Something that inevitably comes up when I talk about things I love about PEI is the music, arts, and cultural scene. There's something special about this place. It inspires art and creativity and that bubbles up in all kinds of ways, but two that I especially love are music and words, which have inspired this Island inspired Christmas gift guide. I guarantee you'll be able to find something perfect (and local!) among these suggestions for the wordsmith or music-lover in your life!
The Catch by Louisa McCormack is unabashed chick-lit, set in the fictional village of Tuck Harbour, PEI and features a big city girl finding love in a small town. If you have a book-lover in your life who is a particular fan of romance, this'd be my recommendation! Want the in-depth review? Click through the above link to see what the folks at the Quill & Quire have to say!
Tide Road by Valerie Compton might be a better fit for the more literary bibliophile in your life. Shifting between past and present in the life of Sonia, a lighthouse keeper's daughter, this novel is a tale of pre-war life on PEI, personal tragedy, and overcoming mistakes. It's been on my to-read list for a while!
The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery - Of course I have to include a novel by Lucy Maud, since this is PEI after all! But this favourite book of mine is actually not set in PEI at all! It is far and away my favourite LMM novel, and it'd be a welcome surprise for the book-lover in your life instead of the expected Anne of Green Gables!
Music and Song:
(Musical talent on PEI is abundant, and these are but a few of my very favourites)
First up? Tanya Davis. She's a spoken word artist, a poet, a musician, a singer. She's absolutely, incredibly talented. You may have seen her in the her video that went viral - How to be Alone (it got me through some tough times - well worth a watch!), or in one of my first Music Monday posts. "Clocks and Hearts Keep Going" is her latest - you can listen to the full sampler and buy the album here.
Paper Lions are consistent favourites of mine. I've been to several of their (always fantastic) live shows and have all of their albums and have never been disappointed yet. In my opinion, one of the best bands on the Island, and a sure winner as a Christmas gift. Want to hear more? Check out this Music Monday post I did a while back featuring them!
Racoon Bandit - You may remember them from this post a while back. Considering my penchant for folk rock, it's no surprise that I've been listening to Racoon Bandit's album on repeat - it's pretty fantastic. Also worth checking out? This awesome video they just did with Southern Souls.
Two Hours Traffic may be the most recognizable of the PEI bands I love. In addition to the radio, you may have even heard some of their tunes on major US tv shows - and for good reason: they're fantastic! It helps that their band name was inspired by Shakespeare. Have a listen to their newest album here - trust me, you'll be convinced!
Tim Chaisson is a local musician who I (along with lots of others) supported in making his latest album via crowdfunding on indiegogo I believe, and I'm so glad to have been a part of it. I'm a huge fan, and I absolutely believe in supporting Island artists. He's a super-talented singer/songwriter - as illustrated in this tune that also features Serena Ryder (maybe my favourite song on the album!).
Meaghan Blanchard is a singer (and fellow redhead) whose music I've been enjoying since I first heard it. She featured in a pretty awesome library-set Campus Sessions video - an ongoing music series at UPEI. I was even happier to hear her play live in Ottawa on Canada Day when TRH Will and Kate were in attendance. Pretty cool! You can have a listen to (and buy!) her music here.
Last but certainly not least is maybe my favourite Island singer of the moment, Rose Cousins. Her music is haunting and beautiful, and her lyrics stick with you. I really cannot say enough, especially about her latest album, "We Have Made a Spark" - it's incredible. Whoever you buy this album for will thank you for years to come, I promise.
I hope some of my favourites mentioned here might help you find a last minute gift or two for family, friends and loved ones this Christmas! If you're still stuck though, check out my last two gift guides here and here for more ideas!
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