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
November 25, 2014 Respond
Album plans are well under way. In fact, Stereogum has premiered one of the songs from The Forgettable Truth, along with some very kind words. Listen and read HERE.
Some of the new material was just debuted this past weekend at the Passovah showcase at M for Montreal. It was a pleasure to finally render some of these new tunes live with a full band, closely replicating the album arrangements. Stay tuned for more of that in March, after the album’s release FEB 17.
Thanks for reading.
October 22, 2014 Respond
I just got home from a whole bunch of dates (off and on) since September with the incredible Thus Owls. Thanks so much to everyone who came to a show, and to all the promoters and hosts. Biggest thanks of all to the gang in Thus Owls, who treated me like family and rocked the house every night. It’s been a pleasure.
Tomorrow, I’ll head to Halifax Pop Explosion to play two shows and fraternize with pals from all over. I’m thrilled to be sharing a show with Jennah Barry and then a church show with my label-mates Gypsophilia. Info on the dates is here.
As an added bonus, I’ll join my homey (and label-mate) Gianna Lauren on guitar for her show on Saturday.
That’s it for now. I won’t wait so long before I update you next time.
September 9, 2014 Respond
Finally finally finally, I can share with you the video that we made for Scorekeeper, from my Tambourine Death Bed album [buy it here, if you are so inclined]. Huge thanks go out to Scott Da Ros and AJ Korkidakis who conceived it and were largely responsible for making it happen. So many great people contributed to it, and I’m very grateful. Enjoy!
I write you now from Halifax, where I am on tour with the amazing Thus Owls. We have had a really great time, finding the perfect balance between work and play – all the while surrounding ourselves with wonderful and generous folks. That same bill will have more shows coming up soon in Ontario and Quebec, so stay tuned.
August 12, 2014
I am fresh back from SappyFest where I played a truly unforgettable show with my awesome Sentimental Gentleman band. I had such a great time on stage. We were joined on vocals for a couple of songs by Misha Bower (wonderful writer, and member of Eons and Bruce Peninsula) and then we did a couple more with Julie Doiron singing along. Here’s a review of the show.
Julie Doiron & the Wooden Stars
This brings me to my next point: I have been getting ready to hit the road with Julie and my long-lost band the Wooden Stars to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the record we made together. An interesting fun-fact is that we never really toured this release. The recording was the result of a couple years of pretty extensive touring – we played so well together that we felt we should make a document. However, circumstances conspired against us and we never really properly delivered the album to the world in a live format. Even as we won a Juno award (which was utterly unthinkable to us) and the world seemed to perk up to what we were doing, the moment slipped away. Now, for the first time ever, we are going to perform the record as well as some other JD songs from the era. I hope you can make it if we are near you. Here are the dates.
August 20, Arboretum Festival, Ottawa w/ Evening Hymns and Bosveld
August 21, Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto w/ Evening Hymns and Jose Contreras
August 22, La Sala Rossa , Montreal w/ Maica Mia
August 23, Peterborough Folk Fest , Peterborough w/ Evening Hymns
MF and Devon Sproule live in Montreal
On Aug 29 at The Plant, I’ll be playing with one of my great pals, of whom I am one of the biggest fans. Devon’s records have meant a lot to me, and our friendship has only made them more special. We’ve joined each other on stage more than a few times now. We’ll each be doing our own sets, but I think it’s safe to assume there’ll be lots of collaboration too… see you there?
Here is Devon singing on my Singer Songer record: