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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Alternative Toronto-Based Japanese-Canadian Artist Garrett Neiles Releases New EP '27'

By Megan Routledge. Photo Credit: Dave MacDonald.

Canadian Alternative artist Garrett Neiles has a sound that revives the 2000's era Pop-Rock concept, and infuses it with refreshing lyrical depth of deep introspection. His unique and meticulous balance of old and new is rooted in the sonic exploration of the past, and courage to lay bare every part of himself in his storylines. Upbeat and unforgettable, his energetic guitar performances and stadium-sized choruses explode behind themes of self-acceptance, relationships, growth, and the joyful moments of life that can never be replicated. A musical junction that unites profound intimacy and thunderous sound, Neiles music is carefully orchestrated to be resonant and reflective while undeniably fun. His live performances are as high octane as his music, adding an experiential and connective element that draw fans closer to the artist and his captivating, catchy sound. Neiles music has been featured on Global TV and Virgin Radio, and on commercial radio stations across the country. He has performed at Winnipeg's MTS Centre and Burton Cummings Theatre, Toronto's legendary Horseshoe Tavern, and was selected as an opener for Canadian music icon, Burton Cummings. The natural born performer dominated the live music scene in his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba for nearly a decade before moving to Toronto, bringing home the Top Entertainer Award at the Winnipeg Nightlife Awards, and selling out the 600-seat Winnipeg landmark, the Park Theatre. His debut EP, "End of an Era" ricocheted across the country, with features in prominent music blogs and magazines, racking up nearly 100,000 streams shortly after its 2022 release. His most recent work has been picked up by Spotify's 'Eh List' playlist, and the CBC. Musically chronicling his move towards a new level of maturity, Neiles sophomore EP, "27" journeys through his unsatisfied discomfort with where he was in his life, realization of the need to change, and what happens when he reaches the other side. Channeling his innermost thoughts and experiences through both his pen and guitar, Neiles descended deep into his emotions to identify the parts of his life that no longer served him. Written at age 27, Neiles latest project sees him reach a new chapter in his adulthood - the one he wanted all along. A longtime fan of Vancouver musical duo the Renaissance, Neiles found a symbiotic musical relationship with the pair and brought them on as the producers on his latest musical journey. His new collection of songs highlight his precise attention to musical and lyrical detail, abundant creativity, and a continued willingness to learn, marking the first time he created and recorded music by himself. A musical transformation for both the artist and listener, Neiles finds himself in the honesty of his sound, with carefully crafted songs about acceptance, change, and growth.

The title track from the EP, "27" opens the project with the simplicity of a stripped down guitar and Neiles emotive vocals. Sharing the tale of recognizing his old ways no longer served him, the song was written with the 27 Club, a group of celebrated musicians and actors who passed away at the age of 27, in mind. Drawing a unique parallel between the informal group and the release of different aspects of himself, Neiles wears his heart on his sleeve as he confesses his aspirations for growth. With significant emotional weight, the stripped back song features a repetitive chant "we all die someday", recognizing the finality that comes when letting go of different behaviours. Drawing inspiration from the Billie Eilish song, "Happier Than Ever", Neiles creates an emotional impact with sparsity in the instrumentation of the song, allowing the listener to focus on its lyrical detail. "Gasoline" marks a pivotal mid-point on Neiles journey, where the artist finds himself attempting to implement a shift in his behaviours, yet routinely sabotaging his growth. With a fiery dose of Grunge-Rock, Neiles puts his vocal dexterity on display alongside an explosive dose of electric guitars and a driving drum beat. Written by production duo the Renaissance and Alan Poettecker from These Kids Wear Crowns, the song flawlessly weaves its instrumental impact points to coincide with the message of the lyrics. The final track on the EP, "Outgrow", is a high energy combination of Rock's guitar driven, melodic focus, Pop's range of emotive vocals, and the amped up pace of Power Punk. A high octane ode to the sting of rejection, Neiles penned "Outgrow" after ending a fling and discovering he had developed unreciprocated feelings. After a period of reflection that helped him realize he had outgrown less serious relationships, the artist set up instruments in his home and began his very first foray into music production. With a Pop-Rock lens, Neiles brings the song to life with a commanding guitar riff, booming drums, and growling sub-bass. Revealing a courageous quest for personal growth, Garrett Neiles fearlessly presents an intricate musical narrative with his sophomore EP, "27". His unwavering commitment to his artistic vision encapsulates a transformative journey that resonates with authenticity, resilience, and the enduring spirit of self-discovery. Leaving a resounding impression of evolution, and growth as a person and an artist, Neiles' latest collection of work offers a new angle of his creative and personal depth, drawing in listeners with a relatable journey of becoming who he wants to be. Filled with life lessons, the revelations of his innermost fears, discomforts, hopes, and attempts at change, "27" paints the picture of an archetype who serves as a mirror to both himself and society, leaving listeners in awe of Neiles personal and musical metamorphosis.



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