Today’s the day – this brand-new album is already available here at this website! You can read all about the new Follow UP, click on any song and get its full story (plus hear the whole thing and read the lyrics), or go straight to the online shop and buy the digital collection OR your collector’s edition old-skool CD (a memento you’ll be able to fondly treasure when that media finally dies!)
There will be special prices on all our merch at the show, so come on down and spend a few bucks – the new album will be signed and numbered in a one-time-only limited run you will be glad you got a part of!
If you can’t make it to 362 Powell Street tonight, browse through the site and see what this album is all about, listen to as much of it as you like, and put down a few bucks to own it yourself. It will be available at all online retailers and streaming sites (might just be a while before it shows up in all searches) — but of course, you get the best price right HERE! It is also the one-year Birthday of our first album, Songs of Serenity, so if you don’t already own that in some form, check out all the great stuff (stories, lyrics, songs, reviews & pics) we have here relating to the record that launched this whole adventure!
See you tonight, my Van-legions of friends and fans!
The song I chose to close out the new album is devoted to the best kind of positivity you can convey in song: the timeless, ageless, Love Song. I’ve written quite a few, but none better than this one, which came very early in my time with Brandy, when we’d already had “lots of perfect moments” and knew we were destined to have many more.
She truly is “All That”, even though the title is actually short for “All That I Need” (too many songs with that title). She brings out the best in me, she completes me, all that cliched (yet true) lovespeak. It’s also true that we are still discovering each other, even 12 years later. I’ve been sitting on this gem for almost that entire 12 years, so please, sample a little audio from the best song I’ve ever written, finally getting released Sept 8th:
The penultimate song from our brand new album is from a poem I wrote way back in university days. I sat across from a now-forgotten woman in a small seminar and watched while she doodled a gorgeous pair of eyes in plain ink on a sheet of paper. They seemed to stare right at me, as I certainly did at them. It was an emblematic moment that made me think about the process of creativity and expression, how art always needs an observer or audience to truly come to life. The lines blurred between the artist drawing and the one using words (and later music) to capture the feeling. Here is a snippet from The Artist (you can hear the full song, and the rest of the album Sept 8th!):
When I read Six String Nation by Jowi Taylor, it blew me away – the story of how one incredible guitar, called “Voyageur,” was lovingly crafted (by Luthier George Rizsanyi) out of some 64 different pieces of Canadian history. I was inspired to write this song, paying homage to hockey sticks from Gretzky & Paul Henderson, part of Rocket Richard’s Stanley Cup ring (inset in the 9th fret), and many more pieces. I only wish I could’ve fit more of them into the song! The most crucial top piece was cut out of the Golden Spruce of Haida Gwaii, a great honour as that tree, felled before its time, is still sacredly guarded by the local Haida. It is my dream to one day record this song with Voyageur, but for now, here’s a glimpse of the finished 7th track on Follow UP!
I came across a George Herbert poem (from 1630) and music popped into my head as I read it. Naturally I imagined many voices singing the chorus and choral verses in a call and response exchange, and I got to use some good ones on this recording: Graham Myrfield and Tim Payne joined the rest of my band singing around one microphone. Take a listen!
It might seem odd, but on my second “solo” album — intended to chip away at a massive backlog of songs I never got to use in any bands I’ve been in over the years — we included a song by Eric Lefebvre. It’s one he never got to play with the Top Drawers (our other band) or elsewhere and he asked if we could do it, so I thought “why not?” It just so happened to fit the developing theme of following the UP in life perfectly (nothing more positive than the line “It’s gonna be alright”), so it was in. We had a great deal of fun recording this, especially building up all the harmonies and some incredible keyboard work by Derek (OK, and some sweet guitar soloing by me). Have a listen to what’s coming!
