began with my other brother Wesley (Prof. TRU) and his secretly amazing voice as the Phantom in our epic medley, and spawned this summer into guests from Las Estrellas de Vancouver (Michelle Cormier and Jocelyn Waugh) for Rich Girl and a slow-jam version of La Bamba. Our most recent guest, violist John Kastelic (Salt Thief, Black Dog String Quartet, KSO) practically played the whole show with us and even graciously let me sing his amazong original song Lovely Day. Previously recorded with Black Dog String Quartet, we were lucky to have Elyse Jacobson sit in on first violin and Elizabeth covered vocal harmonies and 2nd violin on her oboe.

As summer came to a close my twin Elizabeth headed back to Toronto to teach at Queens University, freelance in orchestras and produce shows with her woodwind quintet (Blythwood Winds) while I'm still plotting my future plans, which now include this unexpectedly delightful project. We began writing songs in the final days of summer, inspired by those artists we've covered and that have influenced and driven us through the years.

To keep up with Girl A Girl B please follow us on Instagram: @girlagirlbmusic, Facebook: @girlagirlbmusic and Twitter: @GirlAGirlB to see where this whimsical voyage is leading.