Inlet Sound
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Inlet Sound

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Band Folk Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"INLET SOUND: The Romantics"

True to its painterly cover, Inlet Sound’s debut is a pleasant, breezy little album, evoking the joy of casting off and leaving the world behind. Term papers be damned!

The Toronto band specializes in a particularly jubilant style of Decemberists-esque folk pop, concerned with nothing but the grandest gestures and melodies — “Romantics to the end,” as they claim. Frontman Michael Wexler’s voice is hopelessly geeky, but charming in its passionate desire to be heard far and wide.

The album roughly follows the arc of a voyage; “Romantics 1” is a joyous departure from land, filled with the momentum of unknown possibility. “Mail-Order” is a midway lull, calmer and slower than the songs surrounding it. Closer “Mademoiselle,” with its narrator getting ready for a date, is like the start of another story altogether, perhaps a more down-to-earth tale Inlet Sound can tell the next time we meet them. - TORO Magazine

"Album review: Inlet Sound – The Romantics"

Ontario’s very own folk-pop group Inlet Sound, have released their new anticipated album The Romantics.
Released on October 16th, the album is calming and refreshing to hear, and reaches right up to the ranks of Mumford & Sons.
A definite tune to watch out for is “Mademoiselle” which has shown a great liking to with the fans when the video for it came out around last December. (If you have not heard it yet, check it out in the video below.)
Using an intricate level of instruments in their music, it is difficult to dislike a track. Some favorites are “Romantics I” and “Romantics II”, “Magnetic North” and “Mail-Order”. The band shows true growth and originality. Charmed by acoustic guitars, mandolins and Canadiana folk pop? Check The Romantics out, it will not disappoint. Ideal listening for the Fall season. - Music VICE

"Inlet Sound - The Romantics"

On their debut album, Toronto-by-way-of-Hamilton folk-rockers Inlet Sound wear their influences on their sleeves – notably the Weakerthans, the Decemberists and Mumford & Sons.

Produced by Laurence Currie (who’s worked with Wintersleep and Hey Rosetta!), The Romantics has an impressively lush sound for a debut. The core trio of vocalist/acoustic guitarist Michael Wexler, pianist Sean Hardy and multi-instrumentalist Steven Gore is backed by drums, bass, strings and French horn.

The band is best when busiest, as on brisk single Magnetic North. Wexler’s vocals are front and centre in the mix, a good thing, although his delivery can come across as cool.

The album lags in the middle, but there’s an admirable return to a musical theme on the reprise of the opening title track. Also, great cover artwork. - NOW Magazine

"Inlet Sound | The Romantics"

From the moment the first note sounds on the first track from the debut album of Ontario’s Inlet Sound, it’s clear that the two years spent working on The Romantics with producer Laurence Currie (Wintersleep, Hey Rosetta!) has allowed the band time to get it right. Lush arrangements meld banjo twangs, strings and piano harmonies into crests of percussive waves that carry you from the exhilaration of the peppy “Magnetic North” and nostalgic “Young Hearts” to the more contemplative “Canadian National” and hypnotic “Romantics II,” finally depositing you safely on the shores of lyrical heart-wrenchers like “Mail-Order.” Fans of Great Lake Swimmers or Mumford and Sons will likely fall hard for Inlet Sound’s romantic folk-pop melodies. Don’t fight it if it feels right. (It will.) - The Coast

"Inlet Sound | The Romantics"

From the moment the first note sounds on the first track from the debut album of Ontario’s Inlet Sound, it’s clear that the two years spent working on The Romantics with producer Laurence Currie (Wintersleep, Hey Rosetta!) has allowed the band time to get it right. Lush arrangements meld banjo twangs, strings and piano harmonies into crests of percussive waves that carry you from the exhilaration of the peppy “Magnetic North” and nostalgic “Young Hearts” to the more contemplative “Canadian National” and hypnotic “Romantics II,” finally depositing you safely on the shores of lyrical heart-wrenchers like “Mail-Order.” Fans of Great Lake Swimmers or Mumford and Sons will likely fall hard for Inlet Sound’s romantic folk-pop melodies. Don’t fight it if it feels right. (It will.) - The Coast

