Kensington Prairie
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Kensington Prairie

St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | INDIE

St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Folk Americana




"NPR votes "Captured in Still Life" as # 3 Folk Album of 2008!"

The overall mood of Captured in Still Life is dreamlike yet thoughtful, with an unusual instrumental mix: guitar, cello, vibraphone, harmonica, Wurlitzer, glockenspiel and an unconventional, understated banjo. The many combinations support singer-songwriter Rebecca Rowan, who serves as Kensington Prairie's primary focus. The sweet, sunny result brings to mind the consistently lovely work of Hem.

Link: - NPR (National Public Radio)

"Exclaim Magazine"

Kensington Prairie
Captured In Still Life
By Josiah Hughes

As the singer and songwriter for Vancouver’s Maplewood Lane, a band that have had their songs featured everywhere from Degrassi to an Atom Egoyan film, Rebecca Rowan has had many opportunities to demonstrate her unique talents. Still, her Kensington Prairie project takes these a step further, marrying her perfect melodies with lush string arrangements and a stripped down backing band that include her husband Nathan Rowan and producer Jon Anderson (of Jonathan Inc. and Radiogram). From the calm tone of opener “Time on Our Side” to the gentle drive of “Disappear From View,” Captured in Still Life takes its cues from the Innocence Mission and Canadian contemporaries like Hayden. Subtle but rewarding, this debut from Kensington Prairie is a quiet winner. (Anniedale) - Exclaim Magazine

"Pop Matters Review"

Happy surprises like this are what make writing reviews worth all the flaming poop bags on my doorstep. Coming out of nowhere, the debut album from Vancouver’s own Kensington Prairie is a slice of happiness pie. Centering on the sweetly nostalgic voice of founding Maplewood Lane chanteuse Rebecca Rowan, Captured in Still Life joins the teenage wistfulness of Sixpence None The Richer, the contemplative indie nature of Young & Sexy, and the alt. country twang of The Buttless Chaps. On top of that, they pack in a touch of organ, mandolin, piano, and a laundry list of vibraphones, xylophones, and what-a-phones. These are not the songs of the revolution and won’t noticeably change the world, but they are addictively sweet and very impressive for Vancouver unknowns. In fact, they’re solid enough that two tracks have already been picked up for a new CBC prime-time series called Heartland. Rebecca’s vocals are more moving than anything in the Feist catalogue, while her arrangements (heavily featuring producer Jonathan Anderson) are charmingly rich but not swamped. Simply put, it’s a nice CD, no more, no less.
- Pop Matters

"Chart Attack Review"

Kensington Prairie
Captured In Still Life


Scott Bryson (CHARTattack)

04/22/2008 2:59pm

Kensington Prairie is the side solo project from Rebecca Rowan, the vocalist/guitarist of Vancouver indie pop darlings Maplewood Lane. The two endeavors have a lot in common, but if there's any glaring difference, it's that Kensington Prairie takes a decidedly more heart-on-sleeve approach. As with many solo debuts these days, there's a lot more going on here than just a girl and her guitar: A few friends show up to add bass, drums, mandolin, banjo, Wurlitzer and more. Rowan's most identifiable talent is that her voice handily manages to keep potential clutter in check. Occasional male back-up vocals add a welcome variety to this disc, but it's clear that Rowan can comfortably hold her own with contemporaries like Jenn Grant, Rebekah Higgs or Basia Bulat. With Captured In Still Life as corroboration, feel free to add Rowan's name to the ever-growing list of great, current Canadian singer/songwriters. - Chart Attack

"Folk Alley Review"

Cookin' with New Releases; Better

Read this before you order:

April 19, 2008

Kensington Prairie ~ Captured in Still Life

With the number of submissions to Folk Alley increasing every month (easily over 200), it has become cumbersome to find the good ones. An artistic eye-catching cover can help. That's what made us notice the Kensington Prairie CD, and the group is being rewarded for their detail, because once we heard what was inside we knew you had to as well.

