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Apr 09/2018


Listening to any track on EDEN’s debut album, vertigo, is like visiting your favourite city for the fiftieth time except nothing is quite where you remember it. The hotel is on the river, not by the park, and city hall is upside down.

The Dublin-raised singer/songwriter/producer who began his career as The Eden Project, melted the best of indie, hip hop, and electronica into 13 deconstructed tracks for vertigo. Following two successful EPs, a shout-out from Lorde, and mid-way through the vertigo world tour, we caught up with EDEN to talk about his new record, and the musical evolution that brought him to it.

G—From The Eden Project to the EPs to vertigo, you’ve had some pretty big changes in style. Does it feel that way to you or does it just kind of feel like you’re constantly evolving?

E—I definitely see that. There are similarities [between I think you think too much of me and vertigo]—my voice still sounds the same (laughs) and there are various instruments that I just like using—but it’s about progression for me. I could never be someone to make End Credits 2 or something like that. It’s not interesting to me to stay in one place.

G—Where do you think that progression took you in vertigo?

E—Structurally, I kind of think of [vertigo] like a weird, deconstructed pop album. I haven’t changed the way I write my lyrics or choruses or verses, but the way they appear in the songs is like you took a Lego house and made a car out of it. It’s jumbled up and rearranged. Before I think you think too much of me, I had an idea of what I wanted to make and all of the songs were fulfilling that original idea. For vertigo it was the opposite. I wanted to have no preconceptions or notions and just try to run off instinct.

G—You had a pretty different approach for the EPs than you did for this album.

E—Yeah, it was all about trying to do it in the moment rather than having an idea or a design. There’s a scene in Ex Machina where the character that Oscar Isaacs plays is talking about a Jackson Pollock painting, and he’s saying if [Pollock] felt that he had to know what every single brush stroke was for, he never would’ve made any art. It’s letting yourself be creative and expressive and seeing where that takes you rather than trying to get somewhere with that expression. And that’s kind of the approach I took. I wanted to just see where I ended up.

G—Do you feel like you took risks with this album that you didn’t take with the EPs?

E—On first listen it definitely wouldn’t stick with people as easily as other EPs that I’ve made. I suppose that’s a bit of a risk, and I knew that was going to be a potential stumbling block for the album as a whole—that people would listen to it and go, “I don’t get this.” Or, I’ve had people say, “Where are the choruses?” That could turn out pretty bad, but thankfully even from day one [my fans] were just so open to it.

G—I imagine making a debut album comes with a ton of pressure. Did you accomplish everything you hoped you would with this record?

E—I’m quite an ambitious person, I think, and when I see artists like SZA with a debut album that had huge effects on not only their careers but the music industry as a whole you think, ‘Is there something more I could’ve done?’ But I made what I wanted to make, and no one had any input in it really. If I had to go back and change some of the songs in order to have a #1 debut album I don’t know if those are choices I’d want to make.

G—Something I find really interesting about your music is how you sample conversations and sounds from your own life.

E—Sampling people talking is something I started doing back when I was The Eden Project. I came across these moments in music where there was nothing I could sing that would capture what I was trying to express as much as I wanted to. One time, I was sitting in the car with my parents and there was an ambulance coming by and I thought it would be a cool sound to record. Then halfway through the ambulance passing by, my mom starts finishing the conversation that I thought we had already finished and said some things that were really fitting for the song, “float”—so I put it in. I feel like, in the way that music can speak for more than the lyrics can sometimes, someone talking can speak more than the music can.

G—It’s kind of like 3D music.

E—Yeah, it’s all about creating an atmosphere and mood. It all contributes to this one feeling or idea, whether that’s by music or lyrics or sound effects or speech. It’s all kind of the same thing.

G—If there’s one thing you hope people take away from vertigo, what would it be?

E—vertigo is about small moments and how they can feel absolutely massive, and how sometimes the big moments don’t really matter. And whether or not you get that thing you really want, the world keeps spinning regardless. If you could take away anything from it, it’s that it’s alright. Everything is kind of alright, and will continue to be so. Nothing is ever as great or as grave as it seems.

Named for the Toronto area they grew up in, The Beaches are a far cry from a placid day on the lake. Led by singer/bassist Jordan Miller—with her sister and guitarist Kylie Miller, guitarist/keyboardist Leandra Earl and drummer Eliza Enman-McDaniel—the Canadian four-piece burst out of Toronto with their 2018 debut, Late Show, and have since built up an aura of dissident swagger. Taking home this year’s Juno for Breakthrough Group of the Year, the all-fem rock quartet is bringing grunge, gloss, and 70s glamour to a predominantly male genre. Georgie caught up with Leandra to talk about the band’s latest music video, taking charge of their music, and three simple ways to keep women in the industry. G—Did you grow up together in Toronto? LE—Yeah, I met the girls in high school. Jordan and Kylie are sisters, so they’ve known each other a bit longer, but they grew up with Eliza in Toronto’s Beaches area. G—What kind of music were you listening to at that time? LE—We grew up listening to all of the music our parents listened to. That definitely influenced us while writing our debut album since we drew from a lot of the 70’s music that our


Tyler Shaw is going through a renaissance. After exploding onto the scene and the charts in 2012 with his hit single “Kiss Goodnight” and a wildly successful debut album that followed, it’s hard to imagine what the Canadian pop singer could possibly need to reinvent. But after two years of writing and exploring, Shaw has taken the reigns on developing a new album and a new sound that’s better in tune with his growth as an artist. Just before the release of his new single “With You”, Georgie caught up with Shaw over the phone to talk about his upcoming album, mental health, and the feelings he’s harnessed into a musical renewal. G— What were some of the biggest differences for you between making the upcoming album and making Yesterday? TS—Yesterday was more so “I’m a new artist, I don’t really know what I want to do. This sounds cool on my voice, so does this.” With this album on the other hand, I know what I want. I know what melodies I want to go to and what I want to talk about. [Yesterday] came out in 2015, and ever since then, I mean, you go through life experiences


Dear Rouge

  A few years ago, Danielle McTaggart was ready to throw in the towel on her music career. Now she and her husband, Drew, make up the powerhouse duo known as Dear Rouge and have two full-length albums and a Juno to their name. Known for their hook-driven tracks—and being “the nicest couple in Canadian music”—Dear Rouge just dropped their sophomore LP, Phases. The record recounts a season of emotional extremes for the couple, including winning the 2016 Juno for Breakthrough Group of the Year, and losing a loved one. We caught up with Danielle over the phone to talk about finding joy in music again, and the personal and public significance of Phases. G—On your website, you describe your style as “sinewy, hook-driven indie rock”. Where did that particular style evolve from? DM—I was always very into hook-y music with beautiful melodies. I grew up listening to The Carpenters and they have beautiful melodic parts, but I also always loved harder music and really rock-driven music. Bands like Metric or Yeah Yeah Yeahs or St. Vincent were hugely motivating for me, and I loved that these frontwomen were powerhouses. They’re very confident and trying to push the boundaries while