Annalyne / A Hundred Times / Alabama  

This is what I wrote on Instagram with regards to these songs:

"What a wonderful year 2016 has been. So many big changes and positive things have come to fruition this year and I am starting to see clear where I fit in this musical world I'm running around in. This is the year that I fell back in love with my acoustic guitar, with natural sounds dressed up proudly in their blemishes and with words that are more poetry than simple placeholders for melodies.  

Inspiration found me in the music made by The Band in 68' and all the books written about that magical time. I got lost in a handful of albums and songs (as I often do) 

The Band - The Band  

Music From Big Pink - The Band  

Jason Isbell - Speed Trap Town (song) 

Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker  

Ryan Adams - Ashes and Fire  

Jesse Daniel Smith - Basic Truths (song)  

and each one had a big impact on how I went about creating music over the last 10 months. The way I placed microphones on drums. The way I did my harmonies. The way Mike laid back on his kit. It all seeped into the music one way or another.  

Earlier this spring I released the folksy/sunny duo of tunes, "So Much More With Me / Holloway" and after some deliberation with Mike, decided to end 2016 in the same "vibe" we started it. So here is the second edition in that "vibe", Annalyne / A Hundred Times / Alabama. I really hope you dig it."

*I wrote it on the Bloor line on my way to a show downtown (Toronto)

To go into more depth though…..I was planning on releasing an EP this fall but ran into a bit of an issue with the group of songs I had. The tunes that were ready to go were a little too varied; a couple of Paul Simony ones, a couple of R & B influenced ones, and a couple of ones similar to those I released in the spring.

So I discussed what to do with Mike, and it was his recommendation that we put out the songs that fit best alongside "So Much More With Me/Holloway" as another single. This way we could finish the theme that we started the year with and move forward to new territory in 2017!

***I have always had this problem (good fortune?) with writing songs where I seem to get bored with one genre and move around a lot. If my songwriting could be characterized by a Beatles LP it would be The White Album because I'm all over the place thematically.***

This song was a direct musical offspring of a tune that I had been working on called "Harlem". Where as Harlem was more in the 'Heartbreaker' Ryan Adams vein, Annalyne was definitely going for the world that The Band's "Ophelia" lives in. Laid back, three part harmonies and those syrupy stuttering drum patterns. I wrote it very quickly after a night out in Guelph visiting some friends, got home to my parents house, sat down at the kitchen table with some strong coffee, and bashed out the skeleton of the tune and the chorus in a few hours. This rarely happens….but when it does it's usually following a night out. Things are always very clear in the throes of a hangover. I have had thoughts over the last few years like "well I can't stop drinking completely…I'll need those hangovers for tunes down the line". 

Although I think the song is pretty self explanatory there are a few lines in there that I'm very proud of. "In the earliest hours of the morning/under cigarette smoke and broken light/everybody is searching for something/to fill up all of the loneliness inside". 

I had written the first verse and chorus of this song a long long time ago when I was in my first band The Sweet Mack. It was a little slower back then and wasn't really appropriate for a rock band but this summer I revisited it, finished the lyric and wrote a bridge to tie it all together. It wasn't until I added the organ, though, that the song really came alive. It has a bunch of (what I would call) Noel Gallagher chords in it that ring out forever and as a huge Oasis fan growing up it was intensely fun recording it with those Mancunian's in mind.

This song is about the inevitability of getting older and missing out on things that could have been. It's about a relationship that never was and coming to terms with the fact that someone else is the right one for her/him. "I doubt my hopes of you and I/Cause I know, deep down, you're satisfied with you". We've all had these things happen and we all will, hopefully there is some clarity on the other side of it for you at the end of it all. Although it is proving hard to pull off live, this song feels the best to me on recording and I'm so glad I put the hours/days/weeks in to finish it.

This song started out as a jam between Mike and I and we would play the chorus and the piano riff into the ground at every band practice. I kept it on the back burner for a while knowing full well I'd be recording it sooner or later but every time I sat down to put verses together nothing would come. This pattern continued for about a year and a half until I decided to write a "story" song.

I found some information on a Civil Rights lawyer named Clifford Durr and after spending an afternoon reading up on him, his past, his wife and his amazing contributions to the civil rights movement, the song literally wrote itself. Known mostly for bailing Rosa Parks out of jail with Edgar Nixon, his whole history is impressive. I could write a full album on him alone!!! I'm proud of this song because it is a historically accurate lyric and it isn't solely about a relationship. I'm hoping it will give me the courage to tackle different lyrical material in the future. It's challenging for me to write about things that aren't happening inside my own head but this is a step in the right direction I think!

