CTV's The Launch has already given us an eclectic mix of winners in its previous two episodes. Between Logan Staats, a tattooed singer-songwriter with a gravelly voice to match, and Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, a pop duo with catchy hooks and a powerhouse voice, the show could never exactly be accused of being predictable.
So of course it comes as little surprise that this week's winner was a 70s-style psychedelic rock band. I mean, why wouldn't it be? Especially with an eclectic panel of judges that included executive producer and Big Machine Label CEO Scott Borchetta, Nashville producer and musician Dan Huff, and Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx.
The Static Shift cite Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers Band, and Howlin Wolf as influences, and it shows not just in their retro look, but in the authentic classic rock meets modern production sound. Started by friends Mitchell Brady (guitar/lead vocals), Keone Friesen (Bass/harmonica/background vocals), and Isaiah Stonehouse (drums/background vocals) after they met at a rock and roll camp as kids, the band is looking to be part of the rock revival that seems to be just on the horizon.
After wowing the judges with a confident performance of Free's "Mr. Big," the trio went up against powerhouse blues singer and mother of five Amy Bishop, who came out strong with a soulful rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" that had the judges awestruck. Both got to record their versions of the song "Wide Awake" and perform them for a studio audience, both struggled with it in some way, and for once, the judges were actually split on their choice for the winner.
Huff was dead-set on Amy's version of the song, citing her powerhouse voice and more commercial style as putting her ahead, while Sixx felt The Static Shift's version was more confident and had more potential to inspire others. Ultimately the tiebreaker fell to Borchetta, who elected to put the band through and release their single.
With the release of their rocking version of "Wide Awake," we expect big things from The Static Shift in the future.
More info on The Launch can be found on the show's official website.