IN CRAIG’S OWN WORDS

On Love Is Louder (Than All This Noise):


“The compromise, or the idea was to not pigeonhole a song but to give it two faces. It’s almost like covering yourself in a way.”

– Exclaim! Interview 12/1/2013

“So the title, and most of the songs [on the album], really are about the different bits of distraction/harm that we make and embrace, and a reminder to come back to what is important and what is known and true.”

– A Music Blog, Yea? Interview 2/6/2014

“When I first started working with producers Ben Leggett and Andre Wahl, they said, ‘we don’t want to make another record like you’ve made before.’ And that’s why you hire producers; to push you creatively.”

– The Cadre Interview 2/23/2014

“I think the songs [on this new album] have got a different heart to them.”

– High River Times Interview 11/12/2013

“I think the purpose of each song is to remind people to make sure they remember to remember that they’re OK and that things are good. Don’t give up.”

– Nanaimo Daily News Interview 4/3/2014

“Cover songs are amazing because they are such a different interpretation of what the artist did, and in a way, this was a chance to cover a song of my own.”

 – BeatRoute Alberta Interview 11/4/2013

 

On Floods & Fires:

 

“This album was just like giving myself the permission to explore songs to their fullest, some songs have anything from beat boxing to full horn sections.”

– Grand Prairie Daily Herald Tribune Interview 11/10/2011

“Within the framework of choosing to be happy instead of fear, everything becomes clear, and all the songs connect.”

– Roots Music Canada Interview 5/28/2012

“[These songs] are all reminders of all the joy, the perfectness of little things we forget about.”

“I love and I’m proud of the albums that are quirky and interesting, but I wanted to work on an album that I didn’t ever pause at the end and go, ‘It would have been nice to try out flugel horn.’”

 – Ottawa Citizen Interview 3/5/2012

 

On Working with (Producer) Ben Leggett:

 

“There are always a hundred songs you want on an album and a good producer or collaborator helps you with that – they help you keep the voice of the album.”

– Cochrane Eagle Interview 11/7/2013

 

On Goodnight (Go Home):

 

“I think what I learned on this album is that it’s good to capture everything and eavesdrop a lot and be like a bird building a nest, taking in little parts of everything—and then to walk away from that,”

 – Queen’s Journal Interview 10/9/2007

 

On The Book Of Truths:

 

“There is a comfort level in sharing, and some of the stories people have shared they’re heartbreaking or really inspiring.”

 – Waterloo Chronicle Interview 12/17/2013

“So this is sort of a tongue-in-cheek way of saying ‘let’s get over all the banter and get to the meat of it. Tell me something about you that is something true and honest.’”

 – Nanaimo News Bulletin Interview 4/1/2014

“I feel like everybody’s a little bit broken, and everybody has the same capacity and range of terribleness and beautifulness and light,”

– Roots Music Canada Interview 5/28/2012

“…all of us are equally perfect and equally broken and the only difference is some of us hide it better.”

 – Calgary Sun Interview 8/10/2012

 

On Songwriting:

 

“I always want to untie all the knots I have inside of me, get the problem out on paper, scratch the itch.”

– A Music Blog, Yea? Interview 2/6/2014

“I like creating under pressure, where most feel comfortable crafting a song and piecing it out in private, and then presenting it after lots and lots of edits.”

– The Cadre Interview 2/23/14

“I try to find songs that will have a place 10 years, 20 years, 30 years from now; writing about broader things.”

 Way Cool Music Interview

 

On His Career:

 

“It’s your fault if you’re successful, it’s your fault if you fail. It’s very liberating to approach your art and how you make a living like that.”

 – Calgary Sun Interview 8/10/2012

“…I’m making art and running a small business that’s working. I don’t know if it needs to be anything bigger. All of my problems are really good ones right now, and I feel like there’s all these songs I have to write.”

– Exclaim! Interview 11/22/2013

“The thing that has served me well is just saying ‘yes’ to all of these opportunities.”

 Waterloo Chronicle Interview 12/17/2013

 

On Humanity:

 

“Our job [as people] is to keep each other awake to the world, and to keep ourselves awake to the world, even when it hurts terribly, or you’re worried you’ll be burst from the joy of it.”

 – The Sputnik Interview 3/12/2014

 

On Touring:

 

“The boxes that hold the shows change, but the people are always lovely. Especially the singeralongers.”

– The Sputnik Interview 3/12/2014

“Visiting a place for the first time is always like a blind date.”

 – Cochrane Times Interview 11/13/2013

“It’s not unmediated. It’s just more fan-directed, and that’s exciting,”

– The Globe and Mail Interview 1/17/2007

“I just feel really lucky that there are people out there who can bring a community together for a night and have picked me to be the entertainment.”

