Biography

As a girl growing up on the cold Canadian prairies, this singer/songwriter had just one ambition; “I’ve always wanted to be a musician and to be on stage. Ever since I went to my first concert – I knew that’s what I wanted to do!  I remember being enthralled with watching Neil Finn perform and I’ve held on to that ever since.”

First Light” is the fourth album from Toronto singer-songwriter Monica Schroeder.  After twice being nominated for “Best Pop Recording” at the Western Canadian Music Awards, Monica wanted to try something different and has taken hymns and worship songs that mean something in her life and made them her own.

In her original compositions, Monica moves through subjects as varied as the pain of loss and the discomfort of heartache, with a subtly and openness that invites the listener to follow.  In this new CD, Monica chose songs that move past heartache and into a reflection of God’s presence in her life. This is music that doesn’t preach or cajole, but encourages us to admit our struggles, our hopes and our desire for more of God in our lives and takes the listener through the waiting and the journey.

First Light” includes appearances from some of Toronto’s finest musicians including Tim Bovacanti (Ron Sexsmith), Timothy Abraham and James McKie.   In addition to the simplicity of its production, what sets this album apart from her previous work is its theme: This is an album about faith. Or perhaps it would be just as accurate to say it is an album about wrestling with faith.  Many of these songs are traditional spiritual fare, but Monica does more than simply sing them. She makes them her own, conveying through their ageless words her own hopes and sorrows and fears. And when Monica sings songs of comfort, it is with keen awareness of how fragile is the thing we call joy.

Since her first independent recording, Monica has shared the stage with performers such as Jane Siberry, Gordon Lightfoot and the Cowboy Junkies.  She has also been featured nationally in magazines like Billboard and Maclean’s and has been played on radio stations across North America, including the CBC and NPR.

Moving from dynamic, full-bodied pop songs to simple piano/voice numbers, Monica’s recordings seek to blend acoustic elements with an electronic edge, while maintaining those qualities that draw people to her music – a beautiful voice and the ability to communicate on an emotional level with her audience through her songs. Lyrically, Monica writes honest explorations of comfort and hope, while trying to convey the difficulty in always believing that these things can be found.

Photos by Judy-Ann Cazemier


Monica Schroeder – bio / Read press clippings

“Featuring one of the most spellbinding voices to grace Canadian music … her acclaimed, independently released debut, ‘The Expectation of Home’, is a true gem. This Manitoba singer/songwriter is Canada’s finest undiscovered artist.”
– Billboard Magazine

“Monica has a beautiful voice – emotive, fluid and clear. This Manitoba-based pop musician could make the white pages sound like Yeats.”
– Now Magazine

“Monica’s amazing … She first sang longing and Margo and I just looked at each other. We both realized she’s real. I’m excited when you hear somebody outstanding like that.”
– Michael Timmons (Cowboy Junkies)

“This could be a three word review, which would be: What a voice. Monica Schroeder’s got one of those warm, rich voices that make you stop doing whatever you’re doing and pay attention to the physical act of the voice wrapping around your ears. It’s all there – vibe, song and voice. But especially voice.”
–IndieCrit.com

Highlights

  • Monica’s newest CD ‘So Far’ was nominated at the 2007 Western Canadian Music Awards for ‘Outstanding Pop Recording’.
  • In September, 2006, Monica’s CD ‘So Far’ had its debut at the A Different Drum Festival in Salt Lake City. Monica performed along with other bands from the indie-electronic label and successfully launched her new CD. The album is available online and at select retailers. Please see www.adifferentdrum.com for details.
  • Her song “Peace” was included in the 2006 DVD release of the T.V. show, ‘Dawson’s Creek – Season 6 and on ‘Joan of Arcadia’ – Season 2. Several of her songs have also been licensed for television, including NBC, HBO, Lifetime & APTN. Her songs have also appeared on the DVD releases of the TV shows “Party of 5”, “Joan of Arcadia” & “Dawson’s Creek- Season 5”.
  • She has also contributed lyrics and vocals to a song by the electronic project Pristina (“Love”), for the CD “Stars and Sirens”, released by A Different Drum in the fall of 2006. She is currently working on similar collaborations with various international DJs – Jarkko (Finland) & Benny Maze (New York).
  • In the fall of 2005, A Different Drum released a full-length remix album ‘Move Me’, with songs taken from each of Monica’s first 2 CDs, and the song ‘Poison’ hit #1 on the Amazon.com Trance and Dance charts! In May of 2006, Monica celebrated the release of the re-mix CD with a concert at the Rivoli (Toronto) that included special guests DJ Fezzik, hip-hop artist ill Seer and singer/songwriter Ben Sures.
  • In February of 2004, indie label Universal Records licensed “The Expectation of Home” for release in the Philippines.
  • Monica contributed vocals and lyrics to the song “Invisible Beauty” for Vancouver electronic Artist DJ K-Rec. The song appeared on his debut album, which was released by Nettwerk Productions in January of 2003.
  • Her debut album ‘The Expectation of Home’, was nominated for Pop Recording of the Year at the 2001 Canadian Independent Music Awards. It also gathered 3 nominations at the 2000 Prairie Music Awards, including: Outstanding Pop Recording, Producer of the Year and Outstanding Graphic Design. Her 2nd CD, “Orbit”, followed in 2003.