Alicia Toner is an Americana singer, songwriter from the East Coast of Canada. A unique sound that brings her folk roots into a pop/rock fusion sets her apart, but it is her earnest and heartfelt songwriting that captures audiences, elevated by her incredibly moving, emotive voice.
Growing up in New Brunswick, Toner was surrounded by music and grew up under the influence of her grandmother’s and uncle’s musical tastes (John Prine, Jim Croce, Gordan Lightfoot). She was classically trained on the violin and spent many years with the prestigious New Brunswick Youth Orchestra with whom she played Carnegie Hall. She continued on to study theatre in Toronto and spent 10 years in a successful acting career including shows produced by Mirvish Productions and Soulpepper Theatre. Three Toronto productions Toner was part of have won Dora awards. For 7 seasons she was an integral part of the repertory cast at the Charlottetown Festival before returning to her first love: songwriting.
Alicia’s first release, “I Learned The Hard Way” (2017) earned her much critical acclaim and a SOCAN Songwriter of the Year award for her song “Back To Fine.” She was featured on CBC’s Q as a part of Measha Brueggergosman’s Block Party and had extensive radio play for her first single, “Waves”.
It is her upcoming album, however, that really shows us who Alicia Toner is and what she is capable of. “Joan” is set to be released in June 2021 and it marks the arrival of an artist you must pay attention to. Says Toner, “‘Joan’ was my way of self-titling an album. It is my middle name but one used by many members of my family and inner circle since I was born. Calling this album ‘Joan’ felt appropriate as the songs on it are pieces of myself that not everyone gets to see. Until now.”
Full of hooks, masterful vocals, compelling lyrics and top notch production, “Joan” is a collection of songs that demands your attention.
“The award-winning P.E.I. songwriter, Alicia Toner, continues her move from the theatrical stage to the musical one on the title track from her second LP. Her drama-trained voice cuts through on this urgent number about being stuck in a bad place and addicted to staying there. It feels country but sizzles with rock touches too, big and bold with a message.” – Bob Mersereau
“Alicia Toner’s Back To Fine hits me in the gut…Alicia is there for me and Back To Fine is a very powerful song.” -Measha Brueggergosman on CBC Q
“Varied, masterfully sung, and thoroughly genuine, I Learned The Hard Way isn’t an album to be missed.” –Canadian Beats (Click for full review)