Releasing a successful debut album and then crafting a subsequent release that is a complete departure from that formula is a risk, as Wake Owl discovered with its latest, The Private World of Paradise.
“It was tough to get it paid for all across the board,” says songwriter and vocalist Colyn Cameron, who picked up a Juno nomination for Breakthrough Artist of the Year thanks to the Wild Country EP, the aforementioned success.
“There’s less immediate commerciality. I think for people it’s a bit more of a record you have to listen to a few times. It’s not a sort of in-your-face-right-off-the-bat sort of hit or anything, and there’s nothing really about it that can fill that sort of void. It’s a little bit more of a patient record and some parts of the industry don’t have time for that sort of music.”
Regardless, Cameron kept on, not wanting to replicate the Wild Country EP or write songs that mimicked its alt-pop sensibilities. He maintains he wanted to grow as a musician and the songs on The Private World of Paradise were a direct correlation of that.
“I think at this point in my life, I’m more interested in performing in a way that is a little less melancholic and sort of super chill, but I kind of wanted to explore music that was fun to perform and you could maybe even dance to,” Cameron explains. “I think it’s much cooler to look up and see people grooving and dancing to your music than just totally blank face … at this point in my life that’s what I’m interested in. Maybe I’ll want to play sit-down sort of shows in theatres one day with an acoustic guitar or something.”
Cameron teamed up with multi-instrumentalist Aiden Briscall and producer Richard Swift to expand his instrumentation and write the songs, which are an eclectic mix that touches on retro pop and a little folk to create an atmosphere and style that is often subtle, yet equally powerful and evocative.
“There’s just a vitality to them that is sort of remaining exciting,” says Cameron, who toured the new material for three months alongside the EP before recording. “Probably half the album is just exploring love and relationships in a sort of mysterious way, and some of the other songs have weird, deeper questions sort of tied to them, but in metaphorical ways.”
Fri, Mar 7 (8 pm)