Story by Kate Davies

Photo by Robert Huynh 

Although you may not know his name as of yet, has already cranked out four albums to date, releasing his fifth on May 15th. Evidently inspired by the likes of David Gray and Ryan Adams, Hoe nevertheless brings something a little more real and heartwarming to the table. His songs are melancholy in nature yet uplifting in spirit, balancing tales of love and loss alongside quirky, tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Hailing from Winnipeg, Hoe has been steadily gaining critical praise for his strong voice, simple melodies, and tasteful production. He opened for Canadian legend Jann Arden during her 2007-2008 tour, and is known in Winnipeg for headlining his annual JP Hoe Hoe Hoe Holiday Show.

Mannequin is a mostly slow-paced endeavour, punctuated with enough musical additives to make it’s 11 songs more than just another acoustic release. The first track philosophizes that “this world is tumbling around like balls in a bingo palace” – although a hilariously apt sentiment, the tune itself is otherwise disappointingly safe. “I Only Did It For Love” is an obvious single, sounding a lot like early Jason Mraz, yet still lacking a truly unique feel. However, Hoe’s shining moments appear deeper into his album, where songs like “Conversation” (co-written by talented alt/country Canadian musician Luke Doucet) and “Veils on the Way” completely redeem the artist with their strong melodies and emotional rawness. “Bittersweet” (also co-written by Doucet) is a light, Rufus  Wainwright-esque ballad that begs to be sung along to. With Beatles-like verses and a driving chorus, “Do I Know You” is the best track of the album, showcasing Hoe’s penchant for dramatically dark builds. Just like a mannequin when it is clothed, Hoe displays his originality through adding layers to his work, having the ability to reach beyond simple acoustic fluff on his best tracks.

He is now on tour across Canada in support of his latest album, with a concert date in Toronto on June 6th at  The Cameron House.

Upcoming Canadian Tour Dates:

May 18 – Edmonton, AB – Haven Social Club
May 24 – Vancouver, BC – The Railway Club
May 25 – Victoria, BC – Ocean Island
May 26 – Kelowna, BC – The Streaming Café
June 4 – Thunder Bay, ON – The Apollo
June 6 – Toronto, ON – Cameron House
June 7 – Wakefield, QC – The Blacksheep Inn
June 10 – Halifax, NS – The Carleton
June 11 – Charlottetown, PEI – Baba’s
June 13 – Peterborough, ON – The Montreal House


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