The overall mood is dreamlike, yet thoughtful. The instrumental mix is unusual: guitar, cello, vibraphone, harmonica, Wurlitzer, glockenspiel, and an unconventional and understated banjo. The various combinations support singer and writer Rebecca Rowan who is the main focus of this band (or maybe orchestra?). Rowan uses her imagination well. In "A Million Skies" she looks up on a clear night and sees another's eyes in the stars. She smartly uses analogy in the song "Bluebird," comparing a slipping memory to the fleeting bird. During "Crooked Things Straight" she helps us realize that we can't always change sadness, but she provides kindness through a wish.

Kensington Prairie may eventually be referred to as Vancouver's version of Brooklyn's "Hem," the easiest comparison for me to make. Listening to Captured in Still Life is like being treated to a new restaurant where every meal is rewarding. This CD is that good.

- Folk Alley

"Ick Music Review"

First Listen: Kensington Prairie
March 28th, 2008 by Michael

“The perfect compliment to a cold and rainy day in New England, the debut record from Canada’s Kensington Prairie is one of the finest slices of Dream Pop I’ve heard since The Sundays Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. The heart and soul of the group is Rebecca Rowan (singer/songwriter of Vancouver’s Maplewood Lane) whose voice drifts gently over the lush layers of guitars, mandolins and Rhodes pianos. Simple and emotional the songwriting is first rate with themes of life’s recollections, love, yearning, and lonesomeness. The record opens with the nostalgia of “Time on Our Side” and makes its way through nine thriving tracks fading with the closing track “Dissappear From View” leaving you wanting more.
The full length debut Captured in Still Life will be released April 22nd. For now check out the lead off single “Crooked Things Straight”. There are a few more tracks available for preview at the group’s official site (including my personal favorite “Letters That I Send”).”

"Roots Review"

“Kensington Prairie is a musical collaboration between Rebecca Rowan, singer/songwriter of Vancouver's indie pop band Maplewood Lane, and producer Jonathan Anderson.
Captured in Still Life features 10 songs written by Rowan, whose sweet voice colours the material in a soft patina of longing and nostalgia. Rowan handles lead and harmony vocals, rhythm guitar and various sundry instruments, while Anderson is a virtual one-man band on guitars, bass, drums, piano and much else.
If you like the gentle sounds of Wailin' Jennys, Waifs, Po Girls, Gillian Welch or Stacey Earle, you'll like Kensington Prairie.”

"Americana UK reviews KP"

Gentle, intelligent pop from Canuck songstress

Rebecca Rowan of Vancouver’s electric pop rockers Maplewood Lane is the guiding force behind this simple collection of warm and reflective songs. The album opener ‘Time on our Side’ signals the intent with a beautifully crafted layer of sounds built on a string refrain that cascades into the harmonies of the simple chorus. Gorgeous.

‘Snowflakes and Great Lakes’ follows this pattern by building sounds and rhythms towards a chorus with a sense of both purpose and deliberation. ‘A million skies’ highlights Rebecca’s voice, at once indie songbird a la Beth Orton and yet not that simple to tie down. There is a singularity that is difficult to identify but one that guarantees notice will be taken.

‘Bluebirds’ is an affecting meditation on age and the quicksilver slip of time on all our lives – mandolin driven with banjo assistance creating a track that would serve as a comparison to NY’s ‘Old Man’ in sentiments and in spirit. Lovely.

This album is supposedly the side project for Rebecca Rowan after Maplewood Lane. I would humbly suggest a change in priorities as this is a rich and uplifting experience. Interesting and well constructed songs, lyrics with depth and a tight sounding band topped by a dynamic singer/songwriter.
Music with a bit more soul and intelligence than usual - phew, what a relief!!