"Inlet Sound | The Romantics"

From the moment the first note sounds on the first track from the debut album of Ontario’s Inlet Sound, it’s clear that the two years spent working on The Romantics with producer Laurence Currie (Wintersleep, Hey Rosetta!) has allowed the band time to get it right. Lush arrangements meld banjo twangs, strings and piano harmonies into crests of percussive waves that carry you from the exhilaration of the peppy “Magnetic North” and nostalgic “Young Hearts” to the more contemplative “Canadian National” and hypnotic “Romantics II,” finally depositing you safely on the shores of lyrical heart-wrenchers like “Mail-Order.” Fans of Great Lake Swimmers or Mumford and Sons will likely fall hard for Inlet Sound’s romantic folk-pop melodies. Don’t fight it if it feels right. (It will.) - The Coast

"Take a listen: Inlet Sound heads North for inspiration"

Toronto folk rockers Inlet Sound are releasing their first full-length album, The Romantics, in October. But the sounds on their new album didn't come from the city.

Over three months, the band travelled around Ontario to record the tracks in remote cabins and big, old churches around Northern Ontario and the Canadian Shield. Maybe that's what inspired the title of their first single, Magnetic North?

Click below to hear the latest single from the band -- but be warned, when I first heard this song, it was stuck in my head for the rest of the day! - CBC Radio 3

"Inlet Sound Announce 'The Romantics,' Premiere New Single"

Earlier this year, Inlet Sound released a video for their song "Mademoiselle" and promised that their debut full-length would soon follow. True to their word, the Ontario folk pop act have now officially announced The Romantics, which will drop on October 16.

According to a press release, the collection is a "narrative of sorts" that addresses "the anxiety of growing old, and painted with both melancholy and hopefulness." It was produced by Laurence Currie (Sloan, Wintersleep, Holy Fuck, Hey Rosetta!), with sessions taking place in cabins and churches over a three-month period in the spring.

To get a taste of what's promised to be album about the "tumultuous experiences of youth and maturation," check out the single "Magnetic North" at the bottom of the page.

Below, you can also find the band's upcoming August tour schedule, which kicks off on August 4 in Toronto with a single release show at the Rivoli and finds them travelling throughout Canada's eastern half. - Exclaim!

"Michael’s Top 5 EP’s of 2011"

I’ve had the good fortune of being able to hear a great many EP’s and albums this year, so my top 5 EP list (as well as my top 10 albums list) will also include honourable mentions. So, here’s my top 5 EP’s of 2011, in alphabetical order:

41st and Home- Raised by Wolves

I love orchestral sounds. Whether it be Owen Pallett or Arcade Fire or Mark Berube, any artist or band that can successfully compose is one that sticks around in my books. 41st and Home changed a bit from their previous release and decided to experiment a little more. The result is breathtaking, and shows that this young band can only go great places in the future.

Carnival Moon- Our Little Hourglass

Did I mention that I like orchestral sounds? The first time I saw Carnival Moon live last year, it was simply Elaine Kelly-Canning on harp and David Scanlon on violin. Since that show, Kelly-Canning has grown extremely confident and has been helped by a full backing band. The result is the beautiful five songs of Our Little Hourglass. What really sealed the deal for me in regards to putting this album on my list was when I heard Carnival Moon’s “Ring Christmas Bells” on the Ho Ho Ho Canada III compilation.

Inlet Sound- Dream Awake

Laura has already written about why the EP is so great, so I want to share a personal anecdote of why this was my choice. A few months ago on a whim I played the song “Sing Me To Sleep” to a few of my friends who had absolutely zero idea who Inlet Sound were. The result: every single person who heard it ranted and raved about how amazing the song was. And if one song from Dream Awake could stir up the uninitiated, then the whole EP could probably do a lot more.

We Are The City- High School

Ordinarily I would cringe at the idea of an album called High School but We Are The City approach their EP with such precision and heartbreaking honesty that you can’t help but be drawn into their spell. Plus, their song “Happy New Year” was nominated for a Bucky for best lyric- “No I’m not here waiting on anyone…Especially not Jessica.” On top of all that Amazing Factory put together an incredible video series that added even more intensity to an already intense collection of songs.

