Hot Canadian Acts for a cold time of year (Maclean’s)

Maclean’s Staff, March 3rd, 2003

It was after the death of her father that Monica Schroeder decided to pursue her dream of making music. “It just made me really introspective”, says Winnipeg-based artist. “And it made me think of what I wanted to do in my life.” Five years ago, Schroeder was in limbo – working as a secretary after finishing a sociology degree. While still grieving, she tried writing and recording a few songs. “I had so much fun,” she says. “I don’t need music superstardom, but I would love to be a full-time singer.”

The 31-year-old is almost there. The accolades poured in after the release of her first album, The Expectation of Home, in 1999. Striking a balance between acoustic folk and edgier pop, Schroeder has been repeatedly compared to Sarah Mclachlan (which makes her groan – “I’m more dark and broody”) and Jann Arden (which is much more acceptable). She’ll release her second album, Orbit in March, on her own label, Night Sky Records.

Though Schroeder continues to be her own manager, fundraiser and public relations person, she’s temporarily hired someone to help her plan a national tour for this spring. All the while, she juggles a day job in a group home for the mentally challenged. “When I started out, I was really naive – I thought: you play, it sells,” she says. “But now it seems to be coming together.”

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