Arts

U of O student releases first EP

As most students are wiling away their summers with part-time jobs and extra classes, Muskoka singer-songwriter, Drew Taylor, has been working hard on releasing her first EP, The Flood which came out on July 3.

“It’s such a change to go from a place that literally has street lights on all through the night, and you can order a pizza at 4 o’clock in the morning and it will actually show up. You can’t do that here,” said Taylor.

Taylor drew inspiration for the album title from the spring flooding in Muskoka that occurs every year when the ice melts off of the lake. The flooding makes a mess of the region, and Taylor felt this was an appropriate metaphor for her emotional experience moving to the city.

“After spending eight months back in Ottawa and being stressed out and there’s always noise and cars and people, and then coming back (to Muskoka) and I walk home from work at 11 o’clock at night and the streets are literally empty…It’s so peaceful.”

With  rehearsing, recording, playing gigs, and working at a restaurant, the third-year criminology and psychology student has had anything but a relaxing summer. Luckily, songwriting is something that comes naturally to her.

“(Learning) acoustic guitar really helped me as a musician because I do both at the same time now. I don’t write separately,” she said, “I usually pick up the guitar, figure a melody out there, and then write along with it.”

Not only can she sing and play the guitar, she also plays piano, bass, saxophone, clarinet, and flute. Her love for playing music developed into a passion for making music.

Taylor’s musical inspirations include Death Cab for Cutie, Metric, Feist, Arkells, and Lumineers. She was also fortunate enough to record in  Rob Currie Recording studio in Gravenhurst, the same space as some of her inspirations.

“Walking into a studio was just, it was the coolest feeling because the drum kit we used is Johnny Fay’s from the Tragically Hip, and my sound engineer has all these signed records on the walls, people he’s worked with, people I love, like Said the Whale, Dan Mangan.”

While only in her third year at the University of Ottawa, Taylor’s indie pop tunes have already started to attract attention, including the Muskoka Brewery which asked her to be their celebrity collaborator for their Collaboration Nation summer promotion.

She brewed a beer with them, called Drew-Barb, and joined representatives from the brewery in Toronto at Yonge and Dundas square to promote the beer by performing at Sessions Toronto, a Craft Beer and wine festival.

Earlier this year, the Arkells hosted a contest asking their fans to film themselves covering their song “Leather Jacket.” Drew’s cover won, and she won free tickets to all of the festivals and concerts the Arkells are performing at until 2016.

“I wanted to do it since I was little and this just seemed like a good time. Everything was coming together,” said Taylor.  “I figured if I was going to pursue music at all, now would be a good time to do it.”