The Man behind the Masses

Rich Aucoin is an indie rock experimental solo artist from Halifax, Nova Scotia whose sound cannot be simply put into words.  As a collaborator to the instrumental supergroup, “The Hylozoists”, he has put out an EP titled “Public Publication, a studio album “We’re All Dying To Live,” and is currently working on his upcoming 2nd studio LP “Ephemeral”.

 Rich Aucoin takes an experimental approach to writing. In an interview on MTV Canada, Rich said he likes to watch movies with the sound off and compose music to coincide with it.

Where many would sit down with a group and work out arrangements in a well-mannered fashion, he’s found a niche that just might be the coolest way to write any song.

 “I write all my music influenced by visuals and compose my pop songs like they’re scores for a film,” says Rich Aucoin.

 “So all the songs I’ve released also sync up to a visual and film with many synchronicities occurring between the visuals and the audio,” he says.

 Living in a reality where you visualize how the music would sound feels like a place where ultimate creative freedom can birth.

 With visuals taking an important role in his music, it isn’t a surprise that he’d spend as much time on video as he would the sound.

 “Thematically, the visuals really influence what the song is about too,” he also adds.

 “I think it just gives me a framework for me to visualize certain things about the song right away (i.e. tempo, certain key beats, theme, lyrical suggestions, and duration),” he says.

 Rich Aucoin’s music video for the single “It” parodies pop culture references to famous Hollywood films such as Die Hard and E.T.

 After gaining attention from the masses, and being coined as the greatest opening act in Canada due to audience participation and a giant parachute alongside visuals, he’s working on something even more exciting than the last record.

 “The new record, Ephemeral, syncs to the 1970’s version of Le Petit Prince,” says Rich Aucoin.

 “Other restrictions on the songs other than retelling the story and theme of that amazing book are that the songs are all quite fast and short with the whole record being 10 songs and just under 30mins,” he mentions.

 Rich Aucoin has earned recognition for his talent and music alike.

“This year [2012] marks the inaugural instalment of the Prism Prize, a newly launched award that celebrates the best Canadian music video from the past year. After weeks of lead-up, the organizers have now announced the winner for the prize’s first edition: ‘Brian Wilson is A.L.i.V.E.’ by Rich Aucoin,” from exclaim.ca by Alex Hudson.

“This song appeared on Aucoin’s 2011 album We’re All Dying to Live, while the Noah Pink-directed video followed in September of last year. The unique clip tells the life story of the iconic Beach Boys songwriter by taking Aucoin through a series of Brian Wilson-themed sets on a sound stage,” exclaim adds.

And the music scene is swiftly responding to this recognition by showing support.

The Canadian music scene is sometimes taken as a joke or is rarely talked about as much as the U.S. or Europe, but Rich thinks otherwise when considering A-list talent.

 “[Canada] totally does [have a strong music scene] and such a wide range from Arcade Fire, Drake,  Justin Bieber to Celine Dion and there’s tons of huge artists,” says Rich Aucoin.

 “In the indie world, we’ve got such a huge number of respected artists for such a small population and it’s a very healthy and vibrant scene,” he adds.

It doesn’t hurt having industry heavyweights such as Broken Social Scene or Metric to help break through the musical barriers between indie and mainstream rock/pop.

 Rich has his music tastes just as varied too.

 “I really liked Pink Floyd growing up and film-like pop music,” he says.

 The visual aspect of his career is one that’s as prominent in everyday life as the music.

 “I like photography and visuals for sure,” he adds.

And if he wasn’t a musician, he would love to be a filmmaker and hopes to do that one day.

 With a strong music community backing his decisions, Rich Aucoin is swiftly becoming an indie heartthrob that will resonate throughout the masses for years to come.

 For more on Rich Aucoin check out his website and Facebook page. He might even reply to your answers too.

Volition

This Saturday is going to be a show to remember. Protest The Hero, a progressive metal band from Whitby, Ontario, will be shredding at SAIT’s The Gateway with their self-produced, kick-starter funded 4th studio album Volition. This is the first record that isn’t released on a label and didn’t receive any support from a record company. They took other methods to figure out how to continue their stream of hit records by reaching out to their fans. They were able to purchase specific packages through the kick-starter campaign. Fans could purchase the record in advance, buy merchandise such as vinyl, posters, etc., be featured on the new record, and even have a pizza party with the group. This goes to show that you can make a success without having support from a label. This might be a new generation for music and how bands will reach new audiences.

Young Galaxy: A Profile

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Young Galaxy is an indie rock/dream pop Canadian group that originated in Vancouver, B.C. in 2005.

Their sound is compared to Pink Floyd and Luna with elements of shoegaze and electronic-oriented soundscapes.

Originally on Arts&Crafts records (A recording company staple based out of Toronto), they have been releasing under Paper Bag records in recent years with a noticeable stylistic shift towards dance music elements.

Catherine McCandless features a more prominent role as a lead singer.

I watched Young Galaxy perform at SAIT’s The Gateway on September 21st and to my amazement saw a very minimal set up using background projections as an added element to a dream like set list.

The crowd gathered as they hit the stage and everyone was hypnotically entranced holding their gaze upon Catherine’s captivating eyes.

“She sounds like Dolores from The Cranberries,” I heard one audience member say.

The fours would hit the floor and everyone was crooning and dancing with their hands waving like flags.

Doused in 90’s vibes, even down to Catherine McCandless’ outfit of leather overalls to the swept back short hair, the crowd couldn’t help but move to the swaying dream pop resonating throughout the venue.

She gave a deadpan stare and moved elegantly with a shaker in her hand that seemed automated everytime she shook it but instead was rhythmically moving to the beat of the drums.

When they released their self-titled debut album back in 2007, their music was quickly being recognized for its well-crafted songs that carried you to a place you’ve never been to.

Even when you think you haven’t heard them before, you might have caught their tune “The Sun’s Coming up and My Plane’s Going Down” in the Canadian film “Y.P.F (Young People F**king)”.

It’s to no one’s surprise that they’ve accredited praise release after release while expanding their sound to incorporate electronic elements such as midi drums in their foray of instruments.

Their music has shifted in tone but hasn’t lost its edge.

They’ve adopted a more “impressionistic” writing style, says Stephen Ramsay (guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist), instead of using the verse-chorus-verse progression commonly found in all types of music.

Their new album Ultramarine, which was longlisted as a nominee for the sought after Polaris Music Prize, is available in your local music stores.

You can catch Young Galaxy continue their U.S. tour from September 27th through November 10th.

Check out “Embers” from their self-titled release and “Fall For You” off of Ultramarine.

Website: http://younggalaxy.com/

by: Dylan Streifel