Common Deer, originally from Ontario, Canada, features two sets of siblings and several multi-instrumentalists. The band is comprised of Graham McLaughlin (vocals, violin, guitar), Sheila Hart-Owens (vocals, keys), Adam Hart-Owens (cello, guitar, synth), Liam Farrell (percussion, synth, samples) and Connor Farrell (bass).
With the band members born and raised in different cities across Ontario, Common Deer came together despite diverse academic and career pursuits. Each of their personalities are perfectly melded together for music that is both engaging and untraditional.
Their songs are smooth and lush, especially with the beautiful instrumentation of the bass, guitar, cello and violin, and the combinations with drum machines, synths and modern riffs. Standout tracks include “Confession (I Should Have Known)” and “Feather and Bone.”
“Classical music can sometimes come across as intense or rigid, but we’ve put an emphasis on letting go and really enjoying being in the moment,” McLaughlin said.
“It would be great to see more classical musicians not using these instruments as a gimmick to gain popularity, but rather to explore and push the genre’s boundaries,” Adam added.
Working on their new music in Brooklyn, the band describes their sound as “post-classical with new wave influences, weaving themes of the natural world with broader issues of modern life.” McLaughlin and Sheila’s lyrics try to find the balance between light and dark, optimism and realism.
Besides studio time, Common Deer recently performed a showcase at The Well in Williamsburg.