Rich Aucoin has never been one to do things normally. You may have heard the stories by now: how he biked across Canada for childhood leukaemia research – booking his east coast shows while on the radio on the west coast. Or how, on the next tour, he ran half-marathons for a heart & stroke foundation while stopping in cities across Canada to record an album with over 500 musicians on it.
Or maybe you’ve only heard about his interactive live shows: how every show features a custom video opening credits sequence, how the shows are sings-alongs in a sort of crowd-karaoke to synchronized visuals and how a play parachute suddenly fills the room as the show climaxes with everyone underneath its canopy. Or about how he texts audience members with downloadable links to his music. Or maybe you’ve never heard any of that and you’ve just hung out with him in the crowd while watching the band he opened up for/the band you came to see or you were hanging out in the sun at some music festival or were at a house party when he burst in with confetti, a parachute and a wireless mic.
It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that Aucoin took time off touring for the first time and wrote a record in 2016 and when it came time to head into the studio to record it, Aucoin’s computer was stolen and along with it all those banked up ideas and so Aucoin had to make a record a different way in 2017 through a process of rediscovering those ideas and creating a new body of work from the ashes. Luckily, one track was already completely finished. That song was to be the first song of the album. It’s now the last song on the even newer album. And that album? He didn’t just start over – he made his best work ever: Spanning through long-form electro-acoustic instrumentals to driving bass-propelled indie rock to Chic and Funkadelic infused disco-funk to joyous and catchy orchestral-pop.