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Searchlight 2017: 1-person bands you should hear

Del Cowie

No band? No problem!

While many of the CBC Searchlight entries came from bands of two, three or more musicians, some solo acts grabbed our attention for their use of loop pedals and various other types of musical gadgetry to fill out their sound. They make up in ingenuity what they may lack in numbers.

Scroll down to sample the talent of these one-person bands, and don't forget to vote at by Monday, Feb. 27.

Who: Clare Follett

Song: "Amy"

About: A 15-year-old singer songwriter from St. John's, N.L., Follett is a multi-instrumentalist with a knack for performing catchy pop songs. Indeed, she has already gained a bit of fame through her online endeavours, covering the entire discography of Marianas Trench on her YouTube channel and gaining the attention of the band in the process. But in her split-screen video, Follett shows that she's far from a novelty cover act, showing her impressive proficiency as a vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist and promising all-around performer.

Who: David Unsworth

Song: "Growing Pains"

About: Unsworth's nocturnal performance on a roof with just a guitar and a loop pedal holds your attention courtesy of his impassioned vocal performance and knack for thought-provoking lyrics. Based in Edmonton, Alta., 20-year-old Unsworth's minimalist approach — honed not just through busking and gigging around the city, but also through musical studies at MacEwan University — is yielding impressive results.

Who: Clark Jaman

Song: "I'll Wait for You"

About: This Saskatchewan-based musician uses a slew of instruments in his environment, including three guitars, xylophone, keyboards and drums. Despite the interchanging use of these multiple instruments, Jaman is able to deliver an assured and well-executed vocal performance of a catchy pop song.

Who: Zane

Song: "A Pond Reflection"

About: It appears music comes easily to Zane. The Vancouver singer-songwriter literally sets up shop outside a Berlin second-hand store in his video, casually strumming and sing-talking along to his looped beatboxing while seated. Despite his laconic approach, it's telling that Zane's seemingly effortless musical prowess draws a crowd to watch him perform. Soon, he has a new fan in the form of an observer. Take a listen and find out if Zane's laid-back approach suits your style.

Who: Sammy Duke

Song: "Sympathy"

About: We have to talk about the chimes. Sammy Duke deftly plays the instrument with his elbows but there's much more to him than just his unorthodox playing of this instrument. In fact, in addition to chimes, Duke plays the guitar, bass synthesizer and percussion (with both feet.) And if you're still not convinced, Duke's bluesy voice will get you.

Who: Cassandra Maze

Song: "Wait"

About: Cassandra Maze's assured performance using beatboxing, handclaps and a loop pedal while she sings and plays synths is worth taking note of. With a noticeable ease onstage, the pop edge of the song puts this Vancouver artist in genuine contention for radio airplay. Maze turned heads last year in Searchlight, reaching the final stages of the competition.

Who: Mike Dominey

Song: "While We're Here"

About: Mike Dominey uses beatbox percussion and guitar to deliver his insistently catchy and melodic track, "While We're Here." Edmonton-based Dominey is building up a reputation as an accomplished musician and this Searchlight entry will only enhance his following.

More to explore:

Searchlight Playlist: 10 young musicians you need to hear

Searchlight 2017: 8 family bands to hear

Searchlight 2017: 5 non-English acts you should hear

Searchlight Playlist: 8 underground music acts you should hear

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