We are lucky to be able to boast that Canada is home to many great musical groups that have extended their success and faithful followers beyond our country’s borders, reflecting, through their own individual achievements, the unique and worthwhile talent that exists in our nation. We can take pride in the fact that Montréal is the birthplace of Arcade Fire, Calgary that of Tegan and Sara, Toronto the location where Metric began, Saskatoon where The Sheepdogs got their start, while Vancouver gave us Dan Mangan. While there are many other groups who have risen from the Great North, these particular musicians have had success with individual tours and record sales around the world, and have played (some have headlined) festivals in both Canada and other countries, won awards worldwide, and generally gained global appreciation, all the while bearing our country’s name. There is no doubt that this tradition will continue, and one group that is worth keeping an eye on is Newfoundland and Labrador’s Hey Rosetta!. The band from St. John’s—currently composed of frontman Tim Baker, bassist Josh Ward, lead guitarist Adam Hogan, and drummer Phil Maloney—are not a newly created group. They formed in 2005 and have released several full-length albums since, the most recent being Seeds in 2011. Their latest release, in Nov. 2012, was a holiday EP titled A Cup of Kindness Yet in which the single “Carry Me Home” was recently featured as an iTunes Single of the Week. Obviously Hey Rosetta! are not a completely unknown bunch waiting for a big break—the group has toured with other well-liked Canadian bands, such as The Tragically Hip. They have played at some substantial North American festivals, including Bonnarroo in Summer 2012, and were nominated for the New Group of the Year award at the 2012 JUNOs. Many of their songs have received international airplay on alt-rock stations, and “Welcome” from Seeds, climbed to the fourteenth spot on the Canadian Alt-Rock Music Charts in May 2011. However, while they have established their talent on the charts in Canada and in the hearts of open-eared listeners from other parts of the world, Hey Rosetta! have yet to rise to the level of other, widely-known Canadian groups, and to crack the international scene on their own. Judging by the strength of their music, it is only a matter of time. There is a sense of purpose and conviction that Hey Rosetta! seem to streamline throughout their various albums and EPs. They incorporate a moody, alt-rock, sound (by way of slightly dark guitar/drums) with a string section (notably violin and cello), and often piano. The combination of these layers produces a complex and mature tone that avoids being presumptuous or self-righteous and comes across as entirely accessible. Baker’s vocals are both grungy and strong, and together with the carefully constructed instrumentals, Hey Rosetta! consistently build tension and drama in their music that serves to carry the listener from beginning to end. The tempo of their songs varies, and the unpredictable nature of their music is one factor that makes Hey Rosetta! a band that does not easily become tiring to listen to. Sometimes their songs start slowly and simply, with careful guitar and tentative vocals and then suddenly swell to include the strings and other instruments in a theatrical climax, as in “Handshake the Gangster” from 2008’s Into Your Lungs (and around through your heart and on through your blood), or in “The Simplest Thing” from Plan Your Escape (2006). At other times, the pace is steady and the energy is consistent. In Plan Your Escape’s “Lions For Scottie” Hey Rosetta! uses a combination of upbeat guitar, drums, and string efforts to sustain a lively tempo throughout the track. This variance is recognizable throughout all three of their full-length records, as well as their shorter works, and while their sound has developed from album to album, there are no unwelcome or substantial shifts in their style—favourite tracks from Into Your Lungs, including “I’ve Been Asleep for a Long, Long Time” and “Red Heart,” are not completely alien, nor totally alike, to more popular tracks from Seeds, such as “Yer Spring” and “Seventeen.” While Hey Rosetta! possesse a reverence that is different and original, there are some notable influences that can be recognized in their music. The collective creativity of the various instrumental sections in their songs is reminiscent of the diverse mass of sound that Arcade Fire has mastered, and the folky-edge to Baker’s voice is similar to the raw and emotionally-rich intonation that exists in Dan Mangan’s. With the momentum they have already built, and the unique talent they have applied to their music, there is no doubt that Hey Rosetta! will soon be a group that is heard globally as another worthy voice that has emerged from Canada. As we watch them rise, we should be grateful and appreciative that they came from the place we call home. If you are interested in listening to Hey Rosetta!, you can download A Cup of Kindness Yet for free at <www.noisetrade.com/heyrosetta>.