Writers’ Strike- Stay Down

This EP felt way too short- only three songs! But good god are they catchy. The band packs everything that should be included in a song into each of their three songs. What comes out are three songs that I felt the urge to play over and over again at the point when I was reviewing it.

Honourable mentions: Goose Lake- Lakeheart; Yukon Blonde- Fire//Water - Grayowl Point Music Blog

"PREMIERE: Inlet Sound’s video for “Mademoiselle”"

Dream-folk rockers Inlet Sound have just launched a new music video called “Mademoiselle,” and now you can watch the little gem exclusively on AUX.

The Hamilton quartet made up of Steven Gore, Ian Russell, Matt Cramp, Sean Hardy, and Michael Wexler (who also directed the video) formed back in the summer of 2010, but Wexler and Hardy have been playing music under the Inlet Sound banner since 2009.

“Mademoiselle” is off the band’s first EP, Dream Awake (released September 1st), and if it whets your appetite for dream-y folk, you can order the EP via Bandcamp or grab it on iTunes. - AUX.TV

"Inlet Sound excited to be part of folk-rock renaissance"

It seems there’s just no substitute for an acoustic guitar. No matter how often folk music is derided as uncool, every generation somehow manages to reinvent it to suit its own desire for self-expression. There are many examples today that back up that assertion, from internationally successful groups such as Mumford & Sons and the Decembrists, to rising Canadian bands Said The Whale and the Wooden Sky.
Inlet Sound — a five-piece that claims allegiance to both Hamilton and Toronto — is still relatively new to this scene, but with its just-released second EP entitled Dream Awake, the group is primed to hit the road in Ontario and Quebec over the next two weeks and win over new audiences.
“Ultimately, the EP is intended to showcase the new lineup and direction of the band, and to act as a sonic and thematic precursor to a full-length album currently in the works,” says Inlet Sound guitarist/vocalist Michael Wexler, who formed the group out of an acoustic duo act he established with keyboardist Sean Hardy in 2009 while they attended university together.
“When it was just Sean and I, we had a specific vision as to the sound that we wanted but were always limited by our means, opting instead for a more stripped-down feel,” Wexler explains. “Now that we’re a band of five, we’ve been able to create something that’s true to what we’ve always imagined — a big, full sound that’s equal parts dreamy, folky and lush. We’ve always wanted our music to have a sound that matches the sheer amount of emotion that goes into it, and I think we can finally say we’ve accomplished just that.”
Wexler describes the chemistry within the band as deriving from his love of pure folk and Hardy’s fondness for effects-heavy atmospherics. It was a true case of opposites attracting each other, he says. “The differences in the ways that we approached music, from the perspectives of both listening and writing, allowed us to complement each other in ways that we wouldn’t have imagined.”
With Inlet Sound now stepping up its game, Wexler has had to put his other main pursuit — filmmaking — on the shelf for the time being. He did recently complete a video for the band’s latest single, The Peculiar Disappearance of Marion Bojangles, and hopes to get back to tackling a more extensive project combining music and film when the time is right.
However, with the latest folk-rock revolution fully underway, Wexler and the rest of Inlet Sound are eager to be a part of it. “It is a really interesting time for us to be breaking into the scene with acts that have influenced us gaining so much popular appeal around the world and on home soil,” he says. “I’m not sure what exactly I’d attribute this revival to, other than the fact that popular culture is constantly changing. I think there’s always been an audience that has really enjoyed this type of music, but recently it’s captured wider appeal. I think we’re sort of lucky to be making music that we love at a time when people seem to be listening.”
Inlet Sound performs Saturday, Sept. 3 at Maxwell’s Music House in Waterloo. Show time is 9 p.m. and for more info call 519-498-5705. On Sunday, Sept. 4 they’re at Van Gogh’s Ear in Guelph. Show time is 7 p.m. and for more info call 519-821-9864. - The Record

"On the Road... with Inlet Sound"

Some bands view touring as a necessary evil. Others look at it with wide eyes and excitement. As a fan, touring holds a kind of unexplored romanticism. In On The Road we have artists share their touring stories as they traverse cities and countries, giving us some insight into what it’s like to live from gig to gig.

