Newfoundland Music Spotlight #1: Young Manics


I figure it is about time to start writing about the fantastic music scene here in St. John’s. I am still learning about it and working on integrating myself into it, but my involvement with the Road to CMW event has helped, as has the work I’ve started on planning my own shows. There are some truly great bands here, with great people in them. I can’t wait for you to hear some of them–and perhaps get to see them if I can get them out to Ontario. So without further adieu, here are Young Manics!

Young Manics are a rising four-piece indie-rock act with serious pop sensibilities in their songwriting, playing out of St John’s. I heard about them when they opened up recently for my bud Dave Whitty and his band. Since then I have booked them for the Road to CMW event on January 9th at CBTG’s and have been listening quite regularly to their EP.

The thing about so many of the bands here in St John’s is that they have been around for a while and played a ton of gigs; they just haven’t done much touring outside of Newfoundland. So while you probably haven’t heard Young Manics, they’ve been going strong since 2008 and you can hear it in their sound: very polished and well thought out.

Should Young Manics get a chance to have their music heard nationally, I think they’d have a shot of making waves. They show a ton of range in their debut Solidarity Songs, and an innate sense for setting the mood and moving flawlessly through different tempos and styles. Their is a hint of Newfoundland folk in the vocals and all the songs seem to be driven by some seriously smart usage of guitar, whether it’s subtle in the background or wailing away like it is at the end of the crunchy moody rocker “Immunized” or throughout “The New Master.”

Fans of Matthew Good are going to find something to love on Solidarity Songs and Torontonians who dig on Paint–and seriously, who does not dig on Paint–are going to want to check this record out. Standout tracks include “Moment of Inertia,” “Solidarity Songs,” “Immunized,” and the outside-of-the-box album ender “Happiness Kills.”

Check them out on the interwebs at the following spots:

Stay tuned to for more spotlights on Newfoundland acts, and remember the Road to CMW is going to have a satellite site set up to vote for the acts you are most interested to see us bring to Toronto for Canadian Music Week.


Dan Wolovick


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