Supernal rising to new heights

If you were helping to fight tuition by eating a burger on the south lawn of Mac Hall this Thursday, there was a good chance you heard Calgary-based Supernal playing nearby. And as you ate that burger, whether it was veggie or beef, your inner dialogue was saying, “Hey, that ain’t bad.”

The reason you were saying this is because Supernal is a band in a league all alone. A band that has stepped across the imaginary line that defines current genres and into an area that has no real definition. Bass player Brent Miller describes the band as “Alternative Radio Rock,” but would like to see a new genre emerge out of Supernal.

“Some bands make a good song then use it as a cookie cutter to make the rest,” explains singer Angela Saini. “We try not to pre-program our songs before they’re written and our songs turn out with different meanings and sound different.”

And he’s right: each song on Supernal’s latest EP, There is No Excuse Not To, has a unique sound and isn’t easy to trace back to one common influence.

“There seems to be more bands that all are influenced by the same artists and turn out music that are direct copies,” points out drummer Jeff Robertson. “Kind of like most of today’s ‘Kroeger’ bands.”

There is No Excuse Not To holds a sound that fans can clearly define as Supernal but to the first-time listener, “we sound like whatever female singer is popular at the time,” says Robertson. “It was Allanis Morissette when we first started out five years ago, then the Cranberries and now we’re described as Avril Lavigne and a bit of Michelle Branch. We’re trying to fight the stereotype that if it’s a female vocalist then it is most likely a solo artist.”

It may be a hard battle when there’s only a handful of well known bands with a female lead vocalist, yet Supernal has been spreading the word with shows all over Alberta, British Columbia, a tiny bit in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

“We thought, if we were going to take our van and drive far away for a gig, might as well be to a warm place like California instead of Toronto.”

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