Next up from Follow UP is a song I wrote while busking down on Granville Street, which I used to do regularly on Friday and Saturday nights, milking the exiting bar crowds of coins while they drunkenly requested Free Bird and Stairway. Sometimes there were quiet moments between waves and I would noodle around, and idly write something new while waiting for more people to show. That’s how this song came to be; I still have the two tiny scraps of paper I wrote down the minimal lyrics on to be sure I remembered it.
The third song off our brand new upcoming album Follow UP is this quirky little number called Not Jane, check it out!
Nothing against the name Jane, of course! This just happened to be a real-life experience where a girl named Angel (for real) swooped down out of nowhere while a friend and I had coffee on Commercial Drive. She turned out to be a teenaged model skipping high school to do a photo shoot later. We shared a few memorable moments and she moved on, leaving a subtle wonder in her wake as we exchanged glances thinking, “did that really just happen?” I couldn’t resist turning it into a song later the same day, with the twist of turning Angel into the “plain” name, and not Jane.
Check back tomorrow for a preview of the next song from Follow UP, coming out in just over two weeks, Saturday, September 8th!
Our brand-new album (coming out Sept 8) is a companion to Songs of Serenity, recorded with the same band and producers at the same studio – Echoplant. All songs started on acoustic, fitting the singer-songwriter feel I started this project out with, but this time there is definitely more electric guitar, leads, and an overall upbeat feel that feels like a natural progression from our first release.
Calling this record Follow UP started as a pun, coming so closely on the heels of the last one, but the songs we worked on all had a positive vibe, so a theme naturally grew that justified the name. I also couldn’t resist the social media import of “follow”s and “up”-votes (whether “like”s, “love”s, or thumbs up). As we trot out the new tunes over the next couple weeks, you’ll see some different aspects of positivity featured in each.
Without further ado, our first preview is the 2nd track (leaving the lead-off till last), called “Swept Away”:
This song looks back at single days, being flirtatious, finding that one perfect gaze in a crowd that says so much – and knowing it’s a mutual, equal attraction. I’ve always hated the concept of someone being ‘out of your league’ or putting someone ‘up on a pedestal’ so I set out to puncture some of those myths in this song, while preserving the spirit of excitement we all feel when we suddenly find that connection with someone new. As for the cliche of “seizing every day”, I will own that one – it definitely still rings true!
Stay tuned for more previews over the next week and a half, and we’ll see many of you out at the Fairview, Thu Aug 30th, and the album release party at LanaLou’s Sat, Sep 8th!
The new album, Follow UP, is completed and waiting to be delivered to the world as of September 8th — which just so happens to be my birthday, and the one-year anniversary of our first album release, Songs of Serenity. Get ready to celebrate all of these with us!
Naturally, here in Vancouver, that means a big album release show which we are once again putting on at fabulous local Rock n Roll Eatery, LanaLou’s (362 Powell). You won’t want to miss this show, we’ll be playing songs from the new record plus a few faves from the still fresh one-year-old; a special surprise opening act will hit the stage around 9pm, and after our 10pm set the fabulous Danny Echo (11pm) close out the show with their characteristic rock and roll energy and fun.
But first, we will be onstage at the legendary International Pop Overthrow festival, at The Fairview Pub (898 W. Broadway) on August 30th. IPO runs for 3 nights and you should do yourself a favour and go see all of them with line-ups absolutely jam-packed with great bands. We play the Thursday night and will be onstage at 11pm, playing songs from the new album and giving a sneak peak at what’s to come the following week. You can pre-order Follow UP from us there that night, so get on down and be one of the first to own it!
Also at the IPO festival, the final night September 1st will see the reunion of Eric’s and my other band The Top Drawers for a sure-to-be epic night of rock and roll goodness! The line-up for this Saturday is off the charts with other old-school reuniting legends The Ryecatchers and Star Collector (featuring our own Adrian Buckley on drums!) sharing the stage with us and local faves like Danny Echo and The Top Boost.
Pre-orders for Follow UP will be available very soon – watch this space!