Dala to bring sweet harmonies to Ann ArborWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | email@example.com
Crossing the border, the Canadian duo Dala has something to declare: “We are fearless/ And we are here.”
That’s part of the chorus of Dala’s song, “Alive,” from their U.S. debut, “Everyone Is Someone.”
“It’s amazing,” Sheila Carabine said of the January release. “It’s opening so many doors for us, getting our music into people’s ears, which is all we ever want.”
Dala’s catchy folk-pop is getting a lot of attention. Carabine’s alto voice and Amanda Walther’s soprano create rich harmonies for witty, thought-provoking lyrics. They are favorites of NPR’s Folk Alley and played at the 50th anniversary of the Newport Folk Festival.
The two met in high school in Scarborough, Ontario, and wrote their first song in 2002. They came up with Dala by combining the last two letters of their names.
“The friendship was special from the minute we met; we’re kindred spirits,” Carabine said. “And when we added music to that relationship, it just took it over the top.”
The two are flying since being named vocal group of the year at the 2010 Canadian Folk Awards. And they received a Juno Award nomination for roots and traditional album of the year by a group for the PBS special, “Girls From the North Country,” a live concert that will be released in the States this year.
“We’re so honored; it’s kind of the Canadian Grammys,” Carabine said during a phone call from Collingwood, Ontario. “We’re looking forward to hopefully seeing Neil Young; he’s supposed to appear at the event. And Aracade Fire are going to perform, so we feel like we’re part of a moment in time in Canada music history, and that’s really cool.”
Three days after the Juno Awards, Dala will perform at the Ark in Ann Arbor at 8 p.m. March 30. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.
The singer-songwriters both play guitar and piano.
“We also started to incorporate the ukulele in our set,” Carabine said. “It makes me feel like a giant when I’m holding it.”
That sense of humor is prevalent in Dala’s music. Take the single, “Levi Blues,” for example, which finds the pair singing, “I’ll go to China, write ‘I love you’ on the wall/ And maybe London, catch a show at Albert Hall/ I’ll see the world in my Levi blues/ But I’ll always come back to you.”
“It’s a song that’s tongue and cheek; we list all the places we hope our music will take us around the world. And it’s also a love song for the people that we have to leave behind in Toronto every time we go on tour,” Carabine said.
That sweet optimism is all Dala.
“I hope that people notice the little things in their own lives and find inspiration after listening to our songs,” she said.
For more information, visit dalagirls.com