Half Way Sweet
Somewhere between intense heartache and unparalleled joy, is a delicious netherworld perched on a knife's edge. If your balance is impeccable, you may be able to stand there for a glorious moment, feeling it all... This is the place from which springs Andrea Koziol's new CD Half Way Sweet. It is a body of work that holds the silver linings of loss up to the light like the tarnished and beautiful stained glass windows of a chapel where all gods are worshipped and everyone is welcome. Written entirely on the ukulele, these songs are an unusual dialogue between a songwriter who is traditionally comfortable composing at the piano, and the funky and approachable little instrument that is currently becoming a pop music muse all around the world. With inspiration from acoustic folk, old time jazz, and Brazilian popular songs, Half Way Sweet is a CD that was written in the dark, but highlights one common thread in the fabric of the human condition. "...brilliant...I'm pretty sure 'Istanbul' is my new favourite song." Keith Power - Composer/Producer (Iron Man 2, Heartland) "If I told you that Lyle Lovett had just put out a record of kazoo songs that was really beautiful, deep, heartfelt, and real - you might think I was a little messed up, maybe laugh at me a bit, and just forget that I ever mentioned it. Then I'd be 'no, no but really...just listen!! ' This is kind of how I feel about telling you this - Andrea Koziol, who for years has been gracing stages and storming studios with beautiful, inspiring, heartfelt music that has nestled in the lovely nooks of jazz, pop, and folk - has suddenly sprung forward, wielding a damn ukulele; yes, that little stringy thing that begs to be pigeonholed under 'comedy', or at best 'novelty'. Andrea elevates this plucky little lute to a place that seems to focus her songs - to build a nimble little stairway that carries her voice forward - to allow it's defined and sparse tone to make a space for her song writing to shine. This is an album of songs that is going to make you wonder why, in our culture, anyone would have decided that such a big, dull, and unwieldy beast like a piano might be suitable to sing alongside. At the very least, it's going to leave you wondering why it took a songwriter as gifted as Andrea so many years to distil her craft down to such a direct and unencumbered place, and just rock that little instrument, her incredible band, and that voice, to finally make the album she is about to lay on this world. But hey, that's just my opinion. You can go back to thinking that 'Hotel California' is a great piece of song writing, and that the uke is all about the tulips, and I'll just keep listening to this new Andrea Koziol stuff, and chuckle to myself in satisfaction..." Andrew Gilchrist - Producer/Engineer (Maceo Parker / Neville Brothers / Ani DiFranco) "I popped in this wonderful CD on a long drive from Toronto to New York City. When it ended, I played it again...and again...and then again. The lyrical intimacy and musical virtuosity had me enthralled. Andrea just keeps getting better and better with every recording." Tony Coleman - Director/Filmmaker (The Mighty Uke) "With this strong collection of songs...(she) delivers her own style of music in an organic way. The lyrics are heartfelt and smart and Andrea's voice will soothe your soul." Michael Kaeshammer - Pianist/Singer/Composer/2010 Juno Nominee Andrea has spent the last decade in impeccable company, closely collaborating with some of Canada's finest musicians Kevin Breit (Casandra Wilson, Supergenerous, Sisters Euclid) Ian de Souza (Lal, Sisters Euclid), Justin Abedin (Jacksoul), the Toronto Tabla Ensemble, Ron Lopata (Jacksoul, Tomi Swick). She has co-written award winning music with Michael Kaeshammer, Tianda, and Donald Kwan, she has been featured in Stuart McLean's Vinyl Cafe Orchestra, and performed with symphonies across North America. She has also been recognized with a KM Hunter Award for Music, and leant her powerful voice to countless Canadian albums. Half Way Sweet will be released June 15th on iTunes and at finer record stores across Canada.