Rich Aucoin has never been one to do
things normally. You know the stories
by now: How he toured across Canada
on a bike for the Childhood Cancer
Foundation - confirming the east
coast while on the radio in the west.
How on the next tour, he ran a halfmarathons
for Heart And Stroke
while at the same time recording
2011’s We’re All Dying To Live,
featuring over 500 players. And his
first EP, Personal Publication, syncs
up perfectly with “How The Grinch
St o l e Chr i s tma s” and 2014’ s
Ephemeral with “The Little Prince”.
How every show features a custom
video opening and a party under a
parachute and at the end of that
show, he puts his phone number up
and you texted him.
The new EP coming out on March 16
was recorded at 12 studios across
Canada and is a preview of the LP to
come in the fall. It is built upon
manipulating vocal samples both as
synths pads and leads. It features
l o n g - s p r a w l i n g e l e c t r o n i c
instrumentals as well as short concise
lyric driven indie pop. It features 19
other players in addition to Aucoin
from Broken Social Scene's Justin
Peroff to Dan Mangan to classical
composer Peter Togni. Aucoin
himself plays 23 instruments on the
four tracks. It was mixed by both
David Oversby Powell in London,
England and Howie Beck in Toronto.
The Fear is a summer feel-good
jammed combination of Funkadelic
meets Fatboy Slim. The Dream
features pop a la Spoon meets orchpop.
The Middle is a krauty War On
Drugs groove filtered through Future
Islands and M83' s cinemat i c
s o u n d s c a p e . R e l e a s e i s a n
arpeggiating vintage synth journey
with a Caribou meets Holy Fuck
meets Tobacco treatment.
PRAISE FOR RICH AUCOIN:
“A participatory carnival that must be
experienced to be believed” - EYE
WEEKLY
“Ephemeral is an all killer, no filler
affair” - EXCLAIM!
“This disc stands on its own as a
platter of party anthems ready to
serve” - POP MATTERS
“His new record might be called
Ephemeral, but Aucoin's towering
presence in Canadian music is
anything but” - POSTCITY
“Ephemeral rarely slows down to take
a breath, bashing out the go-big-orgo-
home jams one after the other” -
FFWD
“Aucoin knows how to write the songs
that can make the whole world sing” - THE RECORD

Taylor Knox’s 2015 debut EP, Lines, marked the arrival of a rare breed of singer/songwriter, one whose instincts are naturally attuned to the power pop principles of crunchy guitars, smooth harmonies and tales of teenage heartache.

Knox has grown up since then, and channeled the wonder of this new phase of life into his first—and aptly titled—full-length album, LOVE. Comprised of 11 tracks that would find good company on any playlist containing Big Star, Teenage Fanclub and Tame Impala, LOVE exemplifies Knox’s direct and utterly irresistible approach.

Although he’s honed his sound primarily on his own until now, Knox felt it was the right time to approach his old friend Afie Jurvanen (aka Bahamas) about producing. Jurvanen, in tandem with co-producer Josh Korody and the mixing team of Gus Van Go and Werner F, added many new facets to Knox’s new material, without erasing an iota of its essence. That would have been nearly impossible anyway, since the album is rooted in Knox’s current personal and creative outlook.

“My partner and I got married last year, so there was certainly a lot of inspiration from our eight-year journey together,” Knox says. “But writing love songs was a conscious decision for many reasons. I used to think love songs were boring and ‘too easy’ to write, but I came to realize that, if anything, it’s more of a challenge to write a song about love and not resort to clichés. Love is also what the world needs right now.”

Even the most jaded among us would be hard-pressed not to succumb to the wide-eyed innocence of standout tracks “Love Love Love,” “The Sun,” and “Running Into Love,” all of which feature guest vocals by Molly Rankin of Alvvays. Jurvanen contributes some of his trademark guitar stylings as well, but as on the EP, Knox handles most of the instrumentation himself. He saw the overall process of constructing LOVE as a challenge to capture his musical vision in its purest form, narrowing down the album’s final 11 tracks from 200 songs he had on hand.

“I wanted to make a record where it felt as if every song was essential to the end result,” he says. “For example, a song like ‘The Stars’ has a certain good feeling right off the first drum hit. I wrote it walking around my old neighbourhood in Toronto where I lived when I first moved to the city. It was nighttime and I was feeling very hopeful and nostalgic. I think I was able to convey that feeling in three minutes.”

While so much of LOVE sounds as effortless as Knox describes, it’s the direct result of the wealth of experience he’s gained over the past decade through playing with a host of Canada’s most acclaimed artists, including Owen Pallett, Rich Aucoin, Luke Doucet, Hayden, Jason Collett, and Alvvays. “The common thread with all of them is to never settle for second best,” Knox says. “I’ve also learned self-acceptance through them and other artists I’ve been listening to a lot lately, like Prince, Kendrick Lamar, Solange and The Stooges. What it comes down to is having confidence without being afraid to be vulnerable at the same time. I think that’s definitely noticeable on this record.”

Indeed, Taylor Knox’s LOVE is a testament to the highest ideals of rock and roll songwriting. You will fall for it—hard—and in return, it will always be there to give you exactly what you need.



Bio by Jason Schneider

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