All in the family

Toronto’s Lou Canon is the next in a new batch of Canrock indie queens

Leaving a teaching career to start one in music in your late 20s? Lou Canon makes it look easy. Supplied

How does a full-time teacher moonlighting as a musician wind up with a debut album produced by Canadian indie-godfather Hayden?

“Well, Hayden is my brother-in-law,” says 28-year-old Lou Canon, a multi-instrumentalist based out of Toronto.

“It started as a gift,” she says of her first trip to Hayden’s studio, National Skyscraper Park. In that “safe, creative space,” they both realized the potential to spin gold.

“‘Let’s make an EP’ turned into a full-length album,” she says.

However, Canon isn’t looking to swing on anyone’s coattails - she has chops of her own.

Her simmering single Heart Of is already generating Internet buzz, and she’s poised to take her place among a select group of Canadian It Girls alongside Hannah Georges and Louise Burns. 

The self-titled debut features nine catchy original songs and fresh twist on The Cure’s Close To Me.

“We just had so much fun recording (it),” she says about tackling the infamous track.

It was the first time I was consciously making the decision to put music first - it was kind of a free moment for me.

Lou Canon

Hayden appears throughout the album, notably adding backing vocals to the stand-out track In Fall. As his first producing effort outside his own work, this is new to him, too.

“Before I knew him, I was a fan of his music,” she says, while adding that their creative process came naturally, founded on “drinking tea and sharing ideas.”

But, how did she muster the strength to leave the steady paycheque behind and venture into the shark-infested waters of the music industry?

An inspiring trip to New York City, naturally.

“It was the first time I was consciously making the decision to put music first,” she says. “It was kind of a free moment for me.”

Currently, Canon has “tucked her MIDI in her bag” and headed to Spain to soak up some sun and recharge.

Soon, it will be back to work playing in-stores at small record shops across the country. The idea is to connect with the stores that carry her music. 

Not everyone has the gusto to reclaim a dream that life has since derailed.

“I have a lot of excitement for recording my music,” Canon says. “I didn’t necessarily imagine making my own album.”

And it’s this excitement that she hopes will keep pushing her along.

“I hope to continue to play, and have more people hear my music.”

Published in Volume 66, Number 7 of The Uniter (October 12, 2011)

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