StillWaves New LP Undiagnosed Is Out Now!
Today marks the release of the incredible new StillWaves LP, Undiagnosed [SS122].
Lead singer and bassist Dan Carlyle sat down with us to discuss what it was like to record Undiagnosed with engineer/producer Josh Korody at Candle Recording Studio, and also how the album came together with the late guitarist Eric Pentz -
"In all honesty, I almost pulled the plug on recording the album because Eric and I had fallen out of touch. We drifted apart when he started to hang out with new friends who liked to party a lot, but ultimately we decided to push on and record the album over 4 sessions.
Undiagnosed is very personal for a few different reasons. I was going through a divorce and hard times when we were recording it, and Eric passed away shortly after completing it.
Eric's fingerprints and influence are all over the album; songs like 'I'm Haunted' and 'Reform' we built around his guitar. Another track that really encapsulates Eric and his playing is the title track 'Undiagnosed' - it's a beautiful guitar melody yet still somehow morose."
StillWaves returned to work with the engineer/producer of their first album, Josh Korody, who you might know as the frontman of 90s nostalgia group, Breeze (check out the Breeze live sessions we recorded in our bank vault here).
Speaking of the relationship and recording process with Josh, Dan continued...
"He knew exactly the sound and direction we were going for, so that made the whole process pretty seamless.
Andrew Heule recorded live drums for all the songs, but Josh liked the sound of the original electronic drums I programmed on the Korg Electribe, so we ended up using a combination of both with the digital drums being more prominent.
Everything was recorded at Candle during the covid pandemic, and it was a huge energy release to be in there during that period of abnormality.
Eric was a character. A memorable studio story is when he complimented Josh... "Josh, I have to say, I just love your vision."
Josh, taking it to mean his artistic vision, replied, "ah, thanks Eric."
This was followed by Eric exclaiming, "Yeah, I don't know how you can see all those tiny little tracks on the screen while you record."
Eric was hilarious and always lit up the room. When recording our first album, he was doing vocal backups on the track 'Trust Yourself' and kept blurting out weird things. I was going to go into the vocal booth and get him to stop, but Josh said to let him keep rolling and we laughed our heads off at all the wonderful gibberish."
Speaking about the meaning behind some of Undiagnosed's tracks -
"'Aurora, CO' is about Elijah McClain. He was the young African-American youth that was killed by police officers in custody, for doing nothing wrong. I read the story of his death and it made me so angry the only thing I felt I could do was write a track. He used to go and play violins for cats in shelters - he was a gentle soul.
At other times the songs don't have any profound meaning at all. 'Redlines' I wrote about a road trip to Nashville - we were driving towards Windsor where all the giant wind turbines are, and the red flashing lights were in time with the song that was playing on the car stereo. I like that track, it reminds me of closing time at the bar. Eric's guitar in it, both tone and playing are fantastic.
'Somewhere I'm Happy' is about Eric and myself and our breakups that coincided at roughly the same time. We were a good support system for each other, albeit we were also each other's demons too at times.
Releasing this album will be cathartic. At the time everything was so disconnected and life felt like it might never go back to semi-normal again, so it feels good to finally have it come out, and showcase the wonderful lost talent that was Eric."
You can catch StillWaves celebrating the release of this album on Saturday at The Monarch Tavern in a very special Class of 2024 show brought to you by Exclaim! View the event here.
Strictly limited edition StillWaves cassettes will be available to purchase at the show, or for those of you further away you can grab one on bandcamp.
Thank you for supporting independent local music.
StillWaves Celebrate Album Release with Class Of 2024 Show
StillWaves are getting ready to celebrate the release on their brand new LP, Undiagnosed, which arrives digitally worldwide on Friday 19th January and on limited editing Safe Sounds cassette!
Just 24 hours later, you'll be able to celebrate this release with us...
Presented by Exclaim! & Dan Burke NEXT.O Shows in partnership with the City Of Toronto's Music Office and Proudly Supported by Mary Brown's Chicken. Made possible by the support of Ontario Creates.
StillWaves Join The Safe Sounds Family with It Still Burns
We're delighted to welcome StillWaves to the Safe Sounds family with the release of the debut single from their upcoming LP.
It Still Burns is a driving post-punk banger. When we first heard it, it evoked memories of bands like The Horrors (specifically their album Primary Colours, which still gets rotated here to this day).
After meeting head honcho, lead singer and bassist, Dan Carlyle, he professed his love for bands like Killing Joke, The Cure, and The Chameleons. It all adds up.
The debut LP, entitled Undiagnosed, will be released on limited edition pink cassette on 19th January 2024. The art features the late guitarist, Eric Pentz, who wrote the album alongside Carlyle. Andrew Heule is the drummer on the record.
Undiagnosed [SS122] is the first StillWaves album to be released by Safe Sounds.
Track listing ~
It Still Burns
Scars Lie Below
Not Safe From Your Heart
Somewhere I'm Happy
The LP cover photo is by Roy Cohen. The single art for It Still Burns is by Paul Grier.