This was very unexpected. I’m just catching up with myself after Sunday night. My timid and flustered tongue tried to do it’s part, but I’ll reiterate that I’m very humbled and honoured by these awards. The company of talent was incredible, and I felt very lucky to be a part of the celebration. 25 years of MusicNL! And more to come. Congrats to Glenda Tulk, Rebekah Robbins, Abigail Pye, Scott Walters, and all the volunteers on a job well done.
Joshua Van Tassel and I set out to bring our album The Memory Game into strange waters. Blurring the folk and singer-songwriter tradition with a vast pallet of sounds and textures, organic and electronic, manipulated and sustained. I think this Alternative Album of the Year award really solidifies our love for experimentation and hopefully means we achieved something close to our vision. You can hear this short collection of songs and fragments on iTunes/YouTube/Bandcamp/etc.. (stevemaloney.bandcamp.com/album/the-memory-game). This ambiguous sound is something I’ve been striving for in my work since I was a teenager. Very much appreciate this nod.
I was somewhat shocked at the Country Album of the Year award. This was for a project I completed in solitude, during the final night of living in my old house on Military Road/Rawlins Cross. The project was conceived, written and recorded in roughly 8/9 hours and sparked by the RPM challenge. It felt good to have a fresh and lasting connection with the house and these songs. I have a sense of pride attached to this project that I wasn’t expecting. These are ballads, with simple chords and lyrics, revealing stories or little moments throughout the evening. That album is called Room With A View and is available at… stevemaloney.bandcamp.com/album/room-with-a-view
Finally, the Ron Hynes Songwriter of the Year Award is something I will hold close for years and years to come. Since junior high school I’ve always loved writing. Bits and pieces on napkins, tucked away in school bags, full of text books and exercise books scribbled away with lines of stories, and angsty teen poetry and songs. That feverish connection has never really dimmed. It’s still my favourite thing to do with my time, though that time seems to get less and less as we grow older. To follow in the legacy of someone like Ron Hynes, just the thought is enough to make me get back to work. To find the time, and strive for something beyond myself.
I can’t thank MusicNL enough for all that they do. We live in a beautiful province, with a slew of truly amazing artists. Lucky to be here.
I’ve been lucky enough to catch 5 nods from the MusicNL awards this year. Very thankful to be among such fine company. We’ll perform on Saturday (14th) at 3:30pm for the Export Session (Convention Centre) and I’ll play at the songwriter’s circle (solo) on Sunday (15th) afternoon from 2-4pm (Cochrane Street United Church). We’ll also play the awards show on Sunday evening (Convention Centre). I’m very grateful for the recognition, support and opportunities that have been presented to me over the years through this conference. Having said that, it’s important to remember that music isn’t a competition. We occupy our own space, and carve out our passions and artistry in our own ways. The fact that we live in a place where that’s possible is always worth celebrating. Much love to all of those involved, and a big thanks to MusicNL for bringing us all together! A celebratory *clink to you all.
Last summer I had the privilege of working with producer/engineer/musician Joshua Van Tassel at Dream Date Studio in Toronto, ON. The result is a new collection of songs brought to life by Van Tassel, with help from guests The Weather Station (Tamara Lindeman), Drew Jurecka, AE Bridger, and members of Great Lake Swimmers. The album draws from feelings of detachment and loneliness, contemplation and acceptance. It’s a long arm to the past for myself, and turned into a very cathartic experience. The album is a collection of fragments and songs. Little pieces stitched in with longer thoughts to form the final body of work. It’s more of an EP in length (27 minutes), but feels complete to me. Spending too much time in the past is enough to make anyone slowly unravel. This order and length made the most sense to me personally. And it is a personal record, so why not?
The album is available at Fred’s Records in St. John’s, NL (www.fredsrecords.com). It’s also available on…
February brings the RPM challenge along every year. It’s always an exciting time with folks hidden away, working through ideas, and banding together for help, creating weird audible joys. Lately, I’ve been working on final mixes for a sophomore release, and running over new recordings from McGill University in Montreal. I had no intension to record an RPM album this year. However, we were moving out of our beloved house at the time, and the spirit struck me. Our old place on Military Road was spacious, with lots of light, and dripping with beautiful and challenging artwork at every turn. I decided to put the creative energy of the home to good use one last time. This album was written and recorded from the top floor, perched in the window, on my last night in the house. Single takes, imperfections included, of these reflective cowboy songs. Certainly one for the night owls.