Over the course of the next seven days, I will be sharing some additional perspective to YOUR MASTERPIECE. I will be approaching each song a bit differently: stories, history, inspiration, production, personal insight, as well as critical approach. A further understanding of my personal philosophy will develop. I am excited to share a few stripped down versions of songs from the early stages, including one extended version. These versions will only temporarily be available to the public.
I hope you enjoy, thank you!
April, 2012: I finally left home again... my dreamy, beautiful home that I had grown so deeply in love with. Why was I leaving? Was it to start a new career? To heal? To grow? To fall in love? To finally start recording an album? To find God? I suppose it was merely an escape from my own state of mind.
A Dark Horse is the name of an old pub that I used to work at, nestled at the corner of Bloor and Armadale in the Bloor West Village, Toronto.
The bar regulars use to call me “spuds”.
When you saw a regular walk through the door, you were expected to have their specific drink ready and poured for them waiting at the table. Throughout my first few weeks working at the pub, it almost felt like some sort of initiation into their hangout spot.
I loved hanging out at the place (at the time), but I mean, it was a shit-show... and sad. Just really, really sad. You were just doing your job, but you were also seen as a best friend to some of these people while contributing to their addiction. A few of those friends passed away throughout the time I worked at the pub, due to those addictions. One guy even had his wake at the pub.
I remember one of the regulars who passed, Daniella. One afternoon, the cops showed up to the pub due to a noise complaint: she was laughing too loud. True story, but we all loved her laugh, and her. She was very sweet, and always did her best to make sure I was being treated with respect… because sometimes you have a coked-up bartender who thinks it’s ok to slap the servers’ asses.
A few weeks after I finished working at the pub, I wrote this song called A Dark Horse. It elegantly dripped off my fingertips onto my piano, with an intention of capturing a sad memory in the most beautiful way.
*pauses the story to fast track*
So, I ended up leaving Toronto in 2013 to move back to PEI, where I gently slid into a path where I began to lose myself. As time grew, I felt as though I was sinking deeper and deeper towards the bottom of the barrel… and when you’re hanging out near the bottom of the barrel, people like to make sure you’re aware of it (which will be discussed in days to follow). I was drowning in pain, suffocated by doubt, and a prisoner to depression. Naturally, I was ashamed, and death was a thought that always graced my presence. All I wanted to do was return to the creator and leave this nightmare. This led to me moving back to Toronto in 2016.
I contacted my old roommate from Banff, AB who was now living in Toronto- Michael Bonchar (we use to call him “Mikey Be”). He’s an incredible producer, songwriter, and always encouraged me with my music more than anyone. I told him I was moving back to Toronto, and needed to get my EP done. He then connected me with his buddy, Andrew Dorscht (Afterglow Audio). This is where Your Masterpiece began.
November 2016 at Afterglow Audio, I sat down at the mic with my acoustic guitar and began recording A Dark Horse.
Photos of A Dark Horse pub.