– Grande Prairie Daily Herald Tribune Interview 11/10/2011

“The room is less important than the people in it.”

 – The Ontarion Interview 10/28/2010

“I just like places where people make music or want to have music made for them. I’ve always felt pretty lucky to [be a part of] that.”

– The Ontarion Interview 4/8/2010

 

On Performing:

 

“To me, it’s really important to find ways to get better and offer something new.”

– Way Cool Music Interview

“The real instrument isn’t the guitar you’re playing or working a microphone, it’s the audience and connecting with them.”

 – Waterloo Chronicle Interview 12/17/2013

“You live new things and experience things, and music is about that.”

 Queen’s Journal Interview 10/9/2007

“My job is to go into rooms and use music and songs as a device to connect people together…”

 – Cochrane Eagle Interview 11/7/2013

“The hope is that whether it’s sharing these ideas or coming to music, to listen and participate, is that they open up rather than close down.”

– Queen’s Journal Interview 2/11/2014

“I get paid to eavesdrop and sew it into a song. How lucky am I?”

 – BlogTO Interview 10/10/2007

“Stories are anchors in the brain’s ocean that the boats of songs tether to. Stories need the songs as much as the songs need the stories.”

– Queen’s Journal Interview 10/1/2010

“Don’t die with your music in you, and your songs in you. Get it out.”

 – Dalhousie Gazette Interview 11/2/2012

“Recording and really capturing and then sharing that joy and emotion involved in it, that’s what music is to me.”

– Queen’s Journal Interview 9/15/2009

“We all want to sing along, sometimes we just need to be asked.”

– The Ontarion Interview 10/28/2010

 

QUOTES FROM THE PRESS

On Ottawa Folk Fest:

 

“Craig Cardiff is a perfect fit for the Folk Fest – the Juno-nominated artist sings of heartbreak and love, and has a deep soulful voice to truly make us live in the moment.”

 – Francois Levesque, Apt613, 5/7/2014

 

On Love is Louder (Than All This Noise):

 

“Wherever he goes, whether playing to fans or strangers hearing him for the first time, it’s hard to imagine the soft-spoken troubadour not winning over audiences, especially with his latest collection of tunes, which explores the ways we choose to express our emotions, with actions or words.”

 – Stephen Cooke, Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 7/23/2014

“Don’t think that “gentler” means boring. Using his best qualities, Cardiff’s voice sounds clear. The innocence of his raw voice with the support of only a few instruments is incredibly powerful.”

“Noticeably versatile, Cardiff manages to reach a world of melancholy and joy all at once.”

– Ashley Wadhwani, The Omega, 4/1/2014

“This latest release by Cardiff is proof that good things will come out of passion and love — and he did it all on his own terms. If you’re a fan of folk, this album is a must.”

– Becca Paterson, The Reflector, 2/13/2014

“…while mellow and introspective work well for him, it’s a blast to hear him branch out on this double-disc: Love is Louder (Than All This Noise), Pt 1&2. The first disc, Louder!, is rich and expansive, uplifting without resorting to being saccharine. Part 2 – Gentler! is more intimate and representative of his sound at the house concerts he regularly plays. But it’s the storytelling and romantic perspectives that bridge the two. A double-album that warrants the format.”

– Noah Siegel, New Canadian Music, 11/27/2013

“Overall, this album is heart-warming, fun, energetic, and thoughtful. Anyone enjoying previous music by Cardiff is sure to love it, and the record should be recommended to anyone who enjoys folk music. The tracks on the record are catchy and it’s easy to sing along; especially since you’ll know the words to most of the second disc by the time you’re through the first one!”

Taylor Price, The Argus, 4/2/2014

“That Nick Drake-esque side of Cardiff is given plenty of space on Love Is Louder’s second disc, where many of the same songs are presented again with largely piano and string backing. In some ways, it’s too much of a good thing, but Cardiff can’t be faulted for going the extra mile for his audience. It’s what’s gotten him to this point, and is sure to carry him further with this effort that puts him solidly in the upper echelon of Canadian folk artists.”

– Jason Schneider, Exclaim! 11/18/2013

“With a catalogue now well into double digits and a national fan base that is surely the envy of his singer-songwriter peers, Ottawa’s Craig Cardiff has been the model of how to be a successful independent Canadian musician. However, with his new double album, Love Is Louder (Than All This Noise) Parts 1 & 2, he seems better poised than ever to break into the mainstream, having recorded with a full band for the first time.”

Jason Schneider, Exclaim! 11/22/2013

“In all, Love is Louder is fantastic. It’s one of those rare albums that can be used for both a calm ambience and a jovial road trip.”

“Every song sounds different, and most of the songs will have you feeling like you’ve always known the lyrics. You’ll want to sing along at the top of your lungs regardless of who’s listening.”

– Aj McDowell, The Eyeopener, 3/21/2014

 

On Floods & Fires:

 

“From the majestic loops of ‘The Very Last Night of the End of the World’ to the feel-good caress of ‘Safe Here,’ the cello-enhanced lullaby ‘Gate’ and a sprinkling of starting-over songs, it’s a gorgeous album that seems to find a balance between heartbreak and joy. Listening to Cardiff’s gentle, expressive voice, you can imagine that Paul Simon is whispering in one ear and Van Morrison in the other.”

Lynn Saxberg, The Ottawa Citizen, 3/5/2012

“Though his music is patently innovative in presentation, it perfectly embodies a traditional folk sound.”

“Floods & Fires stays true to its core sound, and though it explores many facets of that sound, it stays completely coherent. The album is upbeat, intimate, laid-back, thoroughly Canadian and a great listen – every single track.”

 – Karen Aney, The Cascade, 4/11/2012

“There is a warm and inviting feeling to the end of the world. In Craig Cardiff’s Floods and Fires, the seemingly apocalyptic crises life throws at our solemn narrator are met with a measure of hope and the promise of shelter to wait out the storm.”

Ellen Keeble, Calgary Sun, 8/10/12

 

On Goodnight Go Home:

 

“As with previous albums, Cardiff is at his best when he takes the most heart-breaking of subjects and somehow finds hope through thoughtful turns of phrase.”

“Cardiff’s storytelling is front and center and this is ultimately what sets him apart from others in the genre and earns him praise from luminaries like Lightfoot.”

Jeremy Morris, Midnight Poutine, 11/20/2007

 

On Live Performances:

 

“The way that Craig relates to his listeners, preferring to play intimate living-room shows or in prison cafeterias than to a packed pub, is the same way he writes his music; he holds absolutely nothing back.”

 – Megan Krause, Ca Va Cool, 3/30/2009

“…Craig seemed to be someone who genuinely loved hearing people’s stories, and more importantly, someone who loved to share the gift of music with all who would listen.”

Cody Groat, Canadian Stories, 1/9/2014

“The success of the evening — the proceeds of which went towards Relay for Life — is a testament to Cardiff’s ability to bring people together within a community for an experience all members can benefit from; he is the glue for events like this.”

 – Tara Mahoney,  The Fulcrum, 3/6/2014

“The mesmerized crowd held their breaths, hanging onto every word of Cardiff’s emotionally-charged lyrics.”

 – Julia Falco, The Ontarion, 3/29/2012

“Craig did an amazing job connecting with the audience to make it feel like he was playing a hundred personal concerts.”

– Mathew Clift, The Ontarion, 3/29/2012

“Standing solo on stage, Craig needed only his voice and guitar and perhaps a loop pedal to pour a swelling sense of honesty and delight into all attendees. It was the kind of show that made you take a deep breath, smile and submit to your core contentment.”

“Cozy, candid and charming; this is Craig Cardiff.”

Daniel Thomas, Independent Music News, 9/25/2013

“His voice reminded me of a young Peter Gabriel and at times when I closed my eyes, the resemblance was uncanny.”

“Craig charmed the audience with his words and took everyone on an adventure of his thoughts and experiences.”

– Jesse Creatchman, Soupe Kitchen, 1/25/2013

“The music Cardiff plays is gutsy stuff straight from the heart and with cleverly strung together lyrics that tell of personal tales we can all relate to, in a way that is fresh and engaging.”

“With a sound reminding me at times of Joe Purdy, both in lyric and feeling, Cardiff led the way through his years as an artist with an understated warm confidence that blanketed the audience in a silenced reverie.”

“This truly felt less like a formal show and more like a gathering of friends and strangers in some giant living room, Cardiff playing host with his stories made musical.”

“What I can tell you is that as a performer he is very giving, engaging with his fans as though they were old friends, often playing out of the ordinary venues such as the living rooms of people’s houses, and making set lists more personal by asking fans what they’d like to hear and building upon that.”

– Nathan Pike, All What’s Rock 3/3/2013

“A storyteller at heart, Cardiff is renowned for his acoustic guitar-playing and soft voice, as well as the ingenious use of a digital looping pedal he performs with, which he uses to layer guitar and vocal effects overtop of each other.”

– Nick Roy, Queen’s Journal, 10/1/2010

“Cardiff is big on following his passion, and might inspire you to do so too.”

– Lori Mastronardi, London Free Press, 8/7/2013

“Known for his soft vocals, stunning guitar loops and down-to-earth nature, Cardiff has also been spotlighted for his unusual policy toward the distribution of music.”

– Ally Hall, Queen’s Journal, 9/15/2009

“Possessing a vocal style that has drawn comparisons to Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson, Cardiff is equal parts musician and storyteller, often sharing personal anecdotes and conversing with the audience in between songs.”

 – Journal Staff, Queen’s Journal, 3/10/2006

“He has a knack for provoking an emotional response to people attending his shows.”

“Cardiff has made a career out of trying new things.”

– Aaron Hinks, Grande Prairie Daily Herald Tribune, 11/11/2011

“Near-constant touring has propelled him through the years, as the experience of performing on a stage with a live audience is his inspiration.”

– Drew Hoshkiw, Rocky Mountain Outlook, 11/22/2012

“Between his songs Cardiff has a real habit of getting familiar with everyone in the audience, asking questions and telling stories as though everyone were all their for the same reason and wouldn’t mind feeling like they’re part of something.”

– Josh Doyle, The Ontarion, 10/28/2010

“His call and response style of involving the audience made it less of a concert and more of a large group of friends and strangers getting together.”

Josh Doyle, The Ontarion, 4/8/2010

“It’s clear that sharing his music and inspiring his fans is the driving force behind Cardiff’s art. He tries to use his music to break down barriers between himself and his fans.”

“Craig Cardiff’s music is the essence of simplicity. His mellow voice instantly grabs you and pulls you into a state of comfort. This same characteristic resonates in his music — a mixture of folk and beautifully penned lyrics melt together and work to bring the listener back to a pleasant memory.”

– Bianca Sparacino, The Western Gazette, 10/27/2010

“His voice conjures up smoke-filled dimly lit rooms. It makes you want to crawl into an overstuffed chair and be lulled to sleep.”

 – Elise Palmer, Dalhousie Gazette, 11/2/2012

“The emphasis on storytelling drifts not only through Cardiff’s comedic tales, but also through his lyrics. His performance isn’t just the music, but the entire experience with elements of music and spoken word.”

“In the dull glow of candlelight, Cardiff’s relationship with his audience is more like conversation among friends than performance.”

Ashley Fagan, Capital Arts Online, 2005

“Cardiff’s music is the type of easy listening folk fit for the cottage, road trips, or kicking back during a study break. His bushy beard and relaxed demeanour give off a friendly vibe, and the stories he tells between songs are hilarious.”

– Joel Basalm, The Fulcrum 11/7/2012

“He plays a lot of house concerts in people’s living rooms. It’s very personal and dedicated. He makes a space feel more intimate. You see him and you don’t feel he’s hiding behind anything. He looks honest and truthful.”

 – Ella Coyes of The Rhythm Group, St. Albert Gazette, 7/9/2014

“His folky melodies and soft vocals are as warm and soothing as a cup of hot chocolate. Like Paul Simon, Van Morrison and John Mayer, he finds a balance between heartache and joy.”

“After more than a dozen independent releases, Cardiff’s last album, the gorgeous Floods & Fires, was nominated for a Juno Award and a Canadian Folk Music Award, proving that it’s possible to establish an atmosphere of intimacy amid a lush musical backdrop.”

Lynn Saxberg, The Ottawa Citizen, 12/5/2013

“If there was ever a troubadour inspired by his fans, it’s Cardiff, who envelops his fans with his ‘warm, scratchy, sad and sleepy’ vocals, singing songs that explore and expose the human condition.”

 – Lindsay Seewalt, Cochrane Eagle, 11/7/2013

“Craig Cardiff’s 15-plus year career has been a textbook study in how to do everything right in building a grassroots audience. Working completely independently, the Ottawa-based singer-songwriter has crisscrossed the nation countless times, playing everywhere from living rooms to theatres, converting diehard followers every step of the way with a heart-on-sleeve approach that now seems eerily prescient in this Age of Mumford. Cardiff’s last album, Floods & Fires, was a major breakthrough, earning a Juno nomination and even landing in the SoundScan Top 10 for a week.”

– Jason Schneider, Exclaim! 11/8/2013

“Craig’s music is somewhat edgy folk, beautiful, and melancholic, and will keep your body swaying all night long.”

“Cardiff’s music is very inviting and makes you feel like you’re the only one in the room.”

– Jennifer Brenton, The Cadre, 2/23/2014

“I had always been a fan of the singer-songwriter’s soulful voice. Hearing him live was naturally even more gratifying—one of those rare times when quality music prevents your thoughts from racing towards the future or past. What I was not expecting—and what added the gig to my list of most memorable concert experiences—was Cardiff’s half side-splitting, half sentimental interaction with the audience.”

“What I was not expecting—and what added the gig to my list of most memorable concert experiences—was Cardiff’s half side-splitting, half sentimental interaction with the audience.”

– MB, Arts East Online, 2/7/2014