“’The Middle’ is an extremely earnest, charming-as-hell reflection on the self at the midpoint of life and death.” – Noisey
“This is an anthemic collection of head nodding and foot tapping electro-pop” – PopMatters
“Easily one of the most mesmerizing tracks we’ve heard so far this year.” – CBC Music (2018)
“The Other” video takes place on an alien planet where a tyrant rules a dystopian society divided into quadrants based on the various colors of the aliens’ masks. There is a strict no physical inter-colored contact rule on this planet such that even the soldiers on this planet only touch others with long metal sticks. The Blue and Red hero/heroines of the story live in their segregation watching their own versions of the news until they join forces in a rainbow revolution against the tyrant and ruling class. Inspired by George Lucas’ THX and Ridley Scott/Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner and Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, the video reveals the album cover image of the upcoming Release with Rich’s 3D printed skull.
“The Other” is about the commonalities we share with other humans and recognizing that us and them, in and out group thinking stems from fear. If we can let go of that fear we can start to recognize the prejudices we may have created by them and their displacement of our beliefs and views of existence. In this part of the sync, we see a seagull tyrant controlling lots of groups of sea life with the promise of a safer better life while the others are clearly being manipulated and oppressed by their leader using their fear against them. Alice recognizes this absurdity and does not take part for very long. Musically, this song again has a panned live and sampled drums. The live ones were played by Tony Dallas (Fake Shark) and this is finally the first time we’ve gotten to record together despite playing together for close to a decade. Three different bass players take the reigns of bass duty for the track: Peter Charles playing the choruses on a Fender Jazz, Jason Vautour playing the first verse on a Fender P Bass and Tuperware Remix Party’s Jim Arsenault playing the rest on Bernard Edwards’ choice Music Man Stingray Bass. The song is very much an ode to Chic one of my first musical loves and the reason I learned bass. I wrote the bass for this song with the intention of it being a Chic-style track. Next came adding in three guitarists in addition to me to cover the Nile Rogers style guitar parts. I assembled a great vocal quartet of powerhouse vocalists to sing the hook with Maylee Todd, Reeny Smith, Kirsten Olivia and Cyndi Cain. Finally, the rising sax solo in the bridge is actually four different saxophones as the range is too large and high to be played on just one saxophone. Jeff Mosher and Nick Dourado play the bari, tenor, alto and soprano saxes. The track begins with crashes from the large water drops Alice cries out when she has her first change of state in wonderland being too big to ever go back the way she came.
Produced by Aucoin and drummer Joel Waddell, Release was inspired by a wide range of music such as David Bowie, Holly Herndon, Fatboy Slim, Björk, John Lennon, Future Islands, Caribou and Chic just to name a few. These influences are evident in his music, as his diverse sound could be compared to a mix of MGMT, Beck, Arcade Fire, Spoon, and M83 all the while still maintaining his own unique blend of organic and synthetic instrumentation. His third album, Release, sees Aucoin grapple with the concept of mortality by using Alice in Wonderland (1951) as a metaphor for the journey. Release can be played as alternate soundtrack along to the film similar to Aucoin’s earlier LP Ephemeral and The Little Prince.
Aucoin’s music has seen acclaim across the board with previous releases, We’re All Dying To Live and Ephemeral, long-listed for the Polaris Music Prize. The music video for “Brian Wilson is A.L.I.V.E.” won the Prism Prize, which he’s also been shortlisted for this year for “The Middle”.
Nominated for ten East Coast Music Awards including Album, Song, and Fan Choice Entertainer of the Year, with more than 2 million streams, Rich Aucoin has built a reputation for his energetic live shows performing his music written in sync to old movies in the same manner as Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon with The Wizard of Oz. Using projections to these films, he has brought his interactive performance to stages at Osheaga, The Great Escape, Les Eurockéennes, Les Vielles Charrues, Berlin Music Festival, Montreal International Jazz Festival, Hangout Music Festival, Art Basel Miami, Luminato Art Festival, Iceland Airwaves, SXSW, Pop Montreal and more.
Born, raised, and currently based in Halifax, Rich Aucoin has been fully immersed in music ever since he can remember, learning how to play almost any instrument he could get his hands on while also teaching himself production and home-recording. A philanthropist at heart, Aucoin has raised money for several charities with his music. He has cycled coast to coast twice for both Childhood Cancer Canada and The Canadian Mental Health Association/Mental Health America; cycling to each show. He has also crossed Canada for the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation running a series of half-marathons.
May 10 – Brighton, UK – Green Door Store (The Great Escape)
May 11 – Brighton, UK – Patterns Upstairs (The Great Escape)
May 16 – Wrexham, UK – The Parish (Focus Whales)
May 18 – Wrexham, UK – Ty Pawb (Focus Whales)
May 22 – Toronto, ON – The Drake Underground (album release show)