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8 one-person bands from Searchlight 2016 who can do it all
By
Melody Lau

Published

April 8, 2016

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Searchlight 2016 is now open and with more than 1,700 entries this year, we've truly covered almost every genre and style of music. We've gotten solo artists, big bands and in some cases, solo artists who sound like full bands. We're talking about one-person bands, people who multitask like no other and form incredible songs by performing all the musical duties themselves.

From electronic producers to cleverly edited videos, we picked out eight submissions that featured one person pulling off many tasks at once. Scroll through the list below and see some of this year's most notable one-person bands.

Don't forget to watch, share and vote here.

Who: Cassandra Bangel
Song: "Marry the Moon"

About: Vancouver artist Cassandra Bangel performs both with a band and as a solo artist, but either way she manages to captivate audiences with her ability to multitask onstage. Bangel plays the keyboard and tambourine at the same time on her song "Marry the Moon," while simultaneously working a looping pedal. The result is a delightful pop number that's all the more impressive when you know it's done by only one person.


Who: postmoderndisco
Song: "Wings"

About: Toronto artist postmoderndisco is doing great things and her colourful submission video for the track “Wings” definitely caught our attention — not only for her technical prowess performing on a Maschine but also her ability to weave together elements of classical, East-Asian and dance music.


Who: Sam Sloan
Song: "4U"

About: Aesthetically, launchpads look great with their flickering flights, but they take lots of skill to perfect. Hamilton artist Sam Sloan proves on his song "4U" that he has clearly mastered his Ableton launchpad. Here, Sloan crafts a detailed and layered song using electronics, but is still able to maintain an intimacy and warmth to his beats while spitting verses over them.


Who: Joshua White
Song: "Beaches"

About: Another user of Ableton and samples, Vancouver's Joshua White meticulously forms tracks by combining glitchy beats with more subdued pianos, claps, vocal clips and even a hint of saxophone. In the end, it all coalesces together into a smooth dance number worth checking out.


Who: Nathaniel Krikke
Song: "Rusty Old John Deere"

About: Pulling the ol' Bob Dylan trick, B.C.'s Nathaniel Krikke performs with an acoustic guitar and a harmonica at the same time. While Krikke's voice is nothing like the folk troubadour's, his sound definitely draws from that era of music.


Who: Kevin Todd
Song: "Oh, What a Feeling"

About: Toronto artist Kevin Todd cleverly edited a video showing him performing every instrument on his song "Oh, What a Feeling." Performing the drums, guitar and bass while singing, Todd succeeds in showing off his many musical skills.


Who: Knafo
Song: "Crazy People"

About: Some electronic musicians only rely on pre-made beats but Montreal artist Knafo takes things a step further by playing bongo drums live in between cuing up samples and performing on the keyboard. The culmination of all those elements on "Crazy People" is an interesting, layered track.


Who: Bun
Song: "Cloud Gardens"

About: While the video for Toronto artist Bun's "Cloud Gardens" doesn't actually show the guitarist/drummer/bassist performing all the instruments at once (he is, but only thanks to some video wizardry), he still fits into the category of a one-man band. All of Bun's sounds come together like a '90s mirage, an ode to the Foo Fighters or Sloan. So if you're into that kind of music, we suggest you check his out submission.