David Stone's music has been compared to Canadian Icons from the likes of The Tragically Hip to The Barenaked Ladies and even Gordon Lightfoot.
This is not to say his music sits stagnant under the umbrella of Folk or Contemporary music, but instead, it's a comparison that verifies the diverse borrowed after-glow he bestows onto his listeners through his warm textured cantor. This year, the central-Ontario based songster finds comfort over a gracious measure and a warm, earthy supporting instrumentation on his latest single, "Evelyn"—a love song that penetrates through to even the coldest, most embittered hearts.
Here, on the latest offerings of David's reputably enamoring songwriting, an acoustic guitar sets the stage and rhythm before the Canadian's voice lays into us with all its gripping tonality.
It's a type of intimate rendering that makes us feel like we're sitting in the same low-lit room as David with our eyes closed and listening intently as he enchants us with his gripping choruses. Then the band swoops in just before the downbeat, expanding the size of this seemingly candle-lit acoustic set by tenfold. The drums here punch with a gritty earthiness and drive mid-tempo, propelling forward with a succulent bass in tow. There's percussion in the form of a tambourine here—that adds to the whole acoustic aesthetic—but the more focusing part that gives our ears a pull is the atmospheric pads that swell in the backdrops of this record, giving David Stone's love ballad a divine and mystifying spark.
Listen to "Evelyn" here.
Hello David and a warm welcome to BuzzMusic. What sorts of bands moved you most when music first poked its influential head in on your life?
Bands like The Tragically Hip have stuck with me for as far back as I can remember as if their music was always there. I was always really excited about the music my dad listened to when I was young, the 90's alt-rock and grunge, 80's and early 90's Metallica, bands like The Clash and Stiff Little Fingers, Rush and Queen, and out-liers like Bjork. I got really into metal and punk for a while, and still listen to everything Propagandhi and Protest the Hero release.
It wasn't until my mid-teens, to early '20s that folk music (my Mom's taste in music), and alt-country started to make sense for me. Neil Young, Corb Lund, Noah Gundersen, Bruce Cockburn, Bob Seger, Blue Rodeo, and Barenaked Ladies come to mind as influences that came about later on. I try to listen to everything and pay attention to great songwriters and lyricists especially.
How has your own life experiences helped you develop as an artist, and what have been some milestone lessons you've learned along the way?
I played hockey for 12 years, as a goalie and it taught me really early on, what I put into something determines what I get back. I grew up in a small touristy town in Ontario, Canada, and spent a lot of my childhood outdoors. The people, places, and everyday happenings I can recall from my life have made for great lyrical inspiration for me.
The most important lesson I've learned as an artist is to do things myself whenever possible. Recording and producing my own music, playing everything on my recordings, booking my own gigs, and designing my own album art, etc. Especially when I was starting out, this philosophy got me gigging, and selling albums without any outside support.
Where do you find the fuel for your creative intuitions, and have you ever experienced a severe writer's block?
I love to write. That was all the fuel I needed, even before I had a guitar in my hand, and it's still enough today. A few years back I was lamenting to my wife about being stuck while writing a song, and she suggested something to the effect of "maybe you're just working on the wrong song". Looking at writer's block as just writing the wrong song, is sometimes a practical way around getting stuck in a rut.
When can we expect to see another album from you, and do you have any plans on extending your musical prowess into other genres?
The plan is to have a new album out in late 2020 or early 2021. I have a handful of songs already recorded, as well as some demos to work with, along with whatever I can come up with between now and then. I've always tried to be a bit fluid when it comes to genre, and focus more on what feels like a good song, rather than what feels like a "David Stone" song. I try to challenge myself both in the writing and recording process to keep evolving and improving on the last thing I did.
What has been keeping you inspired in 2020
My daughter, Evelyn was born in March, about two weeks before everything started to shut down. My wife and I ended up isolated at home with her for weeks before we had anyone over for backyard visits, and months before we visited anyone, or opened our small circle up to close family and friends. Evelyn has been a source of constant inspiration throughout the past six months. I wrote her song not long after we brought her home, and kept writing and recording with her on my lap, in her carrier or napping nearby during all hours of the day and night as we adjusted to having a newborn at home. The conversations with Grandparents and other simple everyday things usually make for good inspiration too.