Toronto-based Lullabye Arkestra formed in the summer of 2001 by Justin Small (drums) and Katia Taylor (bass). Justin is also member of Do Make Say Think.
The Ark began by writing minimal, stripped down and raunchy rock songs using their signature fuzzed out bass sound and banshee vocals. They combined elements of hardcore punk with 60’s-era soul creating an unusual yet raw and energetic sound. That first summer they recorded “Bzaster”, an 8-song CDR release which was self-produced with handmade covers and sold only at shows and a few select record stores in Toronto. For this recording they called upon Do Make Say Think members Ohad Benchetrit (saxophone) and Charles Spearin and Brian Cram (trumpets) who added to the soul-inspired songs.
In 2002 Small and Taylor recruited Shelton Deverell (Tangiers, Z’Howndz) on organ. Deverell’s gospel-influenced style of playing added sweetness and density to the Ark’s sound. They began playing live with Benchetrit, Spearin and Deverell and also called upon Jason Baird (Do Make Say Think, Feist) for saxophone and Randy Ray and Marco Landini for backing vocals. From this point, Lullabye Arkestra’s live performances consisted of anything from two to twelve players. Other musicians who have since joined the band on stage are Julie Penner (Fembots, Do Make Say Think, Broken Social Scene) on violin, Bryce Kushnier (vitaminsforyou) on saxophone and keyboard, Joann Goldsmith (The Old Soul) on trumpet and Amanda Newman on trumpet.
Lullabye Arkestra’s soul-core sound is continuously evolving with influences from grindcore to garage, pummeling rock epics to soulful crooning, and rave-ups to throw downs. They released their debut record Ampgrave on Constellation in 2006 and their follow-up Threats/Worship on Vice Records in 2009.