Autumn Hill

Some songs grab you right away, while others sink in over time and won’t let you go. Autumn Hill’s music does both. Beyond the immediate hooks – the vivid imagery, the effortlessly catchy choruses, and the passionate harmonies – are surprising depths. On their debut album, Favourite Mistake, Tareya Green and Mike Robins tell compelling stories of loss and love from two distinct perspectives, and build soaring pop on a strong Nashville foundation.

Tareya and Mike took very different roads towards an unexpected common goal. Growing up outside Toronto, Mike listened to his father’s classic-rock collection and decided he wanted to be Jimi Hendrix. He gigged throughout high school and university as a singer/songwriter and all-action frontman, and eventually his axe skills landed him a spot in 2010 backing up singer/songwriter Hope on a year-long tour through North America and Europe.He also worked with producers on his own solo songs, first in L.A. and then in Nashville. There, a newfound passion for country guitar led to the 2011 solo single “No Mercy,” which topped the
Adult Contemporary chart on music-streaming service I Heart Radio.

Meanwhile, Tareya, who had studied graphic design in the Canadian country hotbed of Calgary, was developing websites for famous entertainers, and feeling, she says, “like I was on the wrong side of the glass.” As a girl she developed a passion for songwriting, playing the piano while singing into an empty coffee can she’d rigged to her bedroom ceiling for reverb. She eventually began posting homemade performances on YouTube, and when Wax Records cofounder Jamie Appleby heard her smouldering vocals online, he invited her to Toronto to explore her musical talent further. In January 2012, packing little more than her guitar and her keyboard, she made a leap of faith across the country.

It was there that she met Mike, who had recently begun working with Wax as well. They found instant chemistry: when they first played together at a label party, Mike started harmonizing with Tareya on a song they’d been writing for her then solo project, and something clicked. “We stopped playing and turned around,” Tareya recalls, “and everyone was like, ‘That’s it!’” That song, “Favourite Mistake,” went on to become the title track from their debut album. There and then, Autumn Hill was born, and ever since, Tareya and Mike have been musically inseparable. Over the next six months, they made numerous trips to Nashville, working with a who’s who of local songwriters, and recording bed tracks for their album with producer Dave Thomson (Lights, Kalan Porter, Tyler Kyte) at the legendary Blackbird Studios. Returning to Toronto with a suitcase full of roughed-in songs, they began fleshing them out with producer Tawgs Salter (Josh Groban, Lights, Walk Off The Earth). Some tracks, like the intimate “Battle Scars,” show off their voices’ uncanny blend, and others, like the guitar-driven new single “Fire,” sparkle with spirited energy. Each one resembles a short film, with the precise details characteristic of country music – “the best kind of heartbreak,” according to Mike – made fresh by both female and male points of view.

Advance singles “Anything at All” and “Can’t Keep Waiting” have found favour on country and pop radio alike. Together, the nine songs on Favourite Mistake reveal new layers to Autumn Hill’s talents, and prove once and for all that opposites attract.

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