Indie folk trio The Once formed in 2004 out of pressure and necessity when working at a summer theatre festival in the tiny ex-fishing village of Trinity, Newfoundland, Canada. In the Newfoundland vernacular ‘the once’ means ‘imminently, but not necessarily so.’ Phil, Geri, and Andrew wanted something that would embody who they are, where they come from, and would illicit a smirk and a nod amongst Newfoundlanders back home, but would forever require an explanation elsewhere.
The trio features Geraldine Hollett on lead vocals and vocalist-instrumentalists Phil Churchill and Andrew Dale playing everything from drums, percussion, electric guitars to sweeping keyboards. Mixing original and traditional material their three part harmonies, often performed a cappella, have been a notable trait of their award-winning sound.
Their self-title first album was released in 2009 and quickly gathered critical acclaim. Their follow-up Row Of The People They Know won them their first JUNO nomination and their signing to Canadian label Borealis Records.
In 2013 another chance encounter, this time at a Glasgow festival, lead to a collaboration and friendship with Mike Rosenberg, a.k.a. Passenger. Hot on the heels of his worldwide #1 hit, ‘Let Her Go’, Rosenberg invited The Once to sing on both of his recent albums – including his current #1 album, Young As The Morning, Old As The Sea – and together they have performed all over the world. In 2014 the band released the album Departures worldwide to great critical acclaim, leading to multiple awards, including another coveted JUNO nomination.
With the release of their EP We Win Some We Lose in 2016 The Once entered a new era, with new sounds, new styles and new ideas. The whirlwind of the past few years has honed their sound and creativity, and having found their voice, the band is looking firmly ahead.