Whitehorse (band)

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Whitehorse is a Canadian folk rock band, composed of husband-and-wife duo Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland.[1] Based in Hamilton, Ontario,[2] Doucet and McClelland were both established singer-songwriters before opting to put their solo careers on hold to work together as Whitehorse.[1]

Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet, 2012
Background information
OriginHamilton, Ontario, Canada
GenresFolk rock
Years active2011 (2011)–present
LabelsSix Shooter
MembersLuke Doucet
Melissa McClelland


Doucet and McClelland toured in each other's bands for years before forming Whitehorse in 2010.[3] They have since released three albums and two EPs on Six Shooter Records.[4]

In July 2013, their second album The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss was shortlisted for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize.[5] That year, they also played their first show at Massey Hall, one of Canada's most storied music venues; to mark the occasion, they released The Road to Massey Hall, an EP comprising cover versions of songs written and performed by other artists who had previously performed there.

In 2014, they released Éphémère sans repère, an EP of French language versions of several of their songs.[6] Lyric translations for the EP were provided by Pierre Marchand.[6]

Their third full-length album, Leave No Bridge Unburned, was released on February 17, 2015[7] and won the Juno Award for Adult Alternative Album of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2016.[8]

Panther in the Dollhouse is their fourth studio album. The album was released via Six Shooter Records on July 7, 2017.[9]

Live performanceEdit

Whitehorse performs live as a duo. While both Doucet and McClelland play guitar as their primary instruments as singer-songwriters, as Whitehorse each performs on a number of instruments.

The band makes extensive use of live looping; most commonly by opening many songs by creating layered drum and percussion loops to serve as a drum track. They also loop instrumental portions and vocal phrases in some songs.

Doucet generally plays the drum kit parts with McClelland adding other percussion elements. McClelland plays bass guitar and keyboards along with acoustic (and occasionally electric) guitar. Other than drums, Doucet generally plays electric (or acoustic outfitted to sound as an electric) guitar, with occasional keyboards. The duo also often uses several different vocal mics to achieve different sounds.[10]


Studio albumsEdit


Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award[citation needed] Category Nominated work Result
2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards Vocal Group of the Year "Whitehorse" Nominated
Ensemble of the Year Nominated
Contemporary Album of the Year Nominated
Hamilton Music Awards Female Vocalist of the Year Melissa McClelland Nominated
Songwriter of the Year "The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss" Nominated
Record of the Year Nominated
Adult Alternative Recording of the Year Won
2013 Polaris Music Prize Polaris Music Prize Shortlist Nominated
2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards Ensemble of the Year "Leave No Bridge Unburned" Nominated
Pushing the Boundaries Nominated
Polaris Music Prize Polaris Music Prize Longlist Nominated
2016 Juno Awards Adult Alternative Album of the Year Won
Canadian Folk Music Awards Ensemble of the Year "The Northern South, Vol. 1" Nominated
Pushing the Boundaries Nominated
2017 Juno Awards Blues Album of the Year Nominated


  1. ^ a b Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland Find Their Sound as Whitehorse. Exclaim!, August 29, 2011.
  2. ^ "Hamilton in the midst of a grassroots cultural revival". Toronto Star, December 7, 2012.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2016-03-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Whitehorse: Numbering two, with a bullet". The Globe and Mail, February 22, 2012.
  5. ^ "Polaris Prize shortlists Tegan and Sara, A Tribe Called Red". CBC News, July 16, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Whitehorse, 'Éphémère sans repère'" Archived 2014-03-28 at the Wayback Machine. Exclaim!, March 25, 2014.
  7. ^ "Whitehorse Announce Sophomore Set 'Leave No Bridge Unburned,' Premiere New Video". Exclaim!, November 6, 2014.
  8. ^ "Junos 2016: complete list of winners (so far)". CBC Music, April 2, 2016.
  9. ^ Mullin, Kyle (July 5, 2017). "Whitehorse: Panther in the Dollhouse". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  10. ^ Allen, Jim (November 1, 2013). "Five Weird Instruments Used By Whitehorse". MTV News. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  11. ^ Six Shooter Records released The Road To Massey Hall January, 2013. Six Shooter Records
  12. ^ "The Northern South, Vol. 1 - Whitehorse - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  13. ^ "Whitehorse Announce The Northern South Vol. 2". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 17 April 2019.

External linksEdit