January 2, 2017
This message comes a little late. Forgive me for spending New Years Eve and New Years Day snowshoeing and hanging with amazing friends instead of getting my ‘socials’ in order.
We’ve seen a lot of rough politics and world events in 2016, as well as the deaths of many of our collective heroes. We also saw a lot of shows of solidarity and love, and that’s what I choose to carry into the new year.
I took in a huge amount of inspiring music this year. Despite these constant reminders that there are hundreds of amazingly talented and worthy artists out there, I am grateful for my own endurance – the ability to turn that admiration into inspiration rather than defeatist frustration. I am grateful for my persistence of vision and my modest and ongoing mastery of the tools of my trade.
On the morning of NYE I finished the last few lines of Patti Smith’s M Train, a beautifully personal and inspiring read. Coincidentally, I found out that Jan 31 also happens to be her birthday. That coincidence, combined with the fact that Patti Smith is more celebrated than ever in her 70th year, is about as good an omen as I need to seek out.
Let’s all keep making stuff as if it matters, because maybe it does. Love to you all.
PS – Here’s the news from me (in case that’s why you were reading):
– Perhaps most relevant to this newsletter, I have come a very long way toward a new Michael Feuerstack recording. I’m guessing you’ll be able to hear it in the Fall or so. It really is almost done already, and I can barely stand the idea of sitting on it for so long. I just want to make sure it’s as amazing as it can be, and that we time it just right so that the highest possible amount of people will get to hear it.
– I spent a lot of this year making music with the Luyas. I feel pretty lucky to make some of the best, weirdest music of my career with some of my bets and weirdest pals. You can look forward to our full length, Human Voicing, on Paper Bag Records in February of this year.
– Camille Delean’s debut record, Music on the Grey Mile, will see release in 2017 as well, finally. I co-produced, mixed and played on this lovely work, and I hope you’ll keep an ear to the ground for it. We’ll be playing shows too.
– There were many other collaborations. Besides chipping away at a new recording with Bell Orchestre, and occasional contributions to the work of Paper Beat Scissors, I also was lucky enough to be re-united by SappyFest this year with my dear comrades the Wooden Stars for a one-off show, as well as a re-mount of our collaboration with Julie Doiron.
Pure luck all around.
July 7, 2016 Respond
I’m just working on more new music. Bell Orchestre is busy creating. Luyas is starting up again. Playing my first show with my homie Camille Delean <FB event> and of course I am deep into planning and writing the next MF masterpiece. Take that as you will…
In the mean time, I want to add Spotify (see below) to the many ways you can track down my music online. Heck, you could even search for Snailhouse if you can’t get enough of my tunes.
February 19, 2016 Respond
This 5 song EP is available from Forward Music Group. I’m very stoked to share this with you all. Five songs that were recorded in the same sessions as The Forgettable Truth. It’s been a year since that one came out, and this is our way to celebrate the anniversary! Enjoy! xo MF
“Turns out the musician that Said the Gramophone’s Sean Michaels called “a national treasure” had a few more gems in his back pocket. You may struggle to see and hear things the same way again.” – Exclaim!
“an inspiring, thought provoking journey through the everyday, cleverly mixing tempo, feel and instrumentation to create a short and welcomed escape from the rigors of the winter season.” – Grid City
“un savant mélange de sagesse et de nostalgie” – BRBR
January 13, 2016
Here is the first taste of Adult Lullabies!
This new EP comes out on February 19, one year exactly since the release of The Forgettable Truth.
Save some dough and pre-order it now.
December 17, 2015
I’ve been quiet here for a very long time. It’s not because I haven’t had any news – just been too busy to make a report. Here’s all the news I can think of:
Upcoming EP – Adult Lullabies
Some very exciting news is that Forward Music Group will be releasing an EP of new MF music this winter. The 5 featured songs were recorded during the same sessions as The Forgettable Truth. It’s a really strange and great collection of songs, and I’m very proud of it. A sort of a simple yet philosophical theme runs though it: asking how to balance a love for humanity with your own apparently inevitable tendency toward self-indulgence. Fun! Images and advance tracks coming soon.
New demos and ideas
I am slowly starting to assemble little bits and pieces of sketches that I’ve either jotted down or recorded over the last while. It may not sound like much, but it’s the beginning of making a new record. Once I sort through all this stuff, I may be able to imagine some kind of new album direction or sonic plan that will guide me and inspire me to get started for real on a new recording and/or maybe even a new instalment of Singer Songer (which my Mom loves so much)…
New video from the Singer Songer record
Speaking of Singer Songer – here is a new video for the Devon Sproule sung song from that record. It was put together by What If Productions, for the 48 hour film challenge put forth by KIAC/Yukon Film Society in Whitehorse, YT. I am grateful. Enjoy!
Between the various performances with my band since the record came out, here’s what I’ve been up to in my “spare time”.
Camille Delean debut album
One of the things I’ve been working on the most this year is a beautiful record by singer songwriter Camille Delean. We met at one of my shows just over a year ago. We chatted about recording and making music, and it was’t long before she asked if I’d be available to help work on some of her songs with her. She did the basic tracks in London with the incredible multi-instrumentalist and producer Ben Walker (Check out http://josienneclarke.co.uk). Afterward, she brought the tracks home to Montreal and we’ve been adding more vocals, guitar, steel guitar, keys (courtesy of Mathieu Charbonneau) and violin (by Josh Zubot). We are finishing up the mix now. I am very proud of this record, which I loosely describe as Twin Peaks meets Astral Weeks. Bold claims I know, but trust me it’s good.
