Matt Mays $40 (+tax)

“I think if a song has meaning and is played with heart it can be done in a million different styles, tempos, time signatures, and colours.” - Matt Mays, 2018

A year after the release of Once Upon a Hell of a Time..., Matt Mays returns with that record’s companion piece: Twice Upon a Hell of a Time.... An acoustic re-imagining of the songs from the rock record, the tracks are presented in stark, stripped-down contrast to its predecessors.
“Once Upon a Hell of a Time... is a Saturday night record,” says Matt. “This version is for the hangover on Sunday.”
Re-contextualizing the songs offers a new window into the lyrics. What he once described as a “party- rock record for the brokenhearted” transforms into a reflective and beautiful dive into false escapism, grief, love, and loss.
The recording came amidst a particularly busy time for Matt Mays. During a period when he headlined his first Massey Hall concert and supported sold out shows with The Gaslight Anthem all over North America, Matt teamed up with co-producer Eric Ratz to record at studios around Toronto between touring commitments.
Twice Upon a Hell of a Time... was originally conceived as a straight-up solo interpretation, similar to the iTunes Session recorded with Ratz in 2011. As the songs took shape, however, Matt decided to incorporate extra vocals and instrumentation. Tapping musicians Aaron Goldstein (Daniel Romano, Lee Harvey Osmond) on pedal steel, Anthony Carone (Arkells) on piano, and guest singers Andrew Rodriguez, Kate Dyke, and Melissa Payne, the album’s arrangements are lush and large without straying from the ‘unplugged’ vibe he sought from the outset.
Lead track “Ola Volo” is inspired by a Vancouver-based mural artist of the same name who also created the original album art for both records. “Her paintings and drawings all have a theme that I picked up on,” says Matt. “There’s a lot of nature. To me, it’s from another dimension, a very curious dimension that draws me in. Her pieces are very edgy and real-life at the same time. I had this feeling that I’d like to be in one of her paintings, to live in that world that she’s created.”
Following the single’s release worldwide on August 31, “Drive On” launches on September 28. Already a crowd favourite at live shows over the last year, it’s a song that tackles finding happiness within yourself; a track about “driving away from your problems and peacing out.”
Twice Upon a Hell of a Time... will be available on double vinyl, CD, and digitally on October 19, 2018. Not slowing down, Matt Mays continues to tour relentlessly with his band throughout the fall performing songs from these new records and his older albums - the first four of which finally saw vinyl releases earlier this year. He embarks on a second US tour in September, book-ended by festival shows in Vancouver, BC and St. John’s, NL leading up to the release of this new album.
After departing seminal alt-country collective The Guthries back in 2002, Matt Mays alternated between solo projects (his self-titled debut, the unfinished film soundtrack ...When the Angels Make Contact) and band projects (the eponymous Matt Mays & El Torpedo record and 2008’s Terminal Romance). Following the dissolution of Matt Mays & El Torpedo in 2009, Matt released Coyote in 2012 to much acclaim, including a JUNO Award win for Rock Album of the Year.

Adam Baldwin

Adam Baldwin is a Dartmouth, Nova Scotia based musician and songwriter, perhaps best known as a member of Matt Mays’ band since 2008. His self-titled EP, released in 2013, won the Nova Scotia Music Week award for Male Artist Recording of the Year and he was named Musician of the Year in 2014.
Baldwin’s debut full-length album is called No Telling When (Precisely Nineteen Eighty-Five) and was released on June 24, 2016. The album was produced by Liam O’Neil (The Stills, Metric) and also features the talents of Josh Trager (Sam Roberts Band), Brian Murphy (Alvvays) and Leah Fay (July Talk). In late 2016, the album won the Nova Scotia Music Award for Rock Album of the Year.
Of making the record in Toronto during the lead up to the last federal election and the Blue Jays dramatic playoff run, Adam says: “Toronto was alive... indeed, Canada was alive. I walked down Dundas and Ossington every day to the studio and passed hundreds of election signs. You could feel the hope and you could feel the fear. It was on everyone's tongue. If folks weren't talking about the election, they were talking about baseball. The Toronto Blue Jays, an entity that falls just below rock and roll in terms of my devotion, had ended a playoff drought that almost precedes my memory. The Jays' run into the American League Championship Series was the perfect foil for the very stressful federal election.”
The title track and first song describes events in New York City in 1985 (the year before Adam was born) and suggests how, thirty years on, not a lot in our culture has really changed. A particular unnamed real-estate developer, reality TV star and politician personifies this idea.
The first single “Daylight” was inspired by the political events in Canada surrounding the recording sessions. From Adam: “It’s a song about both the unity and division we felt as a country. It’s a song that should remind us that this change was spurred by a desire for a different direction, and that while our course appears to have changed, we have to demand that it continue to do so.”
“Anytime” and “Sparrow Song”, both featuring back up vocals from Leah Fay, loosely form a two act play and the centerpiece of the album. In “Anytime” Adam sings about young love and all the hopes and fears that come with that, while “Sparrow Song” describes those fears when they become reality.
“Rehtaeh” is about the systemic failures that led to the death of Rehtaeh Parsons in 2013 and is, as Adam puts it “maybe the most important song I'll ever write.”
The album closes with “Living Proof”, a song about the Canadian Dream, and how as Adam points out, “The dream is elusive because it isn't made available to everyone. It can't be attained by just anyone.”



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