By Stevie Connor.
Mikhail Laxton, the eponymous debut full-length album from rising singer-songwriter Mikhail Laxton is available now via acronym Records/Howling Turtle Inc. Across the album’s twelve tracks, Laxton weaves together his past, present and future selves, encapsulating the very essence of who he is, who he has been, and who he is becoming. Mikhail Laxton seamlessly flows between Americana, Country, Folk Rock, Blues and more, as indefinable as Laxton himself, and ranges in topic from loss and longing, to the nostalgia for home, to moments of love. “The night before recording started I was asked how I felt about making this album,” shares Laxton. “I thought about it and was surprised to realize that I wasn’t feeling nervous at all! Which was strange. The only thing I felt was ready. I couldn’t wait to get in there and turn this dream record into a reality and I couldn’t be happier with the way it has turned out.” Last month, the same day he took the stage for a hometown play at Ottawa’s iconic RBC Bluesfest, Laxton shared ‘Leaving You With Less’. The real life inspiration behind the song is wrought with drama usually reserved for the big screen; a seemingly happy relationship marred by unfaithfulness, a best friend’s betrayal, and an unwilling victim suddenly outcast by the community they once called home; but the end of the story is nothing if not triumphant, celebrating a clean break and new beginnings. In May Laxton delivered an homage to his hometown with ‘Mossman’, co-written with Terra Lightfoot. Hailing from the KuKu Yalanji Tribe in Mossman, Far North Queensland, Australia, Laxton wrote the track as a tribute to his roots – home to the world’s oldest living rainforest and providing a coastline to the Great Barrier Reef, ‘Mossman’ is the kind of small but mighty place where everyone knows and cares about each other, always quick to lend a helping hand. Lead single ‘Dying To Let You Go’ served as a deeply vulnerable offering, outlining Laxton’s father’s heart-breaking battle with addiction; delivering tender and compassionate insight into the push and pull of the disease. Fans can next catch Laxton at a handful of festival dates including plays at Hamilton’s SuperCrawl, Ottawa’s CityFolk, and Elgin’s Festival of Small Halls. Australian fans should keep an eye out for news of a visit in 2024.
As 2020 got underway, Ottawa-based Mikhail Laxton was set to open the next chapter of his life with the release of his debut EP, Real, a collection of soul-folk gems. But what should have been the wider world’s introduction to the Australian-born artist’s immense talent, already established in his homeland through appearances on Australia’s version of The Voice, was lost in the cacophony of pandemic confusion. Mikhail coped the only way he could, by wiping the slate clean and re-emerging with a new crop of songs from the core of his being.
His new album is simply entitled Mikhail Laxton because it is who he is. The contrast between his first EP and his upcoming album is striking. Not only does the upcoming music fulfill the promise of his debt, but it also firmly establishes him as one of the most vital voices within the Canadian music scene. No matter what genre labels are placed upon him, there can be no disputing that Mikhail Laxton has his own timeless sound, the product of a unique life of experience.
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