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INTERVIEW: Canyon City

Hi Paul, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been great, excited to share some new music! Thanks so much for having me!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single, “Midnight Flight”?

Definitely. “Midnight Flight” is the first single from the upcoming album, Constellation. It’s a little bit of a departure from the typical Canyon City sound, which is part of the reason I wanted to lead with it, however still rooted in the concise and sincere instrumentation and narrative that I hope to be a common thread throughout Canyon City records. I’m really excited to make it the first charge of the new material!

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

The feeling I tried to capture on “Midnight Flight” is the desire to suspend a moment, season and/or relationship, making the most of it while recognizing, however reluctantly, the expiration date. Sort of a “let’s stay in the eye of the storm despite the weather around us.” I feel like I experience this in one form or another constantly, trying so hard to be present in ever-changing circumstances but unable to ignore the peripherals. Finding grateful acceptance in change seems to be one of the universal challenges of being human.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes!  I spent a day with the production team, Vantage Vision, hopping around Southern California to use a few of the beautiful spots of the region as a backdrop for a lyric video. We tried to capture the feeling of a “suspended day,” which was a great excuse to adventure around and document it!

The single comes off your new album Constellation – what’s the story behind the title?

The meaning and metaphor for Constellation is the album-wide theme of taking a look at a season, person, or yourself, and finding a few known points of light but also miles, sometimes lifetimes, of darkness and unknowns in between them. We try to make sense of it and connect the dots, but at least for me it often feels like I’m en-route, through at times a painful distance, to the light I see but can’t yet reach. It’s a play with illusion and reality, distortion and truth, and the way it all affects our trajectory as we try to navigate it.

How was the recording and writing process?

I wrote most of the record in Nashville, which is where I also started production, but eventually moved my studio to a cabin in northern Minnesota for a month to find the space and focused time to finish the record. At times I benefit from the forced distraction of the city, but I also find that there’s a time to turn down the figurative lights and see what remains shining. Fortunately on this record I had the opportunity to work in both environments.

What role does Nashville plays in your writing?

It’s a great classroom and challenger in that there are so many excellent musicians that it’s never too hard to find something inspiring, but also demands a certain quality expectation. I’m grateful for the way Nashville has both kicked my butt and picked me up, I think the lessons and osmosis of the place will forever have a roll in my writing.

Did you get to play with other styles on this record aside from Folk?

It definitely felt like I leaned into some more experimentation on this record, probably most notably dipping toes into some pop percussion and expanding the instrumentation. That said, I always try to stay true to songs that can survive as a single instrument and voice, then build from there.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I rarely know where it’s going to come from, but I just try to set the environment for good ideas and start playing. I’ll go through a lot of ideas, letting go of anything that doesn’t move me much, and then once something notably pangs a heartstring I follow that lead. It’s as much discovery as it is expression for me, often times I end up saying something I don’t feel like I fully knew before the song came.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yup! As I write this I’m wrapping up a quick run through some Northeast cities, then will be doing a handful of shows when the album releases in October.

What else is happening next in Canyon City’s world?

I really look forward to sharing this record online and in person at the upcoming shows. I’m always writing, and looking for the best burrito in America.

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/canyon-city/midnight-flight

iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1255177078?ls=1&app=itunes

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/6zbzYNDGC7vxwZIHbNKqzL

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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