The Honeyrunners have nothing to fear with their new single and video What Are You Scared Of? — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Supple, soulful and slowburning, the southern-flavoured ballad is the latest single from the Toronto folk-rockers’ dynamite debut LP Everything Is On Fire. The band’s new nine-song full-length aims to disrobe our culture of apathy — a sentiment that everything is always on fire, with nothing to do but watch. The chorus of the title track sums up their approach: ‘Let it burn. It’s the ashes that I admire.’
Written and composed by the pianist and lead singer Dan Dwoskin and engineer, producer, bassist and vocalist Guillermo Subauste, Everything Is On Fire is a response to a public outpouring of anxiety and depression. The record was born of late nights and long drives; a tapestry of rhythm and melody, underpinned by desperate optimism and a stark reminder of why your presence is needed in times like these.
After a year and a half of challenges in a broken music industry, the two musicians are well-acquainted with these feelings (as are most artists), yet they are also acquainted with self-reinvention (ditto). The process was cathartic — writing and recording songs for people who need to feel they are not alone in this heaviness, surrounded by a world full of apathy.
“We write songs for the times we need them,” Dwoskin notes when asked about the insomnia-fueled lyrics of the album. For him, “this record was born of the love, fear, and insecurity of being a new father. The music on Everything Is On Fire was years in the making, honed during a gap between the original Honeyrunners roster and a new lineup of musicians joining the band between 2018 and 2020. We started with 25 songs and trimmed it down to nine, crafting a front-to-back listen with a potent story.”
“We anchored tracks with a New Orleans sensibility, using pocket rhythms, countless styles of keys, and punchy horns to bring the songs to life,” Subauste says. “The cherry is a quilt of guitar hooks, a choir’s worth of harmonies, and a soulful lead vocal by Dan.”
Self-produced by Subauste and Dwoskin, the band enlisted a slew of local Toronto talent for the album; Carleigh Aikins (Bahamas), Haig Beylerian, Marcus Bucci, Meg Contini (The O’Pears, Dwayne Gretzky), Tom Ionescu (Jane’s Party, Whitney Rose), Bruce Mackinnon, Samantha Martin, Tom Moffett (Arkells, Bedouin Soundclash), Andrew Moljgun, Champagne James (Lindi Ortega, Lydia Persaud) and Micah Sky.
The Honeyrunners are a Northern take on Southern Americana — hot-blooded and rife with the poetry of heartache. Their music suits fans of bands like The Lumineers, Bahamas, Alabama Shakes, Brandi Carlile, Nathaniel Rateliff and Leon Bridges, to name a few influences.