Slowcoaster is a Canadian indie rock band from Sydney, Nova Scotia.[1] The band's sound is rock-based, with strong influences of reggae, ska, folk and jazz.[2]

Steven MacDougall performing at the Shoreline Festival in 2005
Steven MacDougall performing at the Shoreline Festival in 2005
Background information
OriginSydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
GenresIndie rock
Years active1999–present
LabelsCompany House
MembersSteven MacDougall
Mike LeLievre
Devon Strang
Past membersBrian Talbot



Slowcoaster was formed in November 1999 by guitarist Steven MacDougall, drummer Devon Strang, and bassist Mike LeLievre.[3] To promote themselves, they founded their own management company, House of Rock, which has since become influential in promoting a number of acts from Cape Breton Island. The band performed locally and toured the Maritimes, releasing two EPs, Jody's Garden and Volume II.[4] Slowcoaster added percussionist Darren Gallop to the lineup in 2002 and released Leaves, with Accidents & Excuses following in 2003.

The band began touring nationally and their debut album, Where Are They Going? was released in 2004.[5] Steven MacDougall's song "Spanish Bay" placed second in the 16th Annual National Songwriting Competition the same year.[6] A video for the single "Patio" was released and saw national play on MuchMusic.[5] Drummer Devon Strang left the band around this time, with longtime collaborator Brian Talbot replacing him.[7]

Slowcoaster came to the forefront of the Maritime live music scene in 2005 and 2006, touring frequently and headlining at Nova Scotia's Evolve Festival[8] and Stan Rogers Folk Festival, New Brunswick's Sunseekers ball music festival, the Canada Day Countdown and Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival, and Prince Edward Island's Shoreline Festival.[9]

They won Music Nova Scotia's Alternative Group of the Year award in 2005, and an ECMA award for Alternative Recording of the Year in 2006.[10]

In 2007 the band released Future Radio.[11] A video for the single "Leave" was released in early 2008. They followed up in 2010 with the album The Darkest of Discos, again winning the ECMA for Alternative Recording of the Year in 2011.[12]

Their last full-length album, The Girls Downtown, was released in 2013.[13] They have since released a few further singles independently on their Bandcamp page, most recently "Haunt You" in 2020.[14]




  • Where Are They Going? – 2004
  • Future Radio – 2007
  • The Darkest of Discos – 2010
  • The Girls Downtown – 2013
  • Apples & Oranges – 2023
  • Jody's Garden – 2000
  • Volume II – 2001
  • Leaves – 2002
  • Accidents & Excuses – 2003


  1. ^ "C.B. rock, Celtic acts get ECMA showcases: Slowcoaster, Roland, Graham will strut their stuff in P.E.I.". Cape Breton Post, October 24, 2000.
  2. ^ Eric Lewis, "Cape Breton's Slowcoaster blends great mix of sounds". Times & Transcript, October 24, 2007.
  3. ^ Marla Cranston, "A Slowcoaster ride from Sydney: Cape Breton funk trio brings toe-tapping tones to Mondays in metro". Halifax Daily News, October 8, 2001.
  4. ^ Garth Hurley, "Slowcoaster on right track". The Guardian, February 12, 2001.
  5. ^ a b Sandy MacDonald, "Slowcoaster on the fast track". Halifax Daily News, December 23, 2004.
  6. ^ "MacDougall sings his song: Slowcoaster frontman places second in national songwriting competition". Cape Breton Post, March 9, 2004.
  7. ^ "Charlottetown: Slowcoaster on stage tonight at Myron's". The Guardian, January 17, 2003.
  8. ^ Debbie Gwynn, "You say you want an evolution". Cape Breton Post, July 20, 2006.
  9. ^ Nancy Willis, "Top Atlantic musicians set for Shoreline Festival". The Guardian, July 7, 2005.
  10. ^ "Nova Scotia's Matt Mays & El Torpedo claim four ECMAs". The Western Star, February 28, 2006.
  11. ^ Laura Jean Grant, "Future Bright for Slowcoaster". Cape Breton Post, September 13, 2007.
  12. ^ Victoria Handysides, "Steven MacDougall slows things down; Unplugged, Slowcoaster frontman finds he can hear himself think". Here, December 15, 2011.
  13. ^ Bob Mersereau, "East Coast Music with Bob Mersereau", CBC News New Brunswick, February 6, 2014.