“A bold talent, his grasp of sonics is interlinked with a desire to express something, to challenge both himself and those around him.” – Clash Magazine
“Aucoin has a knack for songs that sound intimate and big at the same time” – Paste Magazine
“The music sounds dreamy, French and danceable – a discotheque affair of Daft Punk and Arcade Fire.” – The Globe and Mail
“’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 Change is in you. If you let go. To it all…” says director Hanlon McGregor of Rich Aucoin’s new video for “The Change”. Directed by McGregor and Mihaly Szabados, McGregor continues, describing the video : “Michael Finn aka Hanlon aka Papa looks back at his younger self through the mirror. Sees the moments when he knew something wasn’t quite right. The moments before he had language or understanding for that difference he saw in the mirror. Glimpses of the time before he was free to dance and to swim without limits or fear …the dream of so many trans people. His daughter Irene plays his younger self struggling to be seen. A Phoenix appears to help clear the way, to remind him that on the other side of the flame, on the outside of the cocoon, the pain ends and the wings emerge.”
Of the song itself, Aucoin says “it is about embracing change and letting go of the fear of it to take that chance. It’s also about the inevitability of that change so you can either fear it and resist or you can float down the river learning to swim amongst the current which you cannot control.”He further notes that “musically, this features my first jamming partner and I playing the two drumkits together, Paul Keddy (Verbal Warnin). Another church organ played by composer Peter Togni. I played 6 different pianos on the track including 3 grand pianos. Ellen Gibling plays classical harp. There’s a horn section and the first choir of the record featuring another powerful group of artists: Babette Hayward (Vogue Dots), Rose Cousins, Melanie Stone (Heavy Blinkers), Stewart Legere, Virgil Muir (Museum Pieces), Margot Durling and Jeff Torbert.”
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.
July 28 – Nashville, TN (Keogh Fest) – East Room
August 9 – Hubbards, NS – The Shore Club
September 9 – San Jose, CA – The Ritz*
September 10 – San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop*
September 11 – Arcata, CA – Hum Brews*
September 13 – Ottawa, ON – CityFolk Festival
September 18 – Edmonton, AB – Rec Room*
September 20 – Minneapolis, MN – Turf Club*
September 21 – Milwaukee, WI – Shank Hall*
September 22 – Iowa City, IA – Gabe’s Oasis*
September 24 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater*
September 25 – Grand Junction, CO – Mesa Theater*
September 27 – Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar*
September 30 – San Diego, CA – Casbah*
October 1 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo*
* = w/ TWRP