Nathan Lawr came up as a drummer-for-hire during the Toronto indie rock heyday that spawned Royal City, Broken Social Scene and Feist, drumming for seminal Three Gut Records’ bands Royal City and Sea Snakes. In 2000, he started writing his own tenderly clever folk songs, releasing a series of critically-lauded solo albums. In 2010, he ditched the songwriting thing for the more expansive sound of Minotaurs, spending the next 10 years writing, recording, and performing with an 8- sometime 9- or 10-piece indie funk band. During those years, he cut his teeth as a producer and band leader. Now, after spending almost a decade as a stay-at-home-Dad, Lawr has come into his own, finding his voice as a crooner once again and releasing his most powerful and polished group of songs to date.
The new album Apocalypse Marshmallow is a celebration of the rough edges and chaos of living. Of having friends, having family, being a part of a fabric. It’s messy and uncertain but it’s beautiful. “The process of becoming a parent was intense for me. No one ever tells you that you basically wake up a completely new person. Your old life is gone, like totally gone, and you need to mourn it. That can be a messy process. It’s an apocalypse, but it’s also cozy and soft and sweet, like a marshmallow.”
Apocalypse Marshmallow is a meticulously crafted dynamic powerhouse of an album. Veering from Steve Miller/Sloan classic rock (on the title track) to 80’s glam pop (Terminal Love) to half-time Dire Straits (Shakey Hands) to triumphant country ballads (Wandering Eyes), Lawr has delivered on the promise of his very first 2001 solo album The Heart Beats a Waltz. Echoes of Fleet Foxes, The War On Drugs, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Apocalypse Marshmallow marks a real progression for Lawr. His voice is stronger, the songs more powerful, it seems as if he is ready to take his place in Canadian songwriting canon.
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