Thanks so much for checking out the tunes!!!

Lots of love


So Much More With Me/Holloway 

I wrote the music and chorus for 'So Much More With Me' last summer and as I worked on finishing it up I realized that it's quite a bit different from the stuff on the Terrace EP. Whereas Terrace was a very blue record this tune was almost a bright yellow (if songs were colours) and I was unsure how I could release it out into the world. I have been trying my best to group my songs in appropriate themes for release so I knew that I needed another song (or multiple) that felt like they belonged side by side with this one; Acoustic guitar. Lots of snare work. A very natural vibe. I ended up rummaging into my past to a song I had written in college for a friend of mine, Laura Holloway. 


So Much More With Me definitely screams SPRING so I wanted to make sure I had it out just as the weather was starting to shift from spring to summer. The first line is "I'll wait until the days get longer", so from the moment I had that lyric I knew I wanted to get the song out at the right time. There's not a whole lot to say about it other than it's a tricky chorus to sing for my vocal range and I love playing the guitar riff. Especially live. It's definitely a counterpoint to the heart break songs on Terrace, full of promise and an unshakeable belief in someone else. As you get older the realities of life and other people start to poison your belief in things. It can almost get to the point where you're just waiting for things to go sour….this is a song trying to fight against that. 


Holloway was an old song I had written for a friend of mine in University. She was a Volleyball player and was a real close friend of mine my first couple years in University. I still have a pink jungle juice stain inside my acoustic guitar from a birthday party I played for her.

The song came about because I had, in college, released a song called 'Laura' that she mistook for being about her. After explaining that, no, it was not about her I kept her in mind for the rest of that year and worked her last name into the next song I saw fit. She had, at that time, just moved out to the west coast so I tried to add some of that imagery into the lyrics. When rediscovering it I decided to rework it a little bit and was especially happy with the new third verse:

"I miss the way you made me feel about myself before". For some reason that line seems to resonate with me the most out of all the lyrics on this release.

It definitely has a Ryan Adams kind of vibe to it (I used "The Hardest Part" as my reference while I was mixing) and it came out better than I thought it would during recording. Both tunes did I think. It's great when that happens.


I recorded these two songs in the same way I did the last EP. I recorded lead and back up vocals, guitars, and keys in my apartment in the west end and then brought those tracks home for Mike to lay the drums on. I had been looking around for some ribbon microphones the last little while to record drums with and these were the first tunes that I got to use them. I can't wait to use them again.

The drums were also recorded a little differently to get a more natural vibe. I recorded them in mono and I didn't really use much baffling around the kit for separation…I wanted to have the blending of the different mics to create one natural sound. 

Mike was great as usual and laid down both songs in one night.  We'd been playing the tunes live quite a bit leading up to recording so it was literally a matter of running through each song a couple of times and picking the take that worked the best. 


Originally I had envisioned the album art to be a painting. I had this idea of having someone paint a picture of me laying down surrounded by flowers to give the cover a "Spring" vibe. Well I tried my best to make that happen; had someone ready to paint the picture and everything but when it came time to take photos of me laying in the grass (to give to the artist) it turns out gravity isn't very kind to my face when I lay down. Cheeks puffing up. Eyes looking tense. So I immediately scrapped that idea!!!

So I called up a friend of mine, Jenn Kavanagh, who's a great photographer and had taken pictures of us in The Sweet Mack. I sent her the two songs. Told her I wanted to give off a bright, spring vibe, and this was the photo she sent me right away. I knew immediately it was the one. She took it on a trip to Africa. Just looks awesome. Thanks Jenn.

I hope you dig the tunes!

Goodbye - Paul McCartney Cover  

'Goodbye' is a song written by Paul McCartney in the Apple Records era for Mary Hopkin to record. I assume it was written around the time of The White Album and the fact that it wasn't added to that or any Beatles album thereafter is crazy. Hopkin's version is a little over produced for my taste and has a definite element of cheese to it. I've always preferred McCartney's demo version so that's what I modelled my cover after.  

