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Zaac Pick

In the great tradition of Canadian folk musicians, singer-songwriter Zaac Pick wears his heart on his sleeve. His debut solo EP, Fierce Wind is a personal storybook of experience and memory.

Produced by Daniel Mendez (Dashboard Confessional, Duran Duran) and recorded primarily in Pick’s Vancouver kitchen, the album is elegant and unencumbered, finding its strength in skilled song-writing and smooth, smoky vocals. Immediately following its 2009 release, Pick set out to road-test the songs with gigs in the UK, Ireland, and throughout BC and Alberta—and within only a few months, three of Fierce Wind’s six songs had earned prominent spots on popular television dramas One Tree Hill and Ghost Whisperer.

Though Fierce Wind is his first solo project, the Medicine Hat native is already a seasoned musician and songwriter, after a six-year run with Vancouver band Doubting Paris. Two albums and a handful of tours through Canada and Europe brought the four-piece numerous accolades, including spots on MTV’s The Real World, and Joan of Arcadia, as well as opening slots for David Usher, Pilate Speed and UK sensations Keane. When Doubting Paris disbanded in 2008, Pick set to writing his own material, retaining the layers of meaning found in the songs he penned with the band, but breaking his sound down to create the melodic, understated tracks on his EP.

Fierce Wind has already gained plenty of acclaim from critics across the country. Canadian music blog North by East West claims the album contains “all the elements for great music: pretty and solid song structure, thoughtful lyrics, gorgeous melodies, lovely orchestration, sublime production,” (www.nxew.ca March 2010).

This past summer, Pick earned the top prize in Vancouver’s Shore 104.3FM Summer Song Search after his elegiac ballad “My Century,” caught the attention of Shore listeners and the contest’s big name judges—industry heavyweights Bruce Allen, Terry McBride, and Sam Feldman.

“It’s incredibly validating,” says Pick. “As a solo artist you spend so much time on your own, writing and practicing. To get this kind of feedback on your first recording is totally unexpected.”

Pick beat out more than 200 other BC artists, landing a prize package worth $20,000, including studio time and a slot at the Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival alongside acclaimed Canadian artists Yukon Blonde, Serena Ryder and Grammy-winning blues icon, Taj Mahal.

On the heels of his big win, Pick has been keeping busy with dozens of performances throughout Western Canada, while beginning work on another near-perfect storm of songs—all before his upcoming performances at this year’s Canadian Music Week and South By South-West.

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