A career forged on the belief that lyrics matter as much as music, singer-songwriter Paul Cargnello delivers a sound that surprises and appeals with each offering. Fusing activism with raw emotion, he has grown to become one of Montreal's favourite prolific troubadours. Paul has always been able keep the critics on their toes, and the fans wanting more.
He has explored themes that span the personal and the political often mapping out the course of love and life’s social struggle with a deft heart and mind. Fans have come to know and embrace his uncompromising honesty. His unique sound peppered with rock, blues and reggae also welcomes world rhythms within the repertoire. Propelled by critical acclaim, Paul has garnered prestigious nominations and prizes for his extensive body of work since starting his solo career in 2002.
In 2005, Paul was honoured by his hometown, winning a MIMI (Montreal independent music initiative) award, for best singer-songwriter. His 2007 release, Brûler le Jour, sent his single "Une Rose Noire" to the top 10 charts and its video into The Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art. He was nominated for the prestigious Félix Leclerc Award and was a winner of Radio Canada's Sacré Talent. In 2009, Paul's album, Bras Coupé was nominated for a Canadian folk Music awards, in the category “Best francophone singer-songwriter” garnering him critical acclaim across Canada and France. The album was also selected for the Echo songwriting prize presented by Socan. After several tours in Europe and Canada throughout 2010, Paul focused his attention back to the city he loves, organizing La Semaine des Arts NDG, and acting as spokesperson for the organization Sac A Dos and other anti-poverty initiatives. In 2012, as the only rock artist on a hip hop label, Paul had his second top 10 hit with “L'effet que tu me fais”. In 2013 he won an Outstanding Citizen Award from the city of Montreal, the highest distinction given by the city.
Teaming up with fellow punk rock survivors Stomp Records, in 2014 Paul will release his 10th solo album: The Hardest Part Is You May Never Know. With this album, he has summoned his eclectic influences to offer a formidable hybrid of new punk, rock and blues. This is Paul Cargnello at his own musical roots and best.
"Cargnello's highly personal flavour of politically adamant, grassroots rock-punk-reggae has kept the left loud and proud in both official languages for a decade…"
– Melora Koepke (Ottawa Xpress)
"In True Indie style, Cargnello does not follow industry rules."
– Agata De Santis (La Corriere)
"… approaches melodic perfection."
– Rupert Bottenberg (Montreal Mirror)
"… [Cargnello] has certainly earned his self-assurance, combining working-class roots rock with a seasoning of reggae and punk thrown in for good taste…"
– Chris Morin (Planet S, Saskatchewan)
"Musically, he's on top of his game, having possibly perfected the rebel reggae/rock/folk/blues blend that he's honed with each solo release."
– Lorraine Carpenter (Montreal Mirror)
"If he crosses over because of the American hype relating to Montreal these days, then the hype will have all been worth it."
– Richard Burnett (The Montreal Hour)
"[Cargnello] has one of those smokey, rough edged voices, and he can construct a fine arrangement. Acoustic and for the most part simple, [Between Evils] is collection of impressive catchy tunes that explore the territory of folk-punk, reggae, blues and rock."
– Elizebeth Bromstein (Now Toronto)
"Protest, for him, is more than just a musical fashion statement. He has broadened his artistic scope while proving that he is far from lightweight anything."
– T'cha Dunlevy (The Montreal Gazette)
"If there's one thing that ties Punk Rock and Folk music together, it's the voice of protest. Paul Cargnello knows this."
– Chuck Teed (The coast, Halifax)
Paul Cargnello Has Shared The Stage With…
Garland Jeffries, Ari Up (The Slits), Billy Bragg, Michael Franti, Lee Oskar (War), Big Sugar.