Michael Wexler of Inlet Sound on learning the importance of pre-show bathroom visits; Canadian Fall Tour 2011

Being stuffed into close quarters with dear friends of yours visiting foreign places definitely puts you slightly outside your comfort zone; being a temporary nomad (ie. going on tour) presents itself as an opportunity with many 'firsts', and this past September being our first tour, we had a lot of those. Having only been together as a five-piece for a year, this tour was the first chance where there were extended periods of time to simply get to know each other and shoot the shit. It was also an opportunity to experience the general mishaps of playing on a new stage every night, and as we found out, an opportunity to brush up on our improv skills.

On one stop in Montreal at McGill's Frosh Week, Sean (our keyboardist) looked over at me in the middle of our set having just downed at least three beers and said that he had to pee so badly that it couldn't wait. He ran off the stage immediately and proceeded to search for a bathroom on a campus he'd never previously navigated, while I stalled the audience playing not one but 2 acoustic 'interlude' songs. We all had a good laugh afterwards and vowed to all go to the bathroom before going on stage in the future. - CHART Attack

"Inlet Sound of the Fall"

Whenever I get my hands on a new album, I immediately head out for a walk. Some might find this weird. But when it’s you, the city and the music, it causes one to focus on what’s actually going on within each song, and less on the world moving around you.
The Toronto/Hamilton-based band, Inlet Sound, may have had an escapism idea in mind when creating debut EP, Dream Awake. It features five diverse songs, sounding like each could spawn another album of another genre.
As a collective, the transitions between songs may catch you off guard, as each song sounds dramatically different from the last. For example, song “Saturday” has a more electronic feel, while “Lost Boys” has a deeper groove and a violin emerges.
However, once the echos of Inlet Sound’s guitars and voices emerge continually throughout the EP, the pieces come together.
Michael Wexler’s vocals define the word unique. He has a certain “twang” which is rustic and real, not overrun by computers and editing.
The opening track, “Sings Me to Sleep” showcases the power in his voice perfectly. He jumps in, grabs your attention, and interjects the band’s melodies. But his voice smooths out throughout the song, and in turn holds you until his last chord.
It’s safe to say that Inlet Sound sounds like a Canadian Mumford and Sons, so it’s time to give yourSigh No More album a break.
Dream Awake is the perfect way to start off the new season, with a crowd-pleasing start of songs, leaving you thinking, “That’s all? I want more.”
I was so entranced by the album during my walk that I forgot where I was, and was blocks away from where I wanted to be. Dream Awake took me away from reality, even just for an hour – who doesn’t want that little bit of mystery and escape in their busy lives? - The Take Media

"A Different World: Dream folk band Inlet Sound embarks on their first tour, navigates a new genre and gets super meta."

“…and I sleep talk,” Inlet Sound frontman Michael Wexler adds. The band is squished on a couch at Hermann & Audrey studio, as photographer Jalani Morgan sets up behind us.
“You do!” bassist Ian Russell exclaims.
“Yeah, you have a better time when you’re sleeping,” Sean Hardy throws in. Sean and Michael started Inlet Sound as a duo while studying at McMaster University. The group has since grown to a fivesome that is perhaps too big for such a small couch.
“I have wonderful dreams…and I guess I share that with everyone,” Michael concludes – which is appropriate given that their new EP is called ‘Dream Awake’.
Inlet Sound, self-described, is “from all over the place.” This too is a pretty fair statement: Ian hails from a floating house in Vancouver; drummer, Matt Cramp comes from a small island in Honey Harbor – “It’s as cute as it sounds,” Ian assures. Similarly, keyboardist Hardy hails from Egbert, Ontario; violinist and mandolin player Steven Gore from Guelph, and Wexler from Montreal, Quebec. They’re also diversely talented, weaving together a tapestry of sound as they navigate a newish genre of ambient folk that they like to call ‘dream folk.’
Our interview happens several hours before the third show of their first ever tour. They’re still riding the high that came with their Guelph set the night before. “Last night, we hit our stride,” Wexler says. “We played a set that we were very comfortable with, with transitions that flowed really well and a lot of really really good energy from the audience.”
Though they’re pumped from their successful set, their excitement belongs to a bigger torrent of song writing, recording and touring. It doesn’t sound like they’ve stopped since they began recording. At the time of our interview, it hasn’t even been a week since their EP dropped and they’re already in full tour-mode. “Yeah we ended up recording the EP over three days,” Hardy says with a laugh.
“Friday, Saturday, Sunday and we had it mixed and mastered a week later. It was a whirlwind…of chaos. But we had a lot of people that really helped us out.”
“I spent some solid time napping on the couch in the studio,” Russell remembers fondly of their nonstop sessions at Canterbury Studios, on Dufferin.
“I’m really excited about being in this city,” Wexler says, “Networking with other bands, we’re starting to see how tight-knit and creative the city is. For such a big city, its uber-exciting.”
So what is dream folk? Before August of last year, Inlet Sound was comprised of the duo Wexler and Hardy on acoustic guitar and keys, respectively. The two released a demo EP of many of the same songs found on their new work: four of the five songs on ‘Dream Awake’ revisit their previous release. “If you’ve heard the song Mademoiselle,” Wexler begins, “the original song was fairly straightforward folk.
But if you listen to the corresponding song on ‘Dream Awake’; when all the instruments come in with those pads and digital strings…it’s just a different world.”
Though ‘Dream Awake’ has a wide range of styles – from the slow and romantic, violin-led vibe of Lost Boys, to the electronic drum machine backing of Saturday, to the upbeat, passion-infused infectiousness of Mademoiselle – there is a unique combination that surfaces as Inlet Sound’s sound. “Sean’s always talking about ‘our sound,’” Wexler says, “which usually includes some twinkling mandolin, some bells, the acoustic guitar, the rumbling bass, snare and keys.” The layering of the band’s vocals with these different instruments produces an ambient-style depth that results in their signature dreaminess.
“We don’t really come up with the ideas for songs flippantly,” Hardy says with conviction. A chat with the boys quickly reveals that their material is strongly backed by conceptual ponderings. “Our conceptual foundation has ultimately flavoured everything we’ve done.”
“The lucidity of the awake part of Dream Awake,” Wexler explains, “refers to the fact that a lot of the songs are based on romanticisms. So like, stories and anecdotes and feelings that are idealized and exaggerated to a degree and made to seem romantic. It’s looking at your own life in a very dreamy way.”
Hardy weighs in and relates it to the essence of what it means to be young. “It’s this element of idealizing things or seeing them romantically. We don’t want to fall victim to the cynicism that inevitably comes with age.”
All stresses that come with being on tour considered, the five band members are clearly into it. And yet they’re profoundly self-reflexive about the role that narratives and romanticizations play not just in being young ‘in general,’ but also in being in a band and doing what they’re doing right now at this moment. It’s mind blowing.
With ‘Dream Awake’ now out, they plan to release a full-length album, tentatively called ‘The Romantics’, within the year; Inlet Sound is indeed choosing to dream awake. They understand well that as young and (very) talented musicians, they are on a path littered with myths and narratives about what they should, might or inevitably will do in the future. Instead of seeing that and becoming cynical, they’re clearheadedly embracing those stories and digging the ride.
“Right now is such a surreal converging point of emotions and feelings around the nature of what we’re doing, the emotional investment that we have in it and how it pertains to our lives outside the band.” Hardy says. “Being in a band is all about negotiating with your other life, your other identity. It’s really interesting to be in the middle of that right now and to be having experiences that we’ve never had before. We’re looking forward to the things we’re doing in the next couple of months.”
“Maybe our second album will be called the Cynics.”
“What comes after the cynics?” Wexler asks, “the geriatrics?” Everyone laughs. - Off the Map Magazine

"Featured Video: INLET SOUND – The Peculiar Disappearance of Marion Bojangles"

The guys from Hamilton folk-pop outfit Inlet Sound just dropped the music video for their new single The Peculiar Disappearance of Marion Bojangles – check it out in the embed below! (they brave the snowy elements with their instruments, so they’re probably braver than The iM….)

Check out more from this great band from the Hammer when the single hits iTunes on April 1st…. Or head over to their Bandcamp page and get the whole EP now! - The Indie Machine

"The best thing to come out of Ontario?"

What do you get when you mix pop, folk, and lyrical acoustic? You get the catchy, mellow riffs of Inlet Sound, a five-piece band from Hamilton, Ontario. The group received positive attention after releasing their first EP in 2010, including from a Brazilian music website that stated, "There are many great things that have come out of Ontario: Rush, Matthew Perry, and now Inlet Sound."
The EP, simply titled The Inlet Sound EP, features only founding members Sean Hardy and Michael Wexler, and has elements of the Weakerthans, Sufjan Stevens, and Mumford and Sons. Some of the organ and piano sounds are even reminiscent of folk rock group Cocorosie. The group's laidback, infectious love songs are not only beautiful, but also showcase their musicianship. But Wexler (guitar, vocals) and Hardy (keyboard, effects) are hesitant to say the EP is the best they can do.
"Adding members to the band has allowed us to diversify our sound," Hardy says. "Our songs have taken on a new feeling. With five of us there's a lot more energy, sometimes a livelier tempo."
The shift from two members to five has been a positive experience according to Wexler, who explains that the five-piece arrangement was just going to be for one live show at the Mod Club in Toronto. The band ended up keeping the formation and they believe it has contributed greatly to their growth as a band.
"It's because we have such contrasted backgrounds that we have the sound we have today," Hardy says.
Unfortunately, the new sound of the group has not been released in a recording, but that's going to change soon.
"We were in the studio a month ago rerecording one of our songs with the whole group, and we just filmed a music video," Wexler says. "We're in the process of editing, mixing, and mastering. Hopefully by mid-March we'll have a release of the single and the music video."
Until the release of their new material, Inlet Sound will be playing live shows in Toronto and Montreal, which Hardy says are well worth checking out. "People tell us we look like we're having so much fun," he says. "It's always kind of feels like a celebration when we're up on stage playing because there's nothing else that we would rather be doing."
Inlet Sound will be playing on February 20 at Club Soda at 8 p.m. - The McGill Tribune

"Review – “The Inlet Sound EP” – Inlet Sound"

For a band that has recently begun their music career, Hamilton based Inlet Sound certainly has what it takes to make it in the music business.

Since the release of The Inlet Sound EP last year, available on Bandcamp for free (, Michael Wexler, Sean Hardy, Steven Gore, Ian Russell, and Matt Cramp, have played throughout Hamilton and are now getting well deserved attention elsewhere.

Inlet Sound blends a folk sound with catchy pop medleys, while the voice of lead singer Michael Wexler, is a great mix of The Weakerthans’ lead singer John K. Samson and Colin Meloy of The Decemberists.

Songs like “The Peculiar Disappearance of Marion Bojangles” and “Mademoiselle” show depth and musical creativeness in a band that is much more than your typical love songs.

By the end of the EP, “Saturday” and “Mail-Order Bride” reveal a different, quieter side of the band. These less poppy songs may show an inconsistency with the EP but are able to show that Inlet Sound does not lack a variety of talent.

The album closer, “Thanks Sally” is the strongest of these ‘quieter’ songs. Taking a page from Damien Rice’s album closer “Sleep Don’t Weep,” one of Inlet Sound’s influences, “Thanks Sally” shows that simplicity can be beautiful too.

Overall, the folk infused pop of Inlet Sound’s first EP makes this band one to watch out for in the future.

Did I mention it’s free! So what are you waiting for?

Top Tracks: “The Peculiar Disappearance of Marion Bojangles,” “Mademoiselle,” “Search and Rescue”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really good) - Grayowl Point Music Blog - Laura Stanley

"Album Review: Inlet Sound – 4/5 stars"

Thursday, September 16th 2010

4/5 stars

Inlet Sound’s self-titled debut traces a beautiful line between an emerging Hamilton scene and an established form of simplicity. The lyrics do not attempt to reveal any mystical passages, and the soft, rolling instruments do not wander into experimental realms. Rather, they find a comfortable balance in an easy listening groove.

Vocally, Michael