hard.times with Lady Phyl
hard.times with Lady Phyl melds rhythmic jazz with the vibe of R&B and soul music to create a sound that is unique and captivating.
In April 2022, hard.times with Lady Phyl released the FACTOR funded ‘High with Me’; so far, the single has accumulated over 130,000 streams and has been added to over 2500 playlists. hard.times with Lady Phyl is gearing up to release their new single, ‘YRU So Confusing’, in spring 2023.
The collaboration between hard.times’ unique, intricate, textured grooves, and Lady Phyl’s virtuosic vocals and soulful lyrics makes this group a noteworthy upcoming act in the world of nu-jazz/neo-soul/hip-hop.
hard.times is Matt Aasen (guitar), Rob Elo (keyboards), Steven Taddei (bass), and Jesse McNeill (Drums); musicians with a serious passion for rhythm, and who all have higher education in music performance. With backgrounds in jazz, pop, ska, soul/RnB, and progressive metal, they seek to meld rhythmic jazz with the vibe of R&B and soul music in the hopes of creating a sound that is unique and appealing..
The group’s sound is almost exclusively based in quintuplet swing: a feel that is most often electronically-generated. While a lot of music in the experimental-jazz-fusion genre can alienate audiences with free-time or atonal harmony, hard.times’ goal is to create music that is pleasing to the ear; improvisational, rhythmically and compositionally complex, and experimental, but presented with familiar chords and a tight groove that the listener can understand and enjoy.
hard.times released its debut EP, Portland, in 2019; a FACTOR-funded live-off-the-floor album in 2020; the single ‘Clean Dancing’ (via Inner Ocean Records) in 2021; and the beat-tape album ‘After A Year’ in 2022.
The Body Politic
The Body Politic combines poly-metric grooves, aggressive screams and soaring vocal melodies to push the boundaries of modern metal music with technically impressive musicianship. Their emotionally charged songs incorporate an element of playfulness that has lead the band to perform opening slots for Tesseract, Protest The Hero and Scale The Summit plus multiple Western Canadian tours with their evolution.
Rob played keys and went on upwards of 10 Western Canadian tours with The Body Politic from 2012 to 2019. Their most recent album, Contr:addiction, was mixed by famed producer and Periphery band member Adam 'Nolly' Getgood.
By bringing "together modern day indie pop and blue-eyed ’70s R&B” (Ride the Tempo), Lovecoast has created something bouncy and infectious. Lovecoast finds inspiration in modern acts like the Cat Empire and Lake Street Dive, and classic legends such as Billie Holiday and Bruce Springsteen. The band's music has been widely enjoyed by audiences, and has featured in several Hallmark films.
Rob played with Lovecoast at numerous venues and festivals across BC (including Vancouver's Shorefest and Victoria's Rifflandia), joined the band from 2017-2020, and recorded a grant-funded, live-off-the-floor cover of BORNS' Electric Love.
Band Of Rascals
Band Of Rascals mix vintage southern blues sensibilities with screeching and electrifying guitar riff. With thundering drums and heart/vibe lyrics, these rock ‘n’ roll brothers-in-arms represent a new generation of North American rock bands. They've performed at Ottawa's Juno Fest, and their Tempest EP was recorded in Bryan Adams iconic studio The Warehouse, with famed producer Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Arkells, Monster Truck). Their recordings have amassed almost 3m streams on Spotify alone.
Rob had the pleasure of recording with the Rascals on some of their singles and performing with them at festival dates all across Vancouver island, including Tour De Shores, Rock The Shores, and Rifflandia; each of these performances were attended by thousands of people.