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The new music of the rock/blues outfit known as Pacanomad released in their first EP in July of this year has a bold sound in a large part because of their talented vocalist, Chantele Rivard. Pacanomad is no one-trick pony, however, with guitarist Nick Cifaldi providing blues solos on par with Santana and Stevie Ray Vaughan. With their equally talented rhythm section composed of Dave Bell on bass and Zack Stewart on drums, Pacanomad is on track to be the next big phenomenon in retro-rock on the new music scene.
Hailing from London, Ontario, Pacanomad started out just two years ago when Rivard and Cifaldi began writing new music together and realized their vision and passion had great potential. They quickly added Bell and Stewart to round out the group, and began creating in earnest. The Restless EP contains five power-packed blues/rock tunes with Chantele Rivard’s one-of-a-kind vocals providing the first punch. Her bluesy, retro-sounding voice can be likened to Adele, Amy Winehouse and Duffy from recent years, but more classic vocalists such as Bonnie Raitt may also come to mind. She needs to be heard to be believed, however, as her voice truly is unique, with a bright, fresh timbre and a bombastic delivery. Her vocals in songs like Restless’ title track are pitch-perfect yet soulful. Despite Rivard covering a very challenging vocal range, there is still depth and heart to her vocals, and even live she never goes flat.
Rivard has definitely found her correct genre in blues-inspired rock, and Nick Cifaldi has been able to match his guitars and musical tracks to complement her vocal powerhouse. Cifaldi shines plenty on his own, however, as he quite often breaks free from his well-written backing rhythms to show his true talent as a blues guitar soloist. During his guitar interludes, audiences will be reminded of early Carlos Santana or Stevie Ray Vaughn, but he’s also punched up both solos and guitar melodies with a good dose of rock sensibility, which carries tracks like Til It’s Mine to a more indie rock space, allowing for wider audiences to appreciate Pacanomad’s unique sound.
Cofaldi’s guitar is not the only thing with new music style. The lyrics in most of the songs on Restless are thoroughly modern, as is the way in which Rivard delivers them. It’s truly a marriage of blues and alt rock when it comes to the vocals and lyrics. The subject matter is very blues-inspired, mulling over love and loss, unrequited pining and passion, but the delivery and the words used are unique to Pacanomad, and very different from the blues standard, as is once again evidenced when listening to the EP’s title track.
It is becoming more and more evident that retro soul and blues in new music is more than just a trend. With singers like Adele, Amy Winehouse, Erykah Badu and Lauren Hill who have talent and staying power, modern fans seem to like a little soul in their pop and rock, and Pacanomad offers even more in that milieu with not only a super-talented vocalist but incredible guitars and, effectively, a full-ensemble blues/rock hybrid with the power to take the new music scene by storm in a way not seen since Adele. Pacanoad’s EP is available to stream on Soundcloud or for purchase on their Bandcamp Page.
Review by Layla Klamt