Wilson says This Moon’s Mansion is inspired by life’s “magic moments”

Tyler Wilson, a fourth-year University of Ottawa English student and father, didn’t set out to be a professional musician—which he says is one of the best things about his work. Operating without the constraints and expectations of the music industry has allowed him to craft an album as pleasant as it is unorthodox. Operating under the name Fantasy Blondes, Wilson is set to launch his first album, This Moon’s Mansion, on Nov. 1.

Instead of creating a complete song from scratch, Wilson focused on the moments in life and in music that just click.

“I just wasn’t satisfied with the way things were done,” Wilson said. “What I love about music is those little moments that just strike you. It’s a bit corny, but those ‘magic moments’ that are just unexpected and I really wanted to work off that.”

Starting with a series of acoustic sounds, Wilson used a combination of digital distortion techniques and sampling to create pieces that sound heavily synthetic, yet grounded. The result resembles the methodical, minimalist style of Ratatat and Aphex Twin, while still bringing something new to the table.  

“I was trying to do something a little bit loose. I’ve been doing stuff that’s very scripted, very controlled. So I was trying to do something a little bit more off the cuff. The goal was to capture moments, rather than something more scripted,” he said.

Wilson’s life has no shortage of moments to draw from either. Between being a student, a father, and an employee at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), he manages to juggle a hectic workload. Music has been a constant companion and an escape throughout it all.

“I had another project a few years ago. More folky singer-songwriter kind of stuff but a more noisy version of that … I have a friend called Sebastian—in a band called Golden Eyes—and I collaborate with him. It has never been a money-making enterprise, more of a compulsion.”

Wilson proves that you don’t need to be a rockstar to get something out of being a musician. His songwriting isn’t just compatible with his life—it compliments it.

“The English program is mostly reading about a lot of ideas, and those ideas inspire me a lot,” Wilson said. “It makes me think about the process a lot, so it does tie into music in that way.”

While a music career might not be his goal, Wilson still has some impressive ambitions after he finishes his degree next semester.

“My plan is to go into a masters of social work next year. The idea is to stay at CHEO and stay in that environment working with youth. I’ve seen the kinds of things they do with people who are struggling, and it has been really inspiring. I would just love to put my energy into helping them.”

This Moon’s Mansion drops Nov. 1 and will be available on Soundcloud.