Meg Warren trained as a classical opera singer in her native Newfoundland, a place better known for folk music traditions.
So how did she end up in the electro-pop band Repartee — which performs on Tuesday, June 7, at Bo’s Bar and Grill in Red Deer? Warren laughs, saying Newfoundland is much more musically diverse than people give it credit for: “There’s a lot of different music here, not only folk …”
Warren grew up listening to American groups The Plimsouls, Weezer and No Doubt, as well as Canadian singer Sarah Slean. Later she was drawn to electronica bands, such as Toronto group Dragonette.
But the native of Grand Falls, NL. had also been taking singing and piano lessons since she was a child. When she entered Memorial University’s music program, it was as a classical voice major. Warren admitted she was drawn to the dramatic performance aspect of opera.
Yet when she started writing her own songs with musical partner and fellow Memorial University alumnus Robbie Brett, their tunes were decidedly non-classical.
And by the time the two teamed up with drummer Nick Coultas-Clarke and keyboardist Josh Banfield, their group was officially a pop/electronica band.
Repartee has been racking up awards and accolades since starting to tour in 2011. The musicians, who have shared stages with Tegan and Sara, Dragonette, Arkells, and Lights, won five MusicNL Awards in 2012. A year later, Repartee was nominated for an East Coast Music Award for Rising Star Recording of the Year.
Repartee’s tunes have since been played on MTV shows Awkward, Finding Carter and Becoming Us. And band members were excited to recently sign a contract with Toronto-based indie label Sleepless Records.
The group’s latest release All Lit Up, is full of ear-wormish hooks — including the first single, Dukes, which is getting radio play in Newfoundland.
Warren said the tune is about fighting for what you believe in. “Definitely, it comes out of personal experience … I tend to shy away from conflict, but sometimes conflict is necessary. You have to fight for what you want, including making a relationship work.”
Another new tune, Carelessly, Carelessly, came out of a story line she made up about unrequited love.
When Warren and Brett write songs, “it goes back and forth between us. Sometimes he comes to me with an idea, and sometimes I go to him.”
There’s a $10 cover charge for the 8 p.m. show.