2016 was a whirlwind of music, road trips, and milestones! Hear's a peek into what I've been up to the last six months.
Last July I took a big leap with a great friend of mine and fellow producer and songwriter Josh Guillaume . We took over the old Studio B at Greenhouse Studios! Watch the video tour below to get an idea of the vibe of our studio. I've included all of our gear on the gear tab in the menu bar. If you are interested in discussing your upcoming project email email@example.com
It's official you can now get your hands on the first two The Lion The Bear The Fox songs from our 2014 sessions. We initially recorded two songs at The Farm Studios and have been secretly waiting to release them. Now's your chance to pick up the 7" vinyl and support the full length album. Click here for more info.
During the last two weeks of January we headed over to Vancouver island to record 10 songs in 10 days at The Woodshop Recording Studio this was not an easy feat however, working on a new song everyday and having only one day to fully capture a song was truly exhausting and rewarding. Here are a few photos from our sessions be sure to keep an eye out for the self titled album due out this summer. If you're ever looking to make a record on the island I highly recommend The Woodshop Recording Studio in Duncan, BC. Also be sure to follow The Lion The Bear The Fox on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Last year I was lucky enough to be a part of some really exciting projects. First off I hit the studio with Jon Bryant working on his new full length album. All in all we wrote and recorded 4 songs for his new album "Twenty Something" due out on February 29th, 2016. Jon also travelled to LA to work with some other amazing producers on this album including Alex Newport (City & Colour, Bloc Party and Death Cab for Cutie) and Lord Hurons producer Rick Parker. Keep an eye out on Jon's website for the official release. http://www.jonbryant.ca/
I'm very excited to share the first taste of CAIRO's debut full length album! The above video was shot and directed by the extremely talented Czlowiek Kamera (also directed killer videos for "Call Me In The Afternoon" and "No More Losing The War" by Half Moon Run)
This is the first release and title track off CAIRO's "A History of Reasons" set to be released January 20th, 2015 through MapleMusic Recordings
The video has received some serious love and has been getting some pretty slick features/shares including The Juno Awards. Here's what people are saying!
"A video for the title track which is emotional and jarring in the way it showcases the earth’s expansive landscape. I am provoked to think about the reasons why history repeats itself – as if a narrow worldview is all our society can muster when there are a plethora of solutions available to us. The song is a breath of fresh air and CAIRO should definitely be on your must-hear list of Canadian bands." - A Music Blog, Yea?
Read the full A Music Blog, Yea? article here
"Toronto orchestral-pop quartet CAIRO reveal the initial glimpse of its breathtaking full-length debut album,... It is a haunting video for the title track, directed by acclaimed Polish filmmaker Czlowiek Kamera." - The Scene Magazine
Read the full The Scene Magazine article here
"A History of Reasons" is a solemn, cinematic anthem with group-sung "ooh-na-na" refrains that give way to earnest crescendos of echoing guitar and impassioned crooning. The accompanying clip, directed by Czlowiek Kamera, captures the drama with lots of slow-motion shots of people walking through wide-open landscapes.
The tension grows as the song builds towards its climax..." - Exclaim!
Read the full Exclaim! article here
"There’s a refreshing clarity in the vocals and instruments of “A History of Reasons." - Indie Obsessive
Read the full Indie Obsessive article here
"If you’re looking for a Thursday morning pick-me-up, we’ve got the perfect song for you." - Confront Magazine
Read the full Confront Magazine article here
This song and the entire record would not be possible without the hard work of so many unbelievably talented individuals who put in countless hours and do it solely for their love of music.
A History of Reasons was;
Produced, Engineered and Co-Written By: Nygel Asselin (NYG)
Mixed By: Ben Kaplan @ Kalpan Krunch
Mastered By: Brock McFarlane @ CPS Mastering
Recorded At: The Farm Studios @ Fader Mountain Sound
Additional Engineering By: Nick Bonin
2nd Engineer: Griffin Bargholtz
Assistant Engineers: Alex Gamble, Max Slade, Tim Creviston and Seth Stuve
Drums Tech'd By: Jay Deachman
If you'd like to pre-order them album Due out January 20th, 2015 click here
Follow CAIRO on Twitter here
Like CAIRO on Facebook here
Here they are! The songs from the 2014 Peak Performance Project bootcamp are ready for your listening pleasure. Feel free to listen on the Soundcloud playlist or download them here. This year I had the great pleasure of working with super talented artists Miss Quincy & Port Juvee and Damn Fools & Scenic Route to Alaska alongside legendary record producer GGGarth Richardson (something I look forward to every year).
I owe a lot to the Peak Performance Project, since I arrived to Vancouver over 5 years ago they've introduced me to over 100 bands from across BC and now stretching into Alberta. Several of which I have had the pleasure of making some great music with. A huge heartfelt thank you to the entire team that makes this possible and continues to have me back. I LOVE YOU ALL.
To all the bands involved this year and years past I'm glad to have met you and and I can't wait to see what the future holds! You're western Canada's best and I'm excited to watch your careers take off. Let's show the rest of Canada and the world how awesome West Coast music is!!!
This year artists from BC and Alberta were put together to write a song using the theme “Come Together”, the artists worked with some killer producers Jeff Dawson, Garth Richardson, Russell Broom, Shawn Cole, Warne Livesey, and Winston Hauschild. All 12 songs were recorded in 4 pop-up studios built in a day at RockRidge Canyon. This could not be possible without the help of Nimbus School of Recording Arts and their amazing crew.
Studio Assistants – Nick Smalley, Jaeden Froese, Kirk Holland, Brendan Guy, Zachary Brehl, Charles Hughes, Matt Gibb
Studio Manager - Mike Schroeder
Assistant Studio Manager – Alison Costello
All Songs Mastered by Brock McFarlane at CPS Mastering.
Come out on Sunday, October 19 to meet Vancouver's inspiring future! The Young Innovators Crawl is your chance to meet creatives from the worlds of design, technology, sustainability, food, arts and culture, and social innovation. Bring your friends and family to explore the studios and open houses of an amazing line up of innovators. Enjoy lively conversation, food trucks, breweries, idea jams, demos, pop-up exhibits, performances and more. The Crawl kicks off at 12pm and goes until 5pm, and participating is free and open to everyone! After the Crawl, join the Vancouver Design Nerds and our young innovators at The HiVE (210-128 W Hastings) from 5-6:30pm for an idea jam to design a supportive Innovation Framework for Vancouver.
NYG will be writing and recording in Studio B at Nimbus School of Recording Arts feel free to pop by and say hi, have a listen and ask questions.
Matt Millz is a legend in the making. This guy can rip on guitar, drums, bass and synths. He can also program any instrument better than most musicians can actually play them. On top of all of that he has an amazing voice with several different vocal styles, from 80's hair metal to Buble-esque to soft indie folk. The latter is the voice I fell in love with.
Millz and I first met after he took the long trek down from Yellowknife to attend Nimbus School of Recording Arts and I instantly knew he was full of raw talent. We had our first chance to hang in the studio in March of 2013 when I was working with Alex Biro at The Farm Studios on his debut EP We//All//Die//Young. From there we joined forces working with Elle O'Brien making magical electronic/pop music.
Unfortunately we both had very hectic schedules and it took some time for us to get to work on his music. When we finally made it into the studio Matt came armed with truly amazing ideas. From there we moulded and crafted those ideas into "Follow You Home" (which you can check it out on youtube here and buy it on BandCamp here) and "Linin' Up" which will be available in the near future.
Since "Follow You Home" was released on September 25th it's had over 3,000 plays on SoundCloud and roughly 2,000 plays on YouTube (since this past Saturday). We've had people from across the music industry and community reach out about this track and we are so happy for the love and support!
Take a look at what people have been saying...
The Music Ninja - September 25th, 2014
"....With cascading vocal ranges carefully caressing the calculated fingerpicking of his acoustic guitar, this tune boasts nothing more than just that and subtle atmospheric elements which help give the song its earthy soundscape and enchanting progression.
