I'm Dylan White. My new project CEDAR PARK is a one-man band featuring special guest vocalists. The debut album Way Back Home was produced by Emm Gryner and is out in May 2012 on Dead Daisy/Outside.
As Leonard Cohen famously said, being a poet is not an occupation, it's a verdict. I'm not a poet but I write songs, and I am fiercely drawn to the familiarity of a pop melody that you can’t help but pocket and hum, as much as I am to the art of lyrics.
As much as I love well-known bands like The Beatles, I also love bands such as Broken Bells and Owen Pallett, people who challenge the conventional notion of what a band is. I also love two singers in a band, or that featuring multiple performers can add another layer on the recording canvas that I can't accomplish through changing up instruments or moving around mics in front of amps.
In a leap of bravery, I sent my songs to a handful of my favourite artists: James Iha, whose work with the Smashing Pumpkins inspired me through high school; NQ Arbuckle whose voice I have heard grace CBC so many days of my life; Angie Mattson, who I paired up with Dan Ledwell of Kathleen Edwards' band on a duet number; esthero whose spunk is infectious and voice is incomparable. I was so lucky to get them and others like the wonderful Usra Leedham on my record.
I lucked out having Bryden Baird record a glorious mess of brass and horns throughout the album. I was blown away by the consummate professionalism that he and string arranger Kevin Fox brought to the recording process – and by their generosity. We recorded in small home studios and iconic recording pads like John Dinsmore's in Toronto. Artists showed up at stranger's houses to lay down their vocals and music files flew across the net when people could not be in the same room.
I found collaborations on this project to far surpass my planning and expectations. My songs became big pop anthems. And watching them evolve from their humble demos – independently crafted and free of any music business red tape – was, for a relatively new artist, a dream come true.