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The Break Up comes together
Live music fans are falling in love with Yk band

Daron Letts
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, November 11, 2009

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Despite their name, the members of The Break Up look forward to making beautiful music together for a long time to come.

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Songwriting duo Mel Leonard and Amanda Dei formed The Break Up earlier this year. Joined by bassist Ryan Silke and drummer Tina Roy, the four-piece band plans to stay together long enough to release an album to coincide with the break up of the Mackenzie River next spring. The band is planning a show at Twist for early December and will appear at the Snowshoe Inn in Fort Providence in the new year. - photo courtesy of Michele Taylor

The Break Up is a new four-piece band that offers thoughtful, catchy tunes with a blend of parred-down pop, folk, rock and country vibes. Led by songwriters Amanda Dei and Mel Leonard, the band has assembled a full set of about a dozen originals.

"We're starting to get enough songs under our belts and enough confidence that we'll soon be headlining our own gigs," Leonard said. "We focus on what we're good at -- melody and song. The sound is a return to basics. There are some grooves that hopefully will stick in people's heads."

In addition to their expanding repertoire of originals, the musicians also cover contemporary artists such as Mark Bragg, The Weakerthans, Joel Plaskett and Wilco.

"The covers we play aren't that well known and they compliment our sound," Dei said, adding that their main focus is on producing new original material. "Mel and I have really good writing chemistry and we enjoy similar music, but there's enough difference in our tastes that we never duplicate the same things. We really enjoy building songs together."

Dei and Leonard formed The Break Up as a duo last spring after jamming for a year. This summer they started seeing other musicians.

"We decided we needed a bigger sound," Dei explained.

Bassist Ryan Silke joined in early August for the third annual Ts'eko Celebration of Northern women in music at the Top Knight.

"We work well together," Dei said. "We have the right amount of fun and hard work. We're like a bunch of kids at a slumber party giggling at rehearsal."

After a few gigs and appearances at some private shows and jam nights at Twist, the band is already attracting attention among club-goers and other musicians.

Next week the threesome will re-emerge as a foursome with the addition of drummer Tina Roy. The quartet is opening for songwriter Mary Caroline at 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, for the launch of Caroline's new CD, Snowblindness. Doors open at 8 p.m.

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