A song with a fairy tale title, a sound for those who let the rhythm moves their feet. An electronic slow burn that has only one problem. It ends.
Read our interview with the Canadian artist below!
Describe your sound in three words please!
Grandparent music 420
Your song ‘Postcard from a Quarantined Miner in Flin Flon’ has a vintage sound yet it is also very relatable. Tell us a few words about your creative process.
For my ballads, I’ll often take a month or two to dig through the great traditions of Tin Pan Alley and romantic classical music in search of harmonic treasures and neat progressions. Then I take my findings, analyze them and let them inspire me. Hopefully after repeating this process for a month or two, I come up with a compelling and original skeleton for a tune. And then I get to producing – which usually involves applying layers of sonic mud and grime to my skeleton using a near excess of sub-bass and white noise (static, hiss, vinyl crackle)! So there’s still muddying after the digging. I work mostly in Reason for my DAW.
I love rich harmonies and melodies, and I think the earliest eras of pop music have so much to teach songwriters about those things. There’s nothing inevitable about the death of melody and harmony, a trend often remarked upon. Dance music and hip-hop certainly didn’t kill those things, no matter what some conservatives may argue. For my dance tunes, I’m not sure I have a formula except syncopate, syncopate, syncopate! But here too I’m always striving for interesting melodies and harmonies, even when generally they’re taking a backseat to the groove.
In 2019 you released your debut EP ‘Make It Rain’ which received lots of praise! (How) has your sound evolved ever since?
I’m currently working on another EP, and I think it’ll just be tighter than my last one. A sharper, hopefully better, articulation of the same curious obsessions.
Your songs seem to be related with the place you’re living in a way. How do you think that your sound reflects your sense of space and place, if at all?
Love this question. In purely sonic terms, I’m not sure I’m much influenced by my surroundings except in the accidental way in which we’re all influenced by the music and sounds of our immediate environment. But lyrically and visually I’m absolutely influenced by the bitterly cold, provincial, and beautiful prairies that I live in. It makes me sad how many North American musicians from the prairies and Midwest want to pretend they’re from elsewhere. They’re losing a quirky but vital source of originality, in my view!
Judging by your creations we guess that creativity didn’t not abandon you during the social isolation (on the contrary!). How do you usually spend your days?
In front of various screens: an iMac in my living room; a MacBook in my bed; and an iPhone in the bath when it’s not a book. I wish I could say I were getting out into nature more. I went duck hunting this fall but otherwise I haven’t left the city much since the pandemic. I go for a near daily walk with my mom.
When you are not making your own music, you are engaged in collaborations. What kind of thing is going on there?
I’m not a singer, but I write music for voice, so invariably I’m collaborating with someone! At the moment, my main collaborator is the wonderful Courtney Devon, whose music I encourage you to check out. I’m also sometimes invited to work on other people’s music as a producer, or on other people’s film and advertising projects as a score composer. But finding time to work on other people’s stuff is increasingly difficult, especially since I still work a 9-5.
What was the best album you heard in the previous year?
Make It Rain by Bluebloods. Stream it on Spotify! I’ve really just learned the importance of hustling your music on that app to get ahead professionally. So here’s me hustling. But apart from that, I listen to a lot of ASMR (don’t care if that’s cringe) and old jazz standards, and just try generally to take in the latest trends of neo-soul, lofi R&B, and lofi hip hop. Honestly, I think we’re having a great moment in alternative music; one where the momentum and ethos is empowering good indie artists to respectfully explore classic jazz and R&B rather than just the same old rock stuff.
Tell us something about you that not many people know!
My mom, Sally, was a co-producer and co-writer of the ‘Postcard from a Quarantined Miner in Flin Flon’ music video! I guess that’s not a fact about me. How about this: I played Dan Aykroyd’s son in a movie when I was a kid. But, come to think of it, I tell everyone that.
Listen to Bluebloods and other artists we feature in our Spotify Playlist