A Spectra of sound

Sarah Leavitt
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Line Spectra is a versatile band made up of three young West Islanders. Their first full-length album Maps & Directions has them playing bars across Montreal. Photo by Jeremy Cohen.

Most twenty-somethings are in a transitional period of their lives; finishing school and choosing a career is a daunting task. Kirklander Vanessa Morelli and her Dorval friends Kathy Perlini and Diana Lalla found a creative outlet for their indecision and worry by putting together their first full-length album. The girls, who are known collectively as Line Spectra, came out with Maps & Directions in January 2010 and have been going non-stop since then.

Line Spectra officially got together five years ago, after knowing each other for 11 years having attended Queen of Angels High School together. With Perlini on the drums, Lalla on guitar and Morelli on piano and vocals, their weekly jamming sessions turned into an EP of five songs and monthly gigs around Montreal.

“When people ask about the band, first they ask what our name is and then they ask what kind of music we play; I have a hard time answering it but I usually say indie rock. I don’t know if we are trying to be unique or if it comes out that way,” said Lalla.

Indie rock or not, the girls have a knack for getting the band’s name out; they don’t have a manager and take care of the business themselves.   

“We’ve got social networking covered. We started off with MySpace when it came out and it’s still pretty big for bands,” said drummer Perlini. “We figured that the more things we had our name on, the more people we could reach out to.”

Through a friend, the band found a studio they could record their album with. Mountain City Studio, in the Plateau, has produced albums for Sam Roberts so the girls knew they were in good hands. Line Spectra is also on Facebook, they keep a blog (linespectra.blogspot.com) and their album can be bought on iTunes.

“Our music is iTunes and is streaming on CBC Radio 3,” said Morelli. “We’ve been played on CHOM and 94.7, so we are getting decent play.”

One of the band’s most exciting successes so far was having their song “City Stars” played on an episode of the Canadian television show Degrassi: The Next Generation.

“With some detective work and some creative Googling, I managed to get a hold of the show’s music director and sent our album,” said Lalla. “He liked our sound and decided to feature us in an episode. We wanted to aim for something Canadian and we grew up on that show!”

“It was really weird to hear our song on Degrassi,” said Morelli. “You know when you hear your own voice on an answering machine and you’ve never heard it before? It was that type of feeling. Why is our song coming out of the TV?!”

With Pointe Claire’s Clydes as their go-to concert venue, the band has also played in venues across the city. Next up, they will be a part of Toronto’s Canadian Music Fest in March. The band has also just finished filming a music video for “City Stars,” their ode to Montreal, which includes French lyrics.

“We live in Quebec and we like French music since we are surrounded by it,” said Morelli. “Part of being a Montrealer is being bilingual. In that vein, we thought our tribute song to Montreal should be in both languages.”

Check out their blog or Facebook page to keep updated on the band’s goings-on.

Organizations: Angels High School, The Next Generation, Canadian Music Fest

Geographic location: Montreal, Plateau, Pointe Claire Toronto Quebec

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