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New musical partnership launches duo aptly named Sainte Marie

Local singer-songwriters Hannah Lindsay and Jacob Quarrell have joined forces in new project and adopted a band name that reflects our local community
Sainte Marie promo shot
Hannah Lindsay and Jacob Quarrell have formed new musical duo, Sainte Marie.

Although local singer-songwriters Hannah Lindsay and Jacob Quarrell both began to take an interest in music and songwriting during their years at White Pines CVS, they didn’t really know each other.

With a three-year age difference, Lindsay was just starting high school when Quarrell was in his final year.

“Our paths never really crossed until we both opened and played the same show for another local musician in town [many years later],” says Lindsay.

But it was back in high school, when both artists began their separate paths to becoming songwriters.

“I wrote my first song in Grade 12 for a city-wide singer-songwriter contest and have been hooked on the art and performing as a local artist ever since,” she says.

In high school, Quarrell was writing and playing music and performing at talent shows.

“I really started getting serious about music in my senior years of high school,” he says.

“My first real gig was Band-o-Rama in 2014-2015. It was a bunch of local musicians playing a festival thing.”

Both songwriters evolved into performing artists playing local clubs, festivals and making a name for themselves as up-and-comer musicians in the community.

It was the release of Quarrell’s 2019 album, Small Town Troubles, an album mixed and mastered by then-local artist Mike Haggith, that really gave the two artists an opportunity to get to know each together.

“Jacob asked me and my band to open for his album release [event],” says Lindsay.

Lindsay’s first album, an EP entitled A New Road (produced by Dustin Jones at Mission Control Studios), was released a year later in 2020.

The two solo performers didn’t fully realize the opportunity that putting their talents together would create until they unexpectedly wound up in the same band.

“I was asked by a good friend of mine Anthony Marcello – another killer local artist – to drum in his band, Jupiter Marvelous,” says Lindsay.

“I was stoked to hear that Jacob was the bassist, so we reconnected there.”

The two artists then had the opportunity to talk and discovered mutual interests. 

“After some banter back and forth about music and artists we both love, we learned that we had similar and overlapping interests, especially in the folk/singer-songwriter genres,” says Lindsay.

“We had a lot in common musically,” said Quarrell.

“I had always enjoyed her music and thought it’d be cool to do a girl/guy duo. I played it cool for a few practices and then shot the question when I figured we vibed.”

For Lindsay, the decision to pair up musically was a no brainer.

“When Jacob approached me one day after band practice with this idea of starting up a singer-songwriter folk duo, I don’t think I even hesitated for a second. It just made sense.”

The duo adopted the name, Sainte Marie, a tip of the hat to their local community.

“It was all Jacob,” laughs Lindsay.

“He’s one creative and clever mind. I believe it was even before we established that we were going to start this duo that he brought up the name. Again, at a Jupiter Marvelous band practice, we were talking about cool band names when he threw out ‘Sainte Marie'.”

Quarrell notes the name has received a lot of compliments.

“I’ve honestly been sitting on that name for years just waiting for the perfect time to use it,” he says. 

“I always liked how it reflected the Sault in a unique way without bluntly saying where we are from.”

Lindsay agrees.

 “I couldn’t believe how good it was and that no one’s thought to use that yet in the Sault. So we put it to good use,” she says.  

The musical connection between the two writers was immediate.

“Jacob is honest, not afraid to hold back, and is authentic to himself,” says Lindsay.  

“I really admire that about him and how he conveys that in his song writing. He doesn’t shy away when it comes to taking chances in his music, he goes for it, makes a statement, and doesn’t let anyone else’s opinions stand in the way.”

Quarrell similarly saw Lindsay in the same light.

“Hannah’s has unique style, genuine style which I admire,” he says.

“I feel in her music that she speaks her mind, without worry of opinion. It’s refreshing… like when the water runs cold after a hot shower. Each song is like a new road to travel down on an adventure.” 

Lindsay says it was Quarrell’s confidence and skill that inspired her to push her own creative boundaries.

The duo began learning covers and writing songs together.

“We’re in a process of writing a few now,” says Quarrell.

“We’re similar in style which makes it easy for the writing. I can come up with chords, she sings a melody and then we both just start throwing lines out and see what sticks. The story evolves from there.”

For Lindsay, the experience of collaborating with another writer was new.

“I had never lyrically collaborated with anyone until this duo and I find it almost effortless and freeing with Jacob.”

The two performers have realized that they share some similar approaches.

“I’m noticing we share similar trains of thought, views, and emotions we like to convey through songs,” says Lindsay.

“It’s a matter of him strumming some chords, I’ll start humming a melody and then were back and forth throwing lyrics at one another.”

Quarrell notes that the duo has talked seriously about recording an album.

“We plan to record for sure,” he says.

“We’ve both agreed that we’d love to see this project come to life and have something to show for it. Hopefully by the end of this year if not into the beginning of next you’ll be jamming to our songs in your car,” said Lindsay.

In the meantime, the duo is actively recording live performances of covers to be put up on their social media platforms.

Obviously, the pandemic has put a wrench into any immediate plans for live public performances.

“We had a show planned for later in January but COVID kicked that to the curb,” says Quarrell.

“We’re waiting for a reschedule. We’d love to get out and play maybe go away for a weekend to different cities for a show here and there.”

Lindsay shares that excitement.

 “I’m personally itching to perform live as a duo because people have heard us separately but not together as Sainte Marie,” she says.

“Its going to be a whole new level of excitement I think. Anyone that follows us on our socials will be the first to know though when that cancelled show is rescheduled and all other future performances will be happening.” 

To find out more about Lindsay and Quarrell’s new duo Sainte Marie, follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

To find out more about Jacob Quarrell, visit him on his Facebook or listen to his 2019 album Small Town Troubles on Spotify or other streaming platforms.

To find out more about Hannah Lindsay, visit her on Facebook or Instagram, or listen to her 2020 EP A New Road on Spotify or other streaming platforms.