Bio: Songwriter/singer MICHAEL TOBIN is finally at the helm of his own new ship, and he’s steering it into unfamiliar waters. After leaving his former band, The Short & Curlies, Tobin explains his current music as having “…the same spirit of the Curlies, just different kind of stories. The songs are more honest and more vulnerable. I’m scared to sing my new songs every time I play, and even more scared to let the audience know the truth behind each tune. Though that fear is why I write and play music.” You’d find a former incarnation of MICHAEL TOBIN without an instrument, bouncing around the stage like a hybrid between a circus ringleader and an orangutan. These days he’s attached to a piano and exudes an uncanny presence before his audience. Says Tobin, “Back in the day I put on a very physically demanding performance. Now I’m trying to harness that energy into the songs themselves.”
TOBIN’s sound is a curious one. The aesthetic on his debut ep THROW AWAY YOUR FANCY comes across as an homage to Jacques Brel’s chansons and Nina Simone’s ballads, rich in narrative with observations of absurdity and despair. The songwriting exudes a similar quirkiness to Harry Nillson. During his live performances, he often channels the spirit of his underground hiphop hero Mika Nyne, and the R&B living-legend whom Tobin lionizes most, D’Angelo. Says Tobin, “I try to honour all my influences through my writing and my performance, and not just tap into one that may be more marketable at a certain time in pop culture.
THROW AWAY YOUR FANCY is Michael’s debut E.P. The five tunes are a sample of songs taken from an ever-growing pile written over the last four years. In an effort to simply survive in the city, Michael’s original music had taken a back seat for sideman duties and jobbing gigs. But the bubbling turned to a boil. Michael’s ”live-off-the-floor” approach to recording is firmly based on the philosophy that every recording should be a genuine and unique performance, rather than a contrived attempt at perfection.
Michael is joined by Dan Fortin on upright bass and Chris Ryanon drums. Dan Fortin is one of Canada’s finest young bassists, having played with Serena Ryder (Atlantic Records/EMI), David Occhipinti and Barry Romberg. Chris Ryan’s drumming combines untamed fire, heavy swagger, and utter sensitivity. He currently plays in a number of projects with Michael.
Michael Tobin plays/played in countless other projects as well including The Midway State (EMI), Elise Legrow (Sony/ATV),Carleton Stone (GroundSwell), Cletus, St. Royals, Jane’s Party, The Only Living Boys, and more.
Style of music: Acoustic
For booking contact Michael Tobin.