It’s raw, emotional, and inspirational, leading the listener down a heart-tugging journey led by Millz’s refined, yet sometimes rugged vocals. Kudos to both Millz and Nygel Asselin, whom co-wrote and produced this endearing folk gem."
To read the full article click here.
Pause Musicale - September 29th, 2014
**Translated to English**
"With a voice able to catch the hearts of his cloudy patch, Matt Millz on Follow You Home weapon spirit haunting harmonies. This singer, producer, songwriter going all out for its first track, offering intimate sweet melody...."
To read the full article click here.
MORIndie - October 3rd, 2014
"Brilliance from Matt Millz, a songwriter with a distinctly heartfelt voice, and Nygel Asselin, who brings out Matt's talents in full."
To see the video click here.
Matt and I can't thank you enough for your continued support. We will continue to hound you to like and share and maybe even buy his music on Band Camp, and in return we will continue to pour our hearts and souls into the music we create. (...by the way we are working on several more songs at the moment and can't wait for you all to hear them.)
It was March 2013 when I made the trek back to the frigid Ontario climate to attend Canadian Music Week (CMW). It's always great heading back to Toronto to see old friends and discover new bands. A good friend of mine shot me a text to fill me in on an killer band playing at the Dakota Tavern. Unfortunately CMW is crazy hectic bouncing from show to show and I was only able to catch their last song but that's all it took for me to realize I had to work with this band. I knew if we got into the studio we could make magic that would captivate listeners and leave them wanting more. I approached Dante (lead guitar/background vocals) and mentioned that I would love to talk further about working together and briefly gave my best to Nate (lead vocals/guitar) before I was shooed away by the stage manager.
That band was Cai.ro and now a year and a half later we are gearing up for the release of their debut full length! The album was mixed by Ben Kaplan at Kaplan Krunch, mastered by Brock McFarlane at CPS Mastering and I had the pleasure of Producing and Engineering along with doing some songwriting and programming. We spent a total of 16 days and nights recording in The Farm Studios at Fader Mountain Sound and refused to come up for air until we were all infatuated with the album we had created . Due to the pending arrival of my beautiful daughter one additional album track and an acoustic bonus track were recorded in Ontario with the incredibly talented engineer Nick Bonin.
All in all this record changed my life and I hope you like it. I was inspired by every member of Cai.ro and their dedication to their art. Whether we were hashing out chord progressions or lyrics, working on drum patterns, tweaking guitar pedals or adding more layers of violins, we were having the time of our life. This was and continues to be a recording experience I will never forget! Big thanks to the entire band for inviting me into their world with open arms and minds.
Now that the record is complete we are all asking for your support. As most of you who read this are musicians yourself you understand how important each and every album purchase is. So please I am asking you as a friend to support the music you and I strive to create. Pre-order your copy here.
On August 24th, 2014 NYG loaded up his car and made the trek up the windy dirt roads to RockRidge Canyon. It is here where NYG has spent his last week of summer for the past 5 years building remote studios for the Peak Performance Project's Boot Camp. The week long camp educates top indie bands on everything from songwriting and touring to stage presence, social media and marketing.
This year saw the collaboration of 24 bands (12 from Alberta and 12 from B.C.) working with producers GGGarth Richardson, Warne Livesey, Jeff Dawson, Shawn Cole, Winston Hauschild and Russell Broom. Each band paring was responsible for writing and recording a song in just two evenings.
This amazing experience wouldn't be possible without the generous contributions from Nimbus School of Recording Arts, who also supplied 8 of their top students to assist in the building of the studios and to assist the producers with recording sessions.
NYG had the pleasure of teaming up with producer GGGarth Richardson again this year. Engineering and mixing songs with Damn Fools and Scenic Route to Alaska as well as Port Juvee and Miss Quincy. All of these the extraordinary songs that were recorded this past week will be available for your listening pleasure sometime in the near future! In the meantime take a listen to tracks from the previous 5 years!
