Lands at Hugh's Room, Toronto, 2015
|Born||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Genres||Jazz, pop, rock|
Born in Montreal, Quebec, she moved to Toronto in 1983 to attend York University. While living in Toronto, she was a member of the pop band Double Dare and an understudy for the role of Eponine in a production of Les Misérables. She also began doing commercial voiceover work and recorded her debut album, Angels and Ordinary Men, between 1992 and 1994. One song from the recording sessions, a duet with Wayne St. John titled "All That I Know", was released to Canadian radio in 1992.
The album was released independently in 1995. Lands then signed a deal with EMI Records, which rereleased the album nationally in 1996. By the time of the album's wider release, however, Alanis Morissette had risen to international fame with Jagged Little Pill, and Lands was unfairly labeled by some critics as an imitation of Morissette; other critics, however, acknowledged superficial similarities in a couple of Lands' songs, but noted that the album as a whole was dominated by pop ballads rather than Morissette-style rock songs. Most notably, Billboard called it "one of the most impressive Canadian recordings in years".
The album produced two Top 40 hits in RPM, with lead single "Little Sins" peaking at No. 27 the week of September 23, 1996 and the title track peaking at #35 the week of June 2, 1997. The title track also peaked at No. 34 in the magazine's adult contemporary charts the week of June 16, 1997.
She supported the album with a Canadian tour, both on her own and as an opening act for Jann Arden and Kim Stockwood. Angels and Ordinary Men was released internationally in 1997. In 1998, Lands also received two Canadian Radio Music Award nominations for Best New Artist in the contemporary hit radio and adult contemporary categories. During this time, she also recorded a number of commercial jingles for companies including Bell Canada.
She then moved to Los Angeles for a number of years, writing songs with Paul Williams, Melissa Manchester, and Larry John McNally and continuing to do voiceover work in commercials. She did not record or release another album until 2002, when producer John Leftwich selected her to sing a number of vocal compositions by Władysław Szpilman for an album released as a promotional tie-in to the biographical film The Pianist.
Lands moved back to Toronto in 2006, and has since released two further albums on independent labels.
- Angels and Ordinary Men (1996)
- Wendy Lands Sings the Music of the Pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman (Hip-O, 2002)
- Mumble (2011)
- Altitude (2015)
- "Nominees in major Juno categories". Montreal Gazette, January 30, 1997.
- "Cracking the boys' club; Canadian women are making waves in the music world...and one of these newcomers could be the next Celine Dion or Alanis Morissette". Edmonton Journal, January 18, 1997.
- "Lands Takes Off With 'Angels'". Billboard, July 6, 1996.
- "Lands says album three-listen CD". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, November 21, 1996.
- "Critics' Choice". Ottawa Citizen, July 14, 1996.
- "Who came first? Wendy Lands or Alanis Morissette?" Ottawa Citizen, July 20, 1996.
- "Travel lets audiences see new Lands". Ottawa Citizen, January 23, 1997.
- "Ones to Watch: Talent Picks for '96". Billboard, January 27, 1996.
- "RPM 100". RPM, September 23, 1996.
- "RPM 100". RPM, June 2, 1997.
- "Adult Contemporary Tracks". RPM, June 16, 1997.
- "Appreciating Jann Arden: Living Under June has sold nearly 600,000 copies in Canada alone". Kingston Whig-Standard, September 12, 1996.
- "Wooden Men carve up Bourbon Street West". Montreal Gazette, January 17, 1997.
- "Radio awards to honor musical up-and comers". Kingston Whig-Standard, January 30, 1998.
- "Smooth talkers pitch with their pipes" Whether selling soda pop or automobiles, advertisers are paying more attention than ever before to the voices they use in commercials". The Globe and Mail, December 18, 1998.
- "Manchester's New 'Road'". Billboard, November 27, 2004.
- "Szpilman standards enjoy renaissance". Billboard, November 23, 2002.