Andrew Austin

Change is inevitable, and for artists of all disciplines the key to their creative evolution is often how they choose to embrace it. Upon hearing Andrew Austin’s new album Starts & Fits, those familiar with the past work of the Toronto-based singer/songwriter will immediately recognize the changes he’s embraced—and they will no doubt have some questions.

The main one is likely to be: How does a modern acoustic troubadour suddenly transform himself into a purveyor of undeniable pop anthems? (See the 2018 smash hit single “Everything And More” featuring Willa.) The answer to that one is simple. In the wake of his 2013 debut album While It’s Still Light Out—produced by the legendary Dave Newfeld of Broken Social Scene fame—Andrew landed a sweet gig as music director for the Family/Disney Channel series Backstage. The show depicted the lives of students at a fictional performing arts school, and for each episode Andrew was tasked with coming up with original songs suited to various characters. Although prior to that, Andrew had a burgeoning side career writing for other television and film projects, his work on Backstage was an entirely new experience.

Although Andrew made the transition fairly smoothly, he knew he still needed someone to guide him through this new territory. Enter award-winning producer James Bunton (Donovan Woods, Vivek Shraya) who helped bring everything into focus. One thing Andrew was adamant about was kicking off the record with a sonic blast, and after achieving that with the slickly grooving opening track “Drums Of War,” the rest of the pieces began falling into place.

Lyrically, Andrew also reveled in the ability to write from an adult perspective again, and as evidenced by standout tracks such as “Make My Head Go” and “Carried Away,” Starts & Fits is the sexiest collection he’s offered thus far. Moreover, as the process unfolded and Andrew felt like he was finding a new voice, he had to become more mindful of keeping some of his best ideas for himself while continuing to co-write with other artists like fellow southern Ontarians Donovan Woods and Emm Gryner. Case in point being another of the album’s highlights, “Church Music.”

“That one actually began with Donovan and I trying to write a song for Bobby Bazini, who also helped out on the record,” Andrew explains. “But when we finished it, I had this overwhelming feeling that the girl in the song was somebody I’d dated, and the song was really about me. That has rarely happened when I’ve done co-writes, so thankfully those guys agreed to let me record that one myself.”

With Starts & Fits providing the world with the first glimpse of a new Andrew Austin, his fans will also likely be wondering how his new material will be presented live. Oddly enough, he says that after finishing the album, his desire to play guitar returned, so there will likely be a balance between stripped down acoustic shows and full-on reproductions the album’s sonic tapestry.

What it all adds up to, ultimately, is Andrew Austin’s emergence as one of Canada’s most dynamic singer/songwriters. While chances are that up until now you’ve heard his music in one form or another, with Starts & Fits he is ready.

 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Over 1.5 million cumulative streams on Spotify
  • “Make My Head Go” Featured on: Spotify’s New Music Friday, It’s A Bop. Amazon’s “Fresh Folk and Acoustic”
  • “Everything and More” reached #14 BDS Main AC
  • “Christmas is Coming Soon” reached #9 Mediabase Holiday, Top 20 Mediabase Main AC

SHOWS

May 2- Toronto, ON – The Rivoli

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