Toronto-based folk duo, Basset, is full of timeless heart. Acoustic songwriters Sam Clark and Yasmine Shelton will take you through city streets in the hours before the world has woken, or to a corrugated steel home north of the treeline.
Basset brings a deep love of the natural world to their gorgeously meditative and assured debut album, In The Clay, released on September 30th, 2022. Produced by Joshua Van Tassel (Sarah Slean, David Myles), the ten songs on In The Clay explore various themes of life in change, Shelton and Clark’s travels around Northern Ontario, the Canadian and American prairies, their lives in Toronto, and the many characters who have crossed their paths. With comparisons to The Milk Carton Kids, Hozier, and Bon Iver, their inventiveness shines on fiddle and intricate harmonies, with Shelton and Clark’s voices wrapping around each other like twin flames in a warm fire.
In Spring/Summer 2022, Basset performed at NXNE in Toronto, and as an Official Showcase Artist at Folk Alliance International. They took part in a 15-stop Canadian East coast tour and will be performing at the Winnipeg Folk Festival Youth Stage. In 2021 they performed at Boston-based Club Passim’s virtual Campfire Festival and the Honey Jam developing artist showcase (Nelly Furtado, Jully Black, Haviah Mighty) in Toronto. They’ve performed across Ontario and Quebec promoting their self-titled EP and are looking forward to touring their Debut Album, In the Clay, in the Northeastern USA in Fall/Winter 2022.
# of Albums:
Our first LP came out September 30th
“In the Clay” July 8th, 2022
Favourite musician growing up:
Probably Queen and my favourite solo musician were probably Florence Welch, but man, that is a crazy hard question.
Favourite musician now:
Maybe Hozier? But maybe still Florence Welch.
Guilty pleasure song:
4 Non-Blondes – “What’s Up.” And I 100% put the song on and sang along while answering these questions.
Live show ritual:
It varies by how panicked I am. Sometimes it involves deep breathing, sometimes shadow boxing, and sometimes just wolfing down dinner.
Favourite local musician:
Benjamin Dakota Rogers
EP or LP?
I think LP but it really varies. I like getting to sit down and listen for a good long while, but sometimes with an EP every single song blows your mind and you get 25 minutes of heaven.
Early bird or night owl?
Night Owl. I think I like mornings better but the waking up part is too painful. Plus I’m a procrastinator so I consistently end up having to get stuff done at 1 am.
Road or studio?
We haven’t toured or recorded enough to really know. So far I’ve really enjoyed both.
Where can we follow you?
Rapid Fire Toronto Qs
Favourite local restaurant:
Favourite street in your city:
Very hard question. I think Queen St. W, which is maybe a lame answer but I love the street art, I love Trinity Bellwoods Park, I love the beautiful houses and seeing all the people dressed up and enjoying the city.
Favourite park in your city:
High Park. I grew up close to High Park and it feels like home. There’s a pond, and there are areas where it feels like a forest in the city.
Favourite music venue in your city:
I love the Opera House. It’s beautiful on the inside and has such charm.
Favourite music store in your city:
I have to go with Long and McQuade. Having tried to rent instruments in the US has made me so incredibly grateful to L & M (Specifically the Bloor and Ossington location).