Wed Oct 25 2017
Common Deer, Dizzy Spells, Sound of Separation

$10.00 +SC
8:00 PM
AA / Licensed
(Casbah Main Hall)

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James Wyatt Crosby is making his debut album. “With what we’ve recorded so far, it feels like I can finally stand behind my music without making excuses about it.” Crosby continues, “I used to hide behind this self-deprecation thing, you know, talking down about myself and my songs, but I think that was me trying to hide how much I really cared—I guess I didn’t want to seem too proud. It’s definitely fun and easy to slip into that sort of negative thought cycle and just say ‘I’m shit! I’m shit! Everything is shit!’ but that gets old pretty quick and it’s way more rewarding to genuinely believe in yourself and to see your ideas as being valid. I don’t doubt myself as much as I used to, I’m less critical that way.”

In January 2017, Crosby left his band Garbagio to pursue his long-held aspirations of completing a full-length album. “I loved playing live with that band. There’s something intensely satisfying about playing bars or house shows where people, even a small group of people, are reacting to something you’re doing. I never thought I’d be able to connect to a crowd like that and those shows and all those people involved in the band and in that little scene had a huge impact on me. They made me feel like I was doing something right.”

“Pray On It” is the second single off of Crosby’s forthcoming album. “I wrote the original demo a few years ago, when I was in a bit of a creative lull and I was working in this long term care facility in my hometown,” explains Crosby. “It was pretty intense because these elderly people were dying in front of me almost every day. It was a strange period for me, but it made me take stock of what I was doing. It made me get my shit together and start being creative again.”

The song originally evolved from a sample of an old piece of medieval choral music. “The sampled track was in Italian, but to me, the sample sounded like the words ‘Pray On It’ so the lyrics in the verses came from that. As far as the lyrics go, I think it was me basically talking to myself and trying to pump myself up and give myself an empowering message,” explains Crosby.

As for his debut album, Crosby is a little more tight-lipped on the subject. “I don’t want to say too much because it’s still a work in progress, but it’s definitely a really varied album. I wanted all the songs to be really catchy and singable because that’s what I like most about my favourite songs. I’m having a lot of fun working with different musicians and making these songs the best they can be. I’m excited to see how people react to them when we finally release them.”

James Wyatt Crosby is a multi-genre musician, producer and recording artist from Southern Ontario, Canada. He is currently recording his debut album “Twins” which will be released on Hamilton, Ontario-based label Maisonneuve Music on September 15, 2017.

Guests include:

Some    artists    want    to    shine    a    light    in    the    darkness.    Common    Deer    come    with    an    arsenal    of    floodlights.                Music    is    a    balm    in    anxious,    isolated    times.    In    the    hands    of    this    powerful    Toronto    quintet,    it’s    a    vessel    of    uplift,    a    call    for    camaraderie,    an    act    of    resistance    against    jaded    nihilism.    Though    not    explicitly    political,    the    lyrics    of    vocalists    Graham    McLaughlin    (guitar,    violin)    and    Sheila    Hart    (keyboards)    reflect    the    zeitgeist:    addressing    the    anxiety    of    the    modern    age,    crying    out    for    a    sense    of    connection,    driven    by    a    sense    of    carpe    diem    that    stems    from    personal    tragedy.    “Trying    to    create    light    in    the    darkness;    it’s    a    mentality    we    share,”    says    Graham.    They’re    not    blind    optimists    peddling    escapism,    though    their    live    shows    are    joyous,    celebratory    affairs,    rich    with    rousing,    orchestral    pop    sound    built    for    festival    stages.                Common    Deer    began    in    2013    with    Graham,    drummer    Liam    Farrell    and    multi-instrumentalist    Adam    Hart,    who    met    while    backing    up    a    folk    singer    in    Guelph,    Ontario,    where    most    of    them    were    attending    university.    (Adam    attended    Wilfrid    Laurier    University    for    Honours    Music    Performance)    Liam    brought    in    his    brother    Connor    to    solidify    the    rhythm    section,    while    Adam    called    on    his    sister,    Sheila,    to    harmonize    with    Graham    and    add    her    own    keyboards,    lead    vocals    and    her    own    songs.    Previously,    her    creative    outlet    was    poetry    and    short    stories;    Graham    had    been    writing    pop    songs    since    he    was    11.    In    both    their    harmonies    and    their    shared    leads,    they    create    a    male-female    dynamic    rarely    heard    in    pop    music    outside    of    Stars,    an    admitted    influence.    As    if    two    lead    singers    weren’t    enough,    competing    for    an    audience’s    attention    is    Adam,    who    juggles    cello,    synth    and    lead    guitar;    he    is    Common    Deer’s    not-so-secret    weapon.Together    with    Graham,    their    string    arrangements    elevate    the    band’s    sound    beyond    an    everyday    rock    band;    as    a    rhythm    section,    Liam    and    Connor    also    take    an    orchestral    approach    to    their    arrangements.    There    is    never    a    dull    moment    on    stage    at    a    Common    Deer    show.            Rather    than    rush    their    early    demos    online,    it    took    Common    Deer    almost    three    years    to    prepare    their    first    EP,    recorded    with    producer    Laurence    Currie    (Hey    Rosetta!,    Wintersleep)    and    released    in    January    2017.    It    was    worth    the    wait,    presenting    a    major    new    talent    with    the    vivid    sonic    space    they    deserve    to    inhabit.    The    new    follow-up    EP,    simply    titled    II,    came    together    much    more    quickly:    recorded    in    Toronto    with    Gus    Van    Go    (Arkells,    Whitehorse)    over    two    weeks,    balancing    the    energy    of    their    live    shows    with    electronic    percussion,    layered    strings,    and    an    increased    synth    presence.    Their    sense    of    ambition    coalesces    in    the    final    track,    “Gone,”    which    features    a    noir-ish    new    wave    synth    lead,    a    Drake-inspired    beat    on    the    verses,    Beach    Boys    harmonies    on    the    chorus,    and    a    double-kick-drum    beat    on    the    outro    that    channels    Liam’s    hard    rock    influence    and    satisfies    Adam    and    Sheila’s    love    of    metal.    The    only    weird    thing    about    it    is    that    it    works.                It’s    that    same    sense    of    ambition    that    has    catapulted    Common    Deer    from    most-promising    status    to    that    of    serious    contenders.    They’ve    got    talent,    smarts,    youth,    the    songs    and    the    sonics    to    make    their    story    an    uncommon    success.