Raw, rough, uncomfortably honest, fast and violent, then suddenly smooth and soaring. S.A.V.K. wears their collective heart on their sleeves, and then throws it, still beating, at the audience. This independent 5 piece from Calgary Canada has a love for strong percussive elements paired with melodic vocals and sweeping arrangements. Beginning as a solo act for Stephen A. van Kampen after the demise of Calgary’s rock and roll orchestra “Beija Flor” and then evolving into a larger, more dynamic group, S.A.V.K. received critical acclaim for their 2013 release “Love Letters and Hate Mail”. Joined by an amazing team of musicians including Paul van Kampen (The Northwest Passage, Beija Flor), Brett Gunther (Beija Flor, Buzzing Bees), Stefan Smith (Crescent Heights, Coldwater) and Matt Chaplin (Joule). S.A.V.K. is now recording their third record that explores a darker and heavier side to Stephen van Kampen’s writing that is reminiscent of his younger efforts but with the polish of a seasoned performer.
Accomplishments and Accolades
2016 Live On screen performance on Amazing Race Canada
2016 Dave Kelly Live Performance
2015 Sold out Concert with “Of Monsters and Men”
2015 Calgary Folk Music Festival
2014 Top 12 Finalist in Peak Performance Project
2014 Best Performance, Calgary Folk Fest Song writing Competition
2013 Best Live performance of the year: CBC Radio, Katherine Duncan, Key of A
2013 Album of the year, Sebastian Buzzalino, Beatroute Magazine
2013 Album of the year, Mike Bell, Calgary Herald
2013 Break Out West Festival
2013 Alberta Flood Aid Concert with “The Sheepdogs”, “Tom Cochrane”, “Jann Arden”, “Nickelback” and “Ian Tyson”.
2012 Feature Performer at “6 String Nation” concert at the Canada Music Centre.
S.A.V.K. Sounds: S.A.V.K. has been compared to many different genres and artists, including:
Half Moon Run, Arcade Fire, Alabama Shakes, Jose Gonzales, Big Data, Tame Impala, Spoon, Kongos, Hey Rosetta, Dan Mangan, Shakey Graves, Reignwolf, Father John Misty, Grizzly Bear, Florence and the Machine and classic artists such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and even Otis Redding
Praise for S.A.V.K.
“A profoundly moving, disarmingly intimate and astoundingly beautiful dream folk masterpiece.”
-Mike Bell, CALGARY HERALD
“Easily one of the strongest Calgary release this year... S.A.V.K. has coalesced into one of Calgary’s best bands”
-Sebastian Buzzalino, BEATROUTE
"... His guitar weaves effortlessly around the beautifully constructed vocal melodies... van Kampen remains crisp and clear in the foreground. It’s a position he’d better get used to."
-Peter Hemminger, FFWD
"... A showcase of formidable musical talent... Will make an indelible mark on the nation's music scene."
-Spencer Brown BEATROUTE
"...van Kampen's distinct, raspy yet-soothing voice on the record strikes the same chord in my heart as Beija Flor did. However, S.A.V.K. captures a much more intimate side of van Kampen, while still possessing the same precisely mastered song writing."
-Sara Mohan BEATROUTE
"Armed with a small arsenal of acoustic instruments on stage as cover, S.A.V.K. offers a chance to explore his musical vision, sharing it with an audience that understands raw, honest emotion. Firmly rooted in folk, his simple melodies emphasize his old soul."
-SB, SLED ISLAND
S.A.V.K. immediately pulls you in with the smoothness of his old-rock‘n’roll-infused style and the genius pace of his guitar strumming fingers. The talents of this man are generous, particularly when seen in a live setting, and his musical creations are an essential contribution to Calgary’s indie-folk-rock scene.