“Music just feels natural. I need it and I don’t know why. I need it to get things out of my system,” says Sabrina Halde, the lead singer of an emerging indie-pop band called Groenland. The Montreal natives are bringing with them a wave of intensely emotional orchestral sound, stringing together keys, percussion, guitars, jazzy vocals, and pushing emotion into pop, dance, and indie music.
Groendland members Jonathan Charette, Gabrielle Gizard-Charest, Sabrian Halde, Jean-Vivier Levesque, Fanny C. Lautin, and Simon Gosselin.
ZeeBigBang spoke with Sabrina before the band’s performance at the 2013 Osheaga Festival in Montreal, where they shared the stage with big names like Beck, Mumford and Sons, and Tegan and Sara. It wasn’t always like this for them though, explains Halde. “Me and Jean [the band’s programmer and keyboardist] started as an electronic duo, we tried, but it just didn’t work, we didn’t have the skills for it.” After reaching little success, the duo invited their friends to join in. “We invited the drummer and started jamming together and kept inviting our other friends to the band and building a more organic sound.” Jonathan Charette (drums), Simon Gosselin (bass), Gabrielle Gizard-Charest (cello), and Fanny C. Lautin (violin) came together on the project, each adding a new layer to the sound of the band.
All members of Groenland are trained musicians who studied different aspects of music in school. In fact, some of them met at the University of Montreal, and auditioning for her program was one of the breakthrough moments in Halde’s singing career. “I started singing when I was 8, singing Spice Girls. I was really, really shy, which was the hardest thing to move through for me. I wouldn’t sing in front of anyone, ever, until I decided to do something about it. So I went to school, I had to audition, and it went really well.”