Shaye Zadravec - “Dear Elvis” (Independent): Chances are you won't have come across this young Calgary singer's name before either, but it will be one to watch for in the future.
Zadravec is a singer, not a songwriter, but her talent as a vocal interpreter is apparent on this pleasing cover of a song by Cris Cuddy. He's an Ontario singer/songwriter who has had tunes covered by the likes of Prairie Oyster, and "Dear Elvis" was the title track of his 2015 solo album.
The gentle tribute to The King ("you bring sunshine to lives like mine") takes on an extra resonance with a female voice, especially one as easy on the ear as Zadravec's. She strums a ukelele and strings are employed subtly, but it is her vocal clarity that stands out. She released the track last Thursday, the anniversary of Elvis death, though of course this year it was the death of Aretha Franklin on that date that grabbed attention.
Zadravec has a debut EP, Norway, coming early September, and it is being released in Scandinavia through the Swedish label Rootsy. We're informed that it'll feature tunes written by Shelby Lynne and Chip Taylor plus a version of James Shelton's much-covered "Lilac Wine."
Of note: Zadravec is managed by Calgary music veteran Neil MacGonigill (Ian Tyson, Jann Arden). He informs us that "plans are underway to have Shaye on the ground in Sweden, Norway and Denmark early in the new year. We will be looking for touring opportunities in Canada."