Photo Credit: Colin Medley

UWUW (pronounced you-you) has just announced the release of their debut, self-titled LP with their lead single Scattered Ashes. With some of Toronto’s most experienced and revered musicians making this project possible, it’s no wonder why the sonic presence of this project demands your attention and doesn’t let you go. The impressive cast of players includes Jason Haberman of Dan Mangan and Yeahsun, Jay Anderson of Badge Epoque Ensemble, Biblical and Lammping, and Ian Blurton of Ian Blurton’s Future Now, Change of Heart, and C’mon. Giving the songs a voice are two of Toronto’s most distinctive songwriters: Chris A. Cummings aka Marker Starling, adding his distinct, easy-glide, story-telling charm to Box Office Poison, and Scattered Ashes, and Drew Smith (Bunny, The Bicycles), providing his trademark, 60s harmony pop and lyrical prowess to Staircase and Landlord. Scattered Ashes is the first offering from their upcoming self-titled album on We Are Busy Bodies, due out October 21st, 2022. Fans of Euroboys, T2, and Manfred Mann Chapter Three will be enamoured with these exceptionally crafted and exciting compositions.  

The lead single Scattered Ashes breathes soul and rock, while blurring sounds and influences which call to mind James Brown’s horn section and the compositional layers of experimental Beach Boys recordings. In response to the meaning behind his lyrics, singer Marker Starling says, “I attempted to shoehorn every stray apocalyptic thought I had circa Summer of 2021 into the song, including readings from the screenplay of Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville (1965). The world is ending, or perhaps, as Sun Ra believed, we’re already past the end of the world. You might end up dying for a cause, or even “just because.” Who knows what tomorrow may bring, and like The Zombies, being forever Hung Up on a Dream—in this case, a lost vision of a kind of hippie or punk utopia—is the only way to live your life, the only way to maintain a healing state of mind”.

UWUW came into being when Jay Anderson and Ian Blurton came together through a run of shows, backing mutual friend and singer/songwriter, Kate Boothman as her drummer, and guitarist, respectively. Anderson suggested bringing in Jason Haberman, a talented bassist, who Anderson had seen play with Toronto indie-folk band, The Wooden Sky. Realizing they didn’t want an instrumental record, they layered on bright horns and smooth vocals, lifting the songs from instrumental jams, to the undefinable yet distinctive sound that is, UWUW. Saxophonist, Jay Hey, was brought in to provide horn arrangements, along with Tom Richardson on trombone and Patrick McGroarty on trumpet, all three contributing on every song. The result is a blissfully cool album with music that will appeal to all listeners, from record store snobs, garage rock slobs, and even psych-pop heartthrobs!