Link: - Americana UK

"Quaint Space Review"

nniedale Records. It's solo project of Rebecca Rowan (singer/songwriter of Vancouver’s indie pop Maplewood Lane), her husband Nate Rowan and producer Jonathan Anderson.
The album Captured In Still Life begins with melancholic sweet song Time On Our Side. Rebecca's lead and harmony voice sounds like spring whispering in the cold wind above your head. All ten songs are full of longing and nostalgia. Such feeling surrounds you during whole record. The band uses a lot of instruments like guitars, bass, drums, piano, banjo and much else. So if you like calm and soft music with a little folk influence and also you like sweet and smooth girl vocal that you'll like Kensington Prairie for sure. - Quaint Space

"Baby Sue Top Picks"

Baby Sue, april 1st under Top Picks/ recommended
Kensington Prairie - Captured in Still Life (CD, Anniedale, Pop)
Kensington Prairie is the Vancouver, Canada-based pop band driven by the songwriting skills of Rebecca Rowan who some folks know as the singer/songwriter in the band Maplewood Lane. Rowan and producer Jonathan Anderson created this album together along with a bit of assistance from guest artists Michelle Masters, Joel Willoughby, and Brian Chan. Captured in Still Life is a wonderfully free-flowing collection of super melodic soft pop tracks. The focal point is Rebecca's super smooth, super inviting warm vocals. Not only does this lady have a killer voice, but her harmony overdubs are impeccable. All ten tracks were written by Ms. Rowan. Smooth, focused, and genuine, these super smart pop tracks not only sound great now...but they are bound to sound just as fantastic in the decades ahead. Wonderfully satisfying cuts include "Time On Our Side," "Snowflakes and Great Lakes," "Golden Days," and "Disappear From View." An easy top pick. Recommended. (Rating: 5++)
Written by lmnop
- Baby Sue


Captured in Still Life (2008)

The Healing Tree EP (2010)

Come To The Waters (2015)

"Captured in Still Life" was released April 22nd, 2008 on Anniedale Records (Independent). "Captured In Still Life" was voted by NPR (National Public Radio) as the #3 Folk Album of 2008. Our album has garnered countless positive reviews and has had regular radio and podcast rotation in Canada, United States, and Europe.

Our song Bluebirds was featured on Paste Magazine's October 2008 CD.



 Rebecca Rowan began her musical endeavors as one of the forming members of Maplewood Lane in 1999.  Maplewood Lane went on to record 2 full length albums and 2 EP’s, and licensed a large majority of their songs to film and television. Their songs appeared in Radio Free Roscoe, The Dark Oracle, Life with Derek, Degrassi High the Next Generation, and Atom Egoyin’s “Sabah”. They were featured in the soundtrack of Radio Free Roscoe and appeared in Top 30 College Radio Charts across Canada and the U.S.

In the Fall of 2006, Rebecca began to work on a solo-project, which developed into Kensington Prairie’s "Captured In Still Life (2008)".   KP quickly followed in MWL’s footsteps, by licensing three songs, A Million Skies, Photographs and Disappear from View, to the CBC’s brand new prime-time show Heartland, as well as being nominated for the top 10 Folk Albums of 2008 by National Public Radio USA.

In the Fall of 2008 Rebecca and family moved across Canada and took root in the Niagara Region, Ontario. For the last six years Rebecca has been on staff at Central Community Church as the Music Director for the Downtown Campus, where she has been part of the "Central Live" recordings (the latest was nominated for a Dove award).  Kensington Prairie recorded a limited edition EP, called "The Healing Tree (2010), and not long afterwards began working on a new full-length album, that became "Come to the Waters".

In October 2015 Kensington Prairie released "Come to The Waters" on Independent Label, Rarebird Records. The album was immediately nominated by the Toronto Independent Music Awards (TIMA) for the Best Folk or Roots Album of 2015.

Rebecca and her Kensington Prairie friends have performed shows ranging from local concerts to music festivals such as NXNE (Toronto), New Music West (Vancouver), Woodsong Festival (Orcas Island), and Tomfest (Portland).  They have numerous shows booked in support of the new album in the Greater Toronto Area.

Band Members