I love McCartney's acoustic finger picking tunes. His "pluck-flick" style on 'Goodbye', 'Blackbird', 'Mother Nature's Son', 'Heart Of The Country', 'Calico Skies', 'Hey Diddle' and countless others always feels like someone just tossed him a guitar and he started fuckin' around with it. I like how it's a little bit messy but, at the same time, rhythmic and full of melody. This video of him recording 'Blackbird' is how I imagine he recorded every one of these "pluck-flick" tunes:
McCartney's acoustic guitar songs from about '68 -'73 are phenomenal. There's a fun confidence to them and, atleast in the last year or so, I've been really into the idea of catching performances in the studio like he does with this style of song. I like the idea of sacrificing some cleanliness on a recording, getting a really lively and natural take of a vocal and guitar, and then building around that. It's not always feasible to do but I think you can tell the difference in the vocals when you do. Singing without playing your instrument can be a pretty odd thing to do. I find that vocal takes I've done while playing piano or guitar have had a bit more character to them. 

For this recording I tried something I hadn't done in a long time; tracked without using a click. I've been trying to be as 'pro' as possible the last few years when it comes to recording but I've been feeling less and less convinced about click tracks. I still plan on using them when I have to in the future (mostly because of the nature in which Mike and I have to record things) but there's a certain groove that's present on iPhone demo's that's undeniable. For this song I did a couple of tracks of acoustic guitar, one D.I. bass track with my Epiphone Viola Bass, a couple of vocal takes that I layered onto one another, and a couple of harmony vocals. The vocal tracks were tricky to get right because they were so high. The demo McCartney did is basically a blueprint for Mary Hopkin so he's singing in her register. After struggling through the vocals I got Mike to send me a track of him playing just the kick drum and I added that in along with a tambourine track and a 'shaker' track (I used a mason jar full of popcorn kernels). I videotaped the vocal and guitar takes with my iPhone and used them in the final video.

I hope you like it!

Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard - Paul Simon Cover  

Paul Simon's music is incredible. Incredible. Incredible. From his gorgeous earlier work to the rhythmic adventures of his later solo work Simon has such an original way of crafting songs and lyrics and he is a never ending source of inspiration. I've been playing this song at the end of my live set quite a bit lately and it always goes over really well. It goes well when I play it with a band. It goes well when I play it solo just with a guitar. The best songs are often like this I find. 

Like most Paul Simon songs the lyrics are really outrageous. Not only in content but just in the wording he uses and the way he puzzle pieces phrases together. You don't hear words like, 'Radical Priest' or phrases like 'Oy I'm gonna get that boy' in anybody else's songs so it takes a considerably longer time to memorize his lyrics I've found. I planned on playing this song live months and months ago but had to pull it from the set last minute (a handful of times) because I knew I'd make a big shit of the lyrics and I don't want to do that to a Paul Simon song!!! No sir.

Listening to interviews and reading articles about him it's so interesting to hear how long he slaves over song lyrics, sometimes editing a song for months before wrestling it to completion. The more I write songs the more I find myself doing the same with mine. There are a million reasons why I think people may "settle" on certain lyrics. Sometimes they feel good phonetically. Sometimes you throw together a verse so you can try the song live only to keep it that way after getting a good reception. Whatever the reason may be to let a tired lyric through a song's edit period Paul Simon's songs show what can come of working songs hard. Nothing pulls a great melody down like tired lyrics and on the flip side a great lyric can make an average song worthwhile. This is definitely something I want to be aware of when I write songs and although I try my best shit does inevitably happen. Vampire Weekend (obviously heavily Paul Simon influenced) are a good example of a new band that has a freshness to their lyrics. Using words and phrases that we don't hear ever. 

There are so many songs of his I would love to cover and maybe I will over time but this one seemed like an easy starting point as I'd been playing it live. I would have to say my favourite Paul Simon song at the moment is 'Obvious Child' and I didn't even know it existed until this year. If you haven't heard it….your welcome. 

Recording this song was a lot of fun and I tracked it all pretty quickly. The percussive knee slaps weren't originally going to be in the track but I just started doing those 'rolls' on my knees leading up to each vocal take (I did the vocals sitting down) and I thought they sounded really cool so I took them, cut them up for certain sections, compressed them and then added t a bunch of echo to give it that Phil Spector vibe. The heavy breathing isn't in the song by choice but got on the recording on the same track as the knee slaps. Sorry about that! I recorded the bass on an old Epiphone Viola Bass that I bought about 7 years ago. I purchased it in the hopes of getting some McCartney character out of it (as you do) but I'd never used it for recording before because it's a bit of a cheaper model. Although I wouldn't use it live, the 'thud' sound that it gives off can be used really well on recordings so I plan on taking advantage of that in the future. Finally, this is the first tune I've gotten to use a new compressor that I bought recently. It's not an expensive piece of gear but Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, The Vaccines, Flaming Lips) has a few and has said he's used it so that's good enough for me! 

