To call Rich Aucoin energetic is to sell him short. Calling him a human dynamo still underestimates the seemingly limitless reserves at his ready disposal. This is a musician who paired the recording of one album with a cross-Canada string of half-marathons, and who wrote another on voice memos while cycling from Los Angeles to New York. He is energy, a quality reflected in the exuberant indie pop he’s been honing since the mid-2000s. Even in his songwriting, Aucoin is never one to coast. His albums double as personal challenges, whether it’s structuring the songs to sync up with favourite films (try playing 2007’s Personal Publication EP with How the Grinch Stole Christmas on-screen, or 2019’s Release with Disney’s Alice in Wonderland), writing about each state he biked through for 2020’s United States, or pushing himself to incorporate 37 different synthesizers from Calgary’s National Music Centre in the recording of last year’s Synthetic: A Synth Odyssey – Season One. The challenge varies, but the motivation is the same: never settle for easy mode when you can play hard. All those elements come together in Aucoin’s acclaimed live shows, which sit somewhere between multimedia spectacle, communal singalong and full-out revival. If you’re wondering if you’ll be able to keep up, don’t worry — Aucoin’s energy is infectious enough that you might just surprise yourself.
Biography by Peter Hemminger