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Living amongst the immense musical talent in a city like Chicago is eternally inspiring. But standing apart from the crowd can be a never‐ending challenge. So Canasta came together in early 2002 when six friends joined forces and augmented the standard rock set‐up with piano, violin, keyboard and trombone, in an effort to craft a more ambitious strain of majestic, ultra‐melodic, orchestral pop. Canasta songs are nothing if not eclectic; you’ll hear everything from bouncy, horn‐spiked ditties and sweeping, heart-breaking epics to moody, country‐tinged narratives and rollicking, guitar‐driven anthems. But what’s constant is an emphasis on sophisticated songwriting, dramatic dynamics and meticulous orchestration that has won them comparisons to Arcade Fire, Belle & Sebastian, The Decemberists, The New Pornographers, Sufjan Stevens and Wilco.

Matt Priest - vocals / bass / trombone / percussion
Elizabeth Lindau - vocals / violin / percussion
Jeremy Beckford - guitar / vocals
Ryan Tracy - keyboard / piano / bass / vocals
Josh Lava - piano / keyboard / vocals
David Jensen - drums


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  • Priestybear

    And here's yet another new Canasta music video. It's the fourth (!) single from The Fakeout" and it's called "Becoming You"...

    24 May 2012 Reply
  • Priestybear

    It's been forever and a day since I last posted anything here. So to bring y'all up to date, I'll drop links for our two newest music videos: "Mexico City" ( and "Magazine" (!

    23 Feb 2012 Reply
  • Priestybear

    Here's a quick video we filmed for "Appreciation," using footage from the soundcheck preceding our show at the Old Town School of Folk Music. It was shot, directed and edited by Eduardo Cintron (, with whom we're currently in talks to do full-scale music videos for both "Mexico City" and "Becoming You!"

    16 Mar 2011 Reply
  • cbujnak

    ...hey, hey! Just saw these guys in Cincinnati at MOTR Pub. Great show!...and hands down the best cover of "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" I ever heard...well, the only cover of it I've ever heard. But I'm positive I won't hear a better one.

    14 Feb 2011 Reply
  • Priestybear

    CANASTA NEEDS YOUR HELP! We've been nominated for The Deli's "Best of Chicago Emerging Artists 2010 Poll." So please follow the link and vote. We're getting a late start on this, so we've got some ground to make up, but it's definitely winnable! Plus, voting requires absolutely NO sign-up/in. It's one click, period...

    18 Jan 2011 Reply
  • herodotus

    new record is AWESOME

    23 Nov 2010 Reply
  • HerMajesty7

    'The Fakeout, the Tease and the Breather' is the best thing I've heard in long time. LOVE THIS.

    18 Jun 2010 Reply
  • Priestybear

    Hooray! "The Fakeout, the Tease and the Breather" is now available from iTunes, Amazon + CD Baby!

    19 May 2010 Reply
  • Priestybear

    Canasta's long-awaited, new album, "The Fakeout, the Tease and the Breather" is streaming in its entirety here on Last FM (just look up, under "Top Albums"). And don't forget that THREE of the songs are available as FREE, high quality downloads at !

    12 May 2010 Reply
  • itsatimemachine

    i really like the vocal harmonies in "chicago, slow down." chicago slow dowwwwwwn! that's when i founnnnnnnd!

    30 Oct 2008 Reply
  • Priestybear

    Heh. I feel like a jack-ass having Canasta listed as my Last FM "most-listened-to artist." But in my defense, it's mostly just demos for the next record and some instrumental mixes we're working on for Obama's campaign.

    20 Jun 2008 Reply
  • edejong

    vote for the new pic!

    22 Sep 2007 Reply
  • Melliott930

    you're great!

    19 Jun 2007 Reply
  • dust_road

    The deserve much more recognition. perfect pop tunes!

    12 Jan 2007 Reply
  • DoMakeSayThink_

    Canasta are so good. So very, very good.

    22 Oct 2006 Reply
  • BlueUkee

    One of my top artists right now.

    30 Aug 2006 Reply

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