ABOUT


Their fans have been waiting patiently for a year for new music, and with We Win Some We Lose The Once have delivered a deep, thoughtful and exciting new collection of songs.

A modern indie folk trio from Newfoundland, The Once has collected a trio of Canadian Folk Music Awards, numerous ECMA awards, was named Artist of the Year by the Newfoundland & Labrador Arts Council. They have earned not one, but two JUNO nominations for best Roots/Traditional album, the most recent in acknowledgement of Departures (2014). While originally known for its haunting interpretations of traditional music, The Once has at long last uncovered a sound that truly represents their inner artistry.

“I think we finally know what The Once sounds like,” says Phil Churchill, “and with that knowledge comes a freedom we would not let ourselves have before.” The Once’s newest EP, We Win Some We Lose, perfectly encapsulates the trio’s newfound artistic freedom and songwriting voice. 

With their folk roots still firmly in hand, Phil, Geri, and Andrew have embraced a distinctly modern sound by the inclusion of drums and percussion, electric guitars, and sweeping keyboards. CBC’s Jeff Rielly says We Win Some We Lose “leaves [him] in a perpetual state of wistful, anthemic longing.  An innocence that nevertheless leaves [him] with the sense that we are flirting with tragedy.”  Lyrically, The Once’s newest collection of songs encompasses an arresting sense of loss, emphasized musically by Geraldine’s bewitching delivery of beautifully haunting melodies. The first single, “We Are Love,” offers a ray of hope amidst an otherwise provocative and emotive musical anthology. 
 
The group formed out of pressure and necessity when working at a summer theatre festival in the tiny ex-fishing village of Trinity, Newfoundland nearly 10 years ago. In the Newfoundland vernacular 'the once' means 'imminently, but not necessarily so.' Phil, Geri, and Andrew wanted something that would embody who they are, where they come from, and would illicit a smirk and a nod amongst Newfoundlanders back home, but would forever require an explanation elsewhere. 
 
The Once’s first album actually came about due to a stroke of serendipity, when a stranger at a show was so impressed that he offered them $5000 to record an album. Their award-winning self-titled debut was eventually released by the Canadian label Borealis Records, as was its follow-up Row Upon Row Of The People They Know, for which they received their first JUNO nomination. 

In 2013 another chance encounter, this time at a Glasgow festival, lead to a collaboration and friendship with Mike Rosenberg, a.k.a. Passenger. Hot on the heels of his worldwide #1 hit, 'Let Her Go', Rosenberg invited The Once to sing on both of his recent albums – including his current #1 album, Young As The Morning, Old As The Sea – and together they have performed all over the world. In 2014 the band released the album Departures worldwide to great critical acclaim, leading to multiple awards, including another coveted JUNO nomination. 

With the release of the EP, We Win Some We Lose, The Once enters a new era, with new sounds, new styles and new ideas. The whirlwind of the past few years has honed their sound and creativity, and having found their voice, the band is looking firmly ahead.


PRESS

Leaves me in a perpetual state of wistful, anthemic longing. An innocence that nevertheless leaves me with the sense that we are flirting with tragedy.
— Jeff Reilly, CBC
Simply put, they’re a joy to witness. Dazzling three part harmonies and a capella arrangements stoke a nostalgic longing for idyllic rural memories regardless of one’s own past. In hearing them perform, you feel like you’re a part of an alternate reality in which negativity never existed.
— Neil Van, Live In Limbo
THE ONCE get 3 of 4 stars in Canada’s Globe and Mail
Just as the sea refuses no river, the Once turns back no listeners. These three Newfoundlanders gracefully and evocatively offer gem-like maritime music – foot-stomping shanties, heart-rendering ballads, salt-aired interpretations (of Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen tunes) and a cappella three-part harmonies thicker than Mama Cass’s midriff. The drinkable Geraldine Hollett is the pure-voiced starlet, riveting on the soloed Marguerite. Something singular is happening here, you bet.
— Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail
Canadian indie folk trio The Once have a winner on their hands in latest full-length Departures.
— Jeffrey Sisk, Pittsburgh In Tune
From the opening a cappella tune to the last song, “We Are All Running,” The Once captured the hearts of all who were present with their brilliantly beautiful harmonies and cheerful on stage presence.
— Beth McAllister, No Country for New Nashville
Perfect vocal harmonies thick enough to stand on. Think of the heavenly mix of Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch, back them up with The Chieftans, and let Daniel Lanois swim around in it, and you’re still only halfway there.
— Amelia Curran, ECMA Nominated Singer/Songwriter
Departures, their third album, is a gorgeous collection of harmony-driven acoustic folk.
— Matthew McKean, The Overcast