"Drifting" has quickly become a favourite amongst many music bloggers and recently passed 155,000 plays on Sound Cloud. It's the 2nd release from the Read Brick Songs writing retreat, a musical journey that brought together 15 songwriters from across North America at Deer Hurst Resort in Muskoka, Ontario. They were given the task of writing and recording 15 songs in 3 days.
Heres what some bloggers are saying about "Drifting".
MUSIC UNMASKED - “You see, it is hard to write how music makes you feel when it leaves you displaced from reality and wondering into an emotional abyss. The delicacy, the sentiment and the harmonic compassion conveyed from this acoustic ensemble is potently pure and just when you think ‘Drifting’ has captured your breath, you get the haunting cry of “I gotta get out” and suddenly you freeze. Astounding.”
THE MUSIC NINJA - “Drifting quickly captivates both the ears and the very hearts connected to it with its instrumental foundation of guitars pickings, elongated piano chords and lyricism that echos something that was once beautiful but is no more."
SITE OF SOUND - "Drifting was produced by Nygel Asselin (Half Moon Run) and is a spiritual, indie folk tune with endless emotional depth and a hint of loneliness that will cut through the toughest of human."
SCIENTISTS OF SOUND - "spellbinding, the fluttering of guitars and anguished vocal cries serves to be an all encompassing tale echoing in a sentimental longing."
Take a listen, and please give it a share!
NYG and Willhorse are thrilled to announce the release of the latest Willhorse single Sure Shot, available everywhere on Tuesday August 5th, 2014.
Sure Shot is the highly anticipated follow up single to the debut self-titled album released by Willhorse in 2012. Co-written with Rolla Olak and NYG, this single presents a new, yet familiar sound from the band that is known for their catchy, southern-rock songs. “It’ll hit ya like a Sure Shot”!
Over the last 5 years NYG has put in some crazy hours, worked on some amazing projects and accomplished things he never dreamed of. This year has been especially amazing. He was awarded his 1st Gold Record for Half Moon Run's debut release Dark Eyes, finished up a killer record with Cai.ro , headed to northern Ontario for his first songwriting retreat and now he is very excited to announce that he has signed a publishing deal and joined forces with the amazing Red Brick Songs . NYG is stoked to finally make it official and can't wait to hear his music placed!
Red Brick Songs represents an amazing family of writers including On and On, Field Mouse, Cuff the Duke, The Luyas, PS I Love You, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Library Voices, Los Encantados, Mad June, Tupelo Honey, Scattered Trees, Oh Travioso, The Careful Ones, Joshua Michael Robinson and Hands Up! Music.
Big thanks to the entire Red Brick team for the warm welcome.
As summer is quickly passing us by NYG is gearing up for another trip to Princeton BC for the annual Peak Performance Project Bootcamp. This is the 6th year for the event which has injected millions of dollars into the BC music community.
Every year NYG heads north with a killer group of Producers, Engineers & Assistants from "Nimbus School of Recording Arts" and van full of expensive recording equipment. He and his team build a slew of recording studios in a cab in are tasked with recording 10 fully produced songs in just 5 short days. This year BC has Joined forces with Alberta and have up the anti to 12 songs in just 5 days. Things are going to get crazy!!!!
NYG was in Toronto for CMW in March 2013 and found himself falling in love with Toronto Indie Rockers CAI.RO
After lots of planning and cashing in all their Air Miles CAI.RO boarded a plane for the west coast where they were to begin tracking their debut full length record "A History of Reasons"
NYG brought in mix engineer Ben Kaplan (Mother Mother, Biffy Clyro, Five Alarm Funk) which is bound to take this record to the next level. The albums is currently in the final stages of mixing and mastering and should hit the airwaves sometime this fall!
In late May NYG headed east to the lovely Deer Hurst Resort in Muskoka, Ontario for his first adventure at the Red Brick Songs annual writing retreat. It is here where he joined forces with 14 other great songwriters from across North America.
For 3 days the writers were split in to groups of 3 at breakfast and set out with the task of writing and recording a song in just one day. In the end NYG was a part of 3 amazing songs.
Take a listen to the first two singles released from the 15 track record (both of which produced - engineered - co-written & mixed by NYG)