Ohbijou performing in 2007 in London, Ontario.
|Origin||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Genres||Indie, pop, folk|
|Associated acts||We're Marching On..., Alight, Gentleman Reg, The Wooden Sky, The Acorn, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Forest City Lovers, Timber Timbre, Bruce Peninsula, Evening Hymns|
|Members||Casey Mecija, Jennifer Mecija, Heather Kirby, James Bunton, Anissa Hart, Ryan Carley, Andrew Kinoshita|
Ohbijou began as the solo project of Brantford singer-songwriter Casey Mecija (born 1981). (She also works as a production assistant at MuchMusic.) Through the process of songwriting and composition, Casey discovered a need for the musical support of her sister Jennifer Mecija (born 1985), whom Casey invited to assist with her early performances. The Mecija sisters later moved to Toronto to attend Ryerson University and the Ontario College of Art and Design, respectively—Mecija soon saw what kinds of music existed in Toronto, and began to seriously consider playing her own music for a real audience.
In Toronto, the band expanded to include Heather Kirby (bass, banjo), James Bunton (drums, trumpet), Anissa Hart (cello), Ryan Carley (piano, synth, glockenspiel, electric piano, harpsichord), and Andrew Kinoshita (mandolin). In the context of Ohbijou, Casey remains as lead vocalist, though also plays guitar, piano and ukulele. Jennifer continues to add vocal layering, moreover, her instrumental contributions to Ohbijou include violin, harmochord, glockenspiel, organ and melodica.
The music of Ohbijou, which draws on pop, folk and bluegrass influences, has been classified in the indie pop genre. Casey has cited the music of Canadian songwriter Julie Doiron as an inspiration. The music has been described as being similar to Bic Runga and Mazzy Star, and called "hushed, heart-tugging music".
Since the release of their debut album, Swift Feet for Troubling Times, in 2006, Ohbijou have played festivals across Canada, including the Osheaga Festival in Montreal and the Hillside Festival in Guelph. They played the opening set for the Virgin Festival in Toronto, and were nominated for the 2007 Galaxie Rising Stars Award of the CBC, competing with artists such as IllScarlett, Final Fantasy and Emily Haines of Metric. The band were among the organizers of a 2007 compilation CD, Friends in Bellwoods—based out of Mecija's own Bellwoods Ave. Toronto home and practice space for Ohbijou and their friends—as a benefit for Toronto's Daily Bread Food Bank. In 2008 they were chosen as one of three bands for the Banff Centre's first Indie Band Residency, where they had the opportunity to spend two weeks working with some top producers and recording engineers.
Their music has been playlisted on CBC Radio 3. Their song "St. Francis" peaked at No. 4 on the network's weekly charts in December 2006, and ranked as the No. 34 song on the network's year-end singles chart. More recently, Ohbijou was included in the April 5, 2008 broadcast of CBC Radio's The Vinyl Cafe and chosen as Aux.tv's X3 Artist of the month for August 2009, in partnership with CBC Radio 3 and Exclaim!. As well, Casey Mecija was named one of Chatelaine's 80 Women to Watch for 2008.
Casey Mecija covered The Beatles' "Dear Prudence" for American Laundromat Records charity CD Sing Me To Sleep - Indie Lullabies, which was released worldwide on May 18, 2010. During this year the band also visited China with local promoters Split Works.
The band announced they would go on an indefinite hiatus after their farewell show on September 7, 2013. Casey Mecija has continued to work on music, arts and media projects, including hosting the documentary series The Doc Project on CBC Radio One.
- Casey Mecija – vocals, guitar, ukulele, piano
- Jennifer Mecija – violin, harmochord, Glockenspiel, melodica, vocals
- Heather Kirby – bass, banjo
- James Bunton – drums, trumpet
- Anissa Hart – cello
- Ryan Carley – piano, synth, Glockenspiel, electric piano, harpsichord
- Andrew Kinoshita – mandolin, guitar
- The Acorn + Ohbijou - 12" EP (2008)
- Friends in Bellwoods (2007): "The Otherside (Remix)"
- Friends in Bellwoods II (2009): "An Ode to an End"
- Swim Drink Fish Music (2010): "Tour Song"
- Sayej, Nadja. "Underground rock", The Globe and Mail, 2007-01-06, p. M2.
- Lederman, Marsha. "Rocky mountain high", The Globe and Mail, 2008-03-27, p. R2.
- Ohbijou - August 2009 Interview
- "Casey Mecija", Now. Retrieved on 2008-09-28.
- Langlois, Jill."Community Living", Exclaim!, August 2009.
- Sayani, Fateema. "'Anything goes' for Temporao and new low", Ottawa Citizen, 2005-07-21, p. E3.
- Rayner, Ben. "Fans wake up to dreamy pop: Hometown buzz pushes Toronto septet Ohbijou into bigger venues", Toronto Star, 2007-09-09, p. E10.
- Bliss, Karen (Spring 2008). Words & Music, 15 (1): 8.
- Liss, Sarah. "Parkside pop: Ohbijou makes new friends in Bellwoods", Now, 2007-01-11. Retrieved on 2008-09-28.
- CBC3 weekly charts
- CBC3 2006 charts
- Dean, Flannery; Griffith-Greene, Megan; Howard, Cori; et al. (May 2008). "Chatelaine's 80 amazing Canadian women to watch", Chatelaine, 81 (5): 253–273.
- Beacons album information
- "CBC Radio One Unveils Fall Lineup". Broadcaster, September 3, 2015.