Paper Beat Scissors EU tour
October saw me traipsing around Europe playing guitar for the one and only Paper Beat Scissors, supporting his newest release Go On. It was really fun to play guitar in this amazing line-up featuring Tim Crabtree (brains of the operation), Gregory Burton (check out the ruling Bantam Wing), Tessa Kautzman (also a Bantam Winger) and Alex Thibault. Great musicians and travel-mates all around. So many sausages and so many hours logged. Special mention goes to our tour mom Thomas Lechner who has always been and always will be one of the greats.
Bell Orchestre sessions
This long-silent band has been very slowly making some noise again. We retreated together in the summer for a big improvised recording session, where we recorded countless hours of material. Much of it is good, and we are currently going through everything to see what what is worth working on to eventually share. Slow as always, and not so steady, but I assure you we are making something.
New Luyas recordings
We have a new record in the works. It’s exciting for me, because after much touring and involvement with the band is my first Luyas record as an actual member. We recorded in November, and it’s now being mixed by the amazing Jace Lasek who also recorded and produced the sessions. I suspect we’ll have some news about our plans in the coming months. All I know is that we’re making a rad record.
My friend Will Samson finally released his lovely record Ground Luminosity on Talitres Records. I had the pleasure of collaborating remotely on this beautiful record. We met having shared shows here and there on tour in Europe, and he invited me to contribute some of my vocals and pedal steel to his recordings. Congratulations to Will! Have a listen!
And lastly, some props:
A big thanks to Said the Gramophone who included my “Clackity Clack” in their favourite songs of 2015.
One Chord to Another listed “I Wanted More” on their list of the top 20 songs for the year.
The Globe & Mail featured The Forgettable Truth among their Our Favourite Things feature form 2015.
…and 5kHz included the record on their list too! I feel like a prom queen.
Thanks for the hoots!
Have a great mellow holiday season, whatever that means to you.
Lots of love,
August 6, 2015
Hello hello hello,
It really has been a long time. All that really means is that I’ve been busy making stuff and having a good time. Frankly, I had better things to do than write updates. Still true, but here I am anyway.
June saw me doing some solo shows in the midwest US (huge thanks to the incomparable JE Sunde and my excellent pals in Maritime), and then at the amazing Tiny Lights festival in Ymir BC, where my inner hippie ran wild. From there, I travelled to Saskatoon (don’t ask about the logistics) and met up with my band: Jeremy Gara, Pietro Amato and Tim Crabtree. We had a bit of rehearsal (special ups to Tyson Brookes McShane of Slow Down Molasses fame) and then rocked the beautiful church for MoSoFest. Tim (aka Paper Beat Scissors) did a jaw dropping performance that same night with special arrangements of his own music for a chamber ensemble. True magic.
From there, we ventured west and sang and played for whomever would have us (big thanks to Find the Others), eventually ending up in Calgary for two shows at Sled Island, which which was a nice closer. Plus, I got to see Television and Drive Like Jehu – each as unlikely as the other.
After MF band tour, I went into hiding with my homies from Bell Orchestre. We went into the woods of Vermont, and made hours and hours (and hours) of improvized music, to the end of eventually making sense of it in order to create something to offer for the people. It’s been a long silence, and it’s become time to make some noise.
From there, it was straight to Atlin Arts and Music Festival, in the very north of BC. Aside from having the opportunity to make music for an amazing crowd, I got to ride in a helicopter to the foot of a glacier. Glacier Love, indeed.
Jordy, Micah and myself also served as the band for Devon’s sets, which was a real highlight for me in my musical life, as it’s no secret I’ve been a fan of Devon and her music for a long time. Immediately following the festival, our group retreated to a little riverside hut in Whitehorse (thanks to Yukon Film Society) to workshop and lay down tracks toward some of Devon’s incredible new songs.
I returned home, and then had a holiday before SappyFest X, which was it’s usual wicked weekend-long birthday party. I got to play with my East coast crew, of Nick Cobham, Kyle Cunjak and Mike Belyea. Also got to witness unbelievable sets by Adrian Teacher & the Subs, Frog Eyes and Les Hay Babies – just the tip of the iceberg from a mind-blowing weekend of music and friends.
That brings us to now – back into some studio projects to be revealed in the near future. Also, lots of shows still to come, as well as playing guitar for Paper Beat Scissors, James Irwin and many more…
Lots of love to you all,
I’ll send updates as stuff happens.
April 1, 2015 Respond
Here are the links to all the stuff we’ve been talking about.
You can see video of us preforming on Q HERE.
You can hear all the songs and the interview HERE.
Here is a link to the video that the amazing Mylene Simard made for Lamplight from the new record.
And finally – new dates have been added! I’m very pleased to announce that I’ll do solo shows in Quebec supporting Patrick Watson and in Toronto supporting Great Lake Swimmers.
March 23, 2015 Respond
There is so much to do right now getting ready for the shows this week, but I wanted to tell you quickly about two things:
There is a video for ‘Lamplight’ from the new record that is being premiered over at Now Magazine. This video was made by Mylene Simard, who is an amazing Montreal artist. I’m so glad we finally got a chance to collaborate on something. Enjoy.
Also, Southern Souls has posted some really sweet words about the new record. That very site is a massive archive of amazing performances, and once you’re there, I recommend you click around a bit and discover some good new music.
March 7, 2015 Respond
Well the record is out and there has been a really heartwarming response to it so far. Particularly, this Globe & Mail article by Sean Michaels and the response to it have left me reeling.
I am also home from an amazing European tour which brought me to numerous places, new and familiar. I was honoured to share the stage with my new Dutch comrades The Fire Harvest, whose kindness, generosity and musicianship were at the top of the scale.
For now, I’ll rest a bit, but just a little bit. There is much much much more action to come.
January 14, 2015 Respond