Aaron Wylder Is Trying To Be A Folk Star – Or Is He?

The Caribbean-Canadian singer-songwriter knows what he wants in his new single.

Aaron Wylder wants to be a Folk Star, but ends up being something much more appealing on his new single — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

The first single and title track from the Caribbean-Canadian singer-songwriter’s upcoming EP, the lighthearted Folk Star isn’t some earnest, fingerpicked acoustic-guitar ballad. Instead, it’s a sweetly shuffling hit of pop-rock retro-boogie — fashioned from a joyously bouncing backbeat, hot-fuzz guitars lovingly nicked from T.Rex‘s Marc Bolan, and topped with a sunny melody that would be right at home in Brian Wilson’s sandbox. Take that, hippies.

Of course, the Caribbean-born (and bred) Wylder’s sharp lyrics — which find him yearning for and romanticizing the lives of his idols — are the real stars of this one-man show. Showing a killer eye for detail and a deadpan wit, the troubadour longs to fully engulf himself in the good, the bad, and the ugly that come with being a so-called folk star:

“Bought myself some boots and an old suede jacket
A black denim shirt and a rusty little bull tie
Oh, I’m trying to be a folk star…
I wanna be like Petty and Johnny Cash
Tour across the country only stop for gas
Play every night back in the bus in the morning
Oh yes I’m trying to be a folk star.”

“I wrote this song back in late August,” Wylder explains. “If I remember correctly, it started out with me thinking about the process of trying to write a really good song, and trying to put myself in the shoes of the greats as best as I could. As I continued, it turned into an ode to the life of a folk star.

“The song did start out very folk and acoustic driven. However, like all my songs, once I’m in the studio everything and anything is possible. Connor (Head), my producer, came up with that killer fuzz-guitar part you hear beating throughout the song. It really added a cool rock ’n’ roll element which I think helped transform it into that power pop-rock vibe.”

Due April 5, Wylder’s Folk Star EP was recorded at Catalogue Studios in Victoria, and mastered by CPS Mastering. It follows his June 2023 EP, The King of My Own Heart. Wylder spent the first 14 years of his life on the Cayman Islands living a very genuine Caribbean lifestyle: Fishing at 6:30 in the morning, traversing the mangroves, playing soccer, and rarely needing footwear. “It was an incredible place to grow up and to raise a young family. There’s such an adventurous element to it,” he says.

Despite the simple, exotic pleasures of growing up there, it was still a very small town on a small island. Wylder had the same 20 kids in his class for his entire schooling career, and there wasn’t a face he didn’t recognize. Despite the tight-knit community, there was a deep feeling of isolation that brewed inside of him. Especially as he started to feel the spark of music-making.

To benefit the family, Wylder’s parents eventually moved Aaron and his two brothers to Victoria. He would establish his emerging music career there until this past October, when he decided to ship across the country to pursue life in the folk scene of Montreal. “Playing shows here is special, and the energy around the city is creatively inspiring. I can definitely see myself staying here for a while,” he says.

Displaying a range of styles within the indie singer-songwriter sphere, Wylder fuses modern folk with a hearty dash of acoustic pop. Whether it’s songs of hope, songs of wonder, or songs of longing, Wylder speaks to the realists who see the world around them for what it is: Imperfect and ever-changing. “If I’m able to make music that I enjoy and other people enjoy too, then I’ll die a happy man,” Wylder proclaims.

Listen to Folk Star above and below, and follow Aaron Wylder on Instagram and Facebook.