Thanks for listening! 

I've got lots of new tunes I'm working on and just trying to find cool ways to get them out there so stay tuned. 


Ex Factor - Lauryn Hill Cover  

I got into 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill' much later than is acceptable but, as is the case for most great albums, they age so well that it doesn't matter when you stumble upon them. A song like Ex Factor sounds just as appropriate now as it would have when it was released and this is the kind of music that I aspire to make.

I'm not the kind of music listener that goes out and devours new bands by the dozens. I typically fall in love with a band or artist and then dive into their music full on. I like to know about the recording process, the inspiration behind songs, etc so it keeps me occupied for months listening to the music and tracking down interviews and reviews. This is where I'm at with Lauryn Hill's TMOLH. I must say that my favourite song on the album is actually "To Zion". I would have loved to cover that one because of the interesting guitar work and snare rolls but I figured the lyrical content of that song doesn't lend itself to a guy singing it. Zion is her son's name, and she was pregnant with him while making this record. You definitely have to check it out.

I picked Ex Factor to cover because it's lyrics are so crushingly sad and it was an opportunity to do a song that is really laid back. Also, I thought it would gel with the songs I released on 'Terrace' earlier this year and I thought that of all the tunes on the album I might be able to do something cool with it. I threw in some extra bass melodies and some different harmonies to try and make it a little different from the original. As far as the vocals go I'm aware of what I can and can't do vocally and I wasn't about to attack all of the acrobatics that Lauryn does on this song so I just kept it simple and did my best haha hopefully it worked out alright!!!

Trying out covers live can be a really fun way to not only get attention from an audience but to  "sit behind the wheel" of an artists work for a few minutes. "Oh this is cool how they get into the chorus here" or "I love this bass line" or "The vibe in this song is ridiculous even though it's slow". In the past with bands any time we would cover a tune it kind of affects how you move forward with your own songs later on. As far as this cover goes, because I recorded and mixed the song myself, I'm hoping it will affect how I record some songs in the future. The heaviness of the kick on her album is something I really want to work into my own stuff. 

I recorded the key's parts on my Roland digital piano and the bass parts using my Rickenbacker. Mike, my brother, recorded the drums on his electronic kit and sent me the files online to incorporate into the tune. It's a long song so I tried to keep it interesting by putting a pretty involved bass line in the third verse. 

I hope you dig the track! It was very fun making it

You can download it for free at:


Recording Terrace  

There's nothing I love to do more than recording new songs that I've written and Terrace was a pretty exciting endeavour for me. I had just moved into Toronto and I wanted to try and record as much as I could in my apartment (except the drums of course). I've got a project studio that I've built up over the years with some good mics, good mic pre's and a mixing consul (interface) that I splurged and bought a few years back because I was all inspired by those 'Lonerism' Kevin Parker photos. 

I bought a really nice Roland keyboard, the one from the cover of the EP, that I got after my Grandfather passed away and just before I started tracking. I definitely think of him whenever I play it. I would wake up early on weekends, throw headphones on and work on songs in silence and both 'Until Your Love Runs Out' and 'Precious Anymore' were written this way. Typically it takes me a while to finish lyrics but 'Precious Anymore' came together very quickly which is usually a pretty good sign and I'm really happy with how they came out. Both of those songs feel great live and have some lyrics in them that mean a lot to me.

All the guitar parts were done on either my Epiphone Casino through a Fender Princeton amp (which I got to try and sound like Ryan Adams) or my trusty Larrivee Acoustic. I used to play the odd party in college with that acoustic guitar and it still has jungle juice stains from a birthday party I played when I was 20. Every impromptu show would inevitably end in 'Twist and Shout'…every…..time. That song is just unstoppable when people are drinking! Oh the stories that guitar could tell. 

After I tracked everything I could at the apartment I brought the gear back to Brampton and my brother, Mike, who has played drums with me for about 10 years now, laid down all the drum tracks over a couple of days. The only track that took a while was 'The Days and The Nights' and that was only because we were working on the drum part as we were recording it. Great playing though! 
If you listen to John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band album you'll see where some of the drum sound inspirations came from. That Phil Spectre echo is something I've always loved when applied to vocals and drums.