Two Hours Traffic

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Two Hours Traffic
Two Hours Traffic at NXNE.JPG
Two Hours Traffic performing at the 2007 NXNE festival
Background information
Origin Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Genres Indie rock
Power pop
Years active 2000–2013
Labels MapleMusic
Associated acts The Danks, Joel Plaskett, The North Lakes, Alvvays
Past members Liam Corcoran
Andrew MacDonald
Derek Ellis
Nathan Gill
Alec O'Hanley
Two Hours Traffic performing during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler.

Two Hours Traffic was a Canadian indie rock band, based in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. They are named after a line in the prologue to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Although often described as the band that Halifax guitarist Joel Plaskett took "under his wing",[1] they have increasingly become known as purveyors of original, well-crafted power pop songs.[1][2] Critics draw comparisons to 1970s power pop band Big Star,[2] but the band members tend to cite Nick Lowe as a prime influence.[3] The band's achievements include a nomination for the Polaris Music Prize in 2008 for the album Little Jabs. In 2013, the band performed on their final tour, disbanding afterward.[4]


Founded by Liam Corcoran (lead vocals and guitar), and Alec O'Hanley (guitar, keyboards and vocals), the group added bassist Andrew MacDonald and drummer Derek Ellis to its roster in 2002 after meeting while attending the University of Prince Edward Island. While all were age 19, the quartet recorded a demo titled The April Storm. After handing a copy of the EP to Canadian musician Joel Plaskett at one of his Charlottetown performances, a collaborative relationship formed.[5] In 2005 the band released their full-length album simply titled Two Hours Traffic, which saw them work directly with Plaskett, who produced the album and added guitar tracks to two songs (3 and 10). Plaskett's sister, Anna Plaskett, also played French horn on two of the album's tracks (7 and 12).

The group has performed and toured with various East Coast artists such as Plaskett himself, In-Flight Safety, and Wintersleep. The self-titled album was recognized with the group's first nomination at the 2006 East Coast Music Awards, for Rock Recording of the Year. Their videos "Better Sorry than Safe", "Stuck for the Summer" and "Jezebel" have been in rotation on MuchMusic.[6] The group released a six-song EP entitled Isolator on September 26, 2006. Isolator was also produced by Joel Plaskett. It was nominated for Alternative Recording of the Year at the 2007 East Coast Music Awards.

Their second full-length album, Little Jabs, produced by Joel Plaskett, was released on Bumstead Records in July 2007. Documentary film director Ron Mann directed the video for "Jezebel", Mann's first foray into music videos.[7] Little Jabs has led to the band's most chart success to date, reaching the top ten of Chart magazine's Canadian College Radio Top 50 Chart.[8]

The band won Group of the Year and Alternative Rock Recording of the Year at the 2007 Music P.E.I. Awards.[9]

Their songs have also garnered some airplay on several American television shows, including Gossip Girl, The OC, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, One Tree Hill and Castle. Most recently their songs have been featured on CBC's new comedy 18 to Life.

In 2008, Little Jabs was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize.

The band's 2009 album, Territory was produced by Plaskett as well, and mixed by Howard Redekopp. The album showcases a slightly darker and more atmospheric sound than its predecessor.

Two Hours Traffic were also winners of the 8th annual Independent Music Awards Vox Pop vote for best Poster (artwork by Rebecca Ford).

In September 2011, it was announced that the band would be parting ways with guitarist Alec O'Hanley. The announcement also indicated that the band would carry on and are working on a new record for release in 2012.

On January 26, 2012, the band announced that Nathan Gill (vocalist/guitarist of The North Lakes) would join as the new bassist, with MacDonald taking over on guitar.

The band's fourth full-length album, Foolish Blood, was released on February 19, 2013 to positive reviews. Blurt Magazine praised the album saying, "Like a reincarnated Big Star, complete with sweet melodies that last for days and hooks sharp enough to piece flesh, the band's latest Foolish Blood (their seventh if you loop in EPs), is one of their strongest efforts to date". Exclaim! gave the album 8/10 and declared "Foolish Blood's low-end textures and diverse layers guarantee that the Maritime icons will remain relevant for years to come." NOW Magazine gave the album 4 stars and noted the band's "stunning pop chops".


On October 28, 2013, the band announced a farewell tour to take place in the coming December, covering several Canadian cities. The band wanted to make clear that they were not breaking up due to any personal problems within the band or because of any creative issues.[10] Corcoran clarified that a major reason for the split, despite the band's success, is that it is difficult to sustain an income in this business.[4]

Other projects[edit]

Liam Corcoran is active as a solo artist.

Alec O'Hanley is part of Alvvays.

Andy MacDonald and Derek Ellis are part of Charlottetown band Golden Cinema.

Nominations and awards[edit]

"Polaris Music Prize"

2008 - Short List Finalist ("Little Jabs")

2008 - Long List ("Little Jabs")

"'East Coast Music Awards (ECMA)'"

2014 - Album of the Year ("Foolish Blood") - Nominated

2014 - Pop Recording of the Year ("Foolish Blood") - Nominated

2011 - Fan's Choice Video Of The Year - Nominated

2010 - Group Recording Of The Year ("Territory") - Nominated

2010 - Pop Recording Of The Year ("Territory") - Nominated

2008 - FACTOR Recording Of The Year ("Little Jabs") - Nominated

2008 - Pop Recording Of The Year ("Little Jabs") - Won

2008 - Video Of The Year ("Jezebel") - Nominated

2007 - Alternative Recording Of The Year ("Isolator") - Nominated

"'Music Prince Edward Island (MPEI)'"

2014 - Pop Recording of the Year ("Foolish Blood") - Nominated

2014 - Group Recording of the Year ("Foolish Blood") - Nominated

2013 - Entertainer Of The Year - Nominated

2013 - SpinCount Touring Artist Of The Year - Nominated

2013 - Video Of The Year ("Amour Than Amis") - Nominated

2011 - Video Of The Year ("Noisemaker") - Nominated

2010 - Songwriter Of The Year ("Noisemaker") - Nominated

2010 - Group Of The Year - Nominated

2010 - Album Of The Year ("Territory") - Nominated

2010 - Pop Recording Of The Year ("Territory") - Nominated

2007 - Group Of The Year - Won

2007 - Alternative Rock Recording Of The Year - Won


Founding Members[edit]


  1. ^ a b Borzykowski, Bryan (2007-07-19). "Two Hours Traffic". NOW. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  2. ^ a b Whibbs, Chris (August 2007). "The chemistry of Two Hours Traffic". Exclaim!. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  3. ^ Langlois, Jill (2007-07-19). "Two Hours Traffic get schooled in the art of pop by an expert faculty from Joel Plaskett to Nick Lowe". Eye Weekly. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  4. ^ a b Patch, Nick (November 2013). "P.E.I.'s Two Hours Traffic explain split", The Canadian Press. Reprinted in Truro Daily News, November 19, 2013. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
  5. ^ Despres, Shawn (2005-06-07). "Two Hours Traffic use chemistry to their advantage". Chart. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  6. ^ Cole, Sally (2007-10-12). "Road stories". Charlottetown Guardian. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  7. ^ Langlois, Jill (2007-07-19). "Two Hours Traffic get schooled in the art of pop by an expert faculty from Joel Plaskett to Nick Lowe". Eye Weekly. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  8. ^ "Top 50 albums from Canadian Campus/Community Radio Airplay". Chart. 10 August 2007. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 2009-10-11. 
  9. ^ Cole, Sally (2007-11-12). "Five awards a real charm for Bear River musician". Charlottetown Guardian. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-04. Retrieved 2013-11-04. 

External links[edit]