• By: Katie Hartai

Experiencing Wonderkind

Learn what it means to feel “wonderkind” with the cross-Canada tour of Language Arts this spring.

Toronto’s unique alternative jazz-pop band has been together for ten years, although it has been a rotating door in terms of members. Currently the band consists of classically trained Kristen Cudmore, drummer Neil MacIntosh, keyboardist Joel Visentin and bassist Soren Nissen.

“We get along weirdly well,” Cudmore explains with a laugh. “Each one of us is completely different and it just makes total sense.”

Language Arts is using the tour to promote their sophomore album Wonderkind, recorded by Grammy-nominated producer Darryl Neudor. The album took four years to complete and was released last year.

“Wonderkind is an English compound word that does not exist—but I made it exist,” says Cudmore. “You can use it in different contexts twisting the word to mean whatever.”

The term is described by the band to have two meanings: (1) A feeling of surprise caused by a person, persons or things holding characteristics of beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar or inexplicable traits. And (2) a curiosity or sense of caution or suspicion due to the benevolent disposition of a person.

“When I was writing the album, there were different songs where I was channeling that thought or that curiosity in the two different ways you can define it,” Cudmore says.

Wonderkind merges various genres of music in a collection that brilliantly showcases Cudmore’s imagination and powerful voice. She explains the band is often referred to as the “genera-defying-art-pop-project” because of its complex musicality. Listen to the album single here.

“By the time we were done the album we noticed it had pop elements and also chamber moments,” describes Cudmore. “But we are still a band that plays with the rock instrumentation and are influenced by jazz and hiphop.”

For Cudmore, it is this depth of composition and performance that makes an album worth listening to.

“If it’s not taking you anywhere in your mind or making you move physically or emotionally than there is really no point.”

Language Arts’ unique sound will certainly have Ottawa moving on April 1 with their evening performance at Zaphod’s.

“There is something so Canadian about Ottawa and I love that,” Cudmore says, excited to drop by the capital city. “It is not like you can go and get beavertails here in Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square!”

For more information about the band or to purchase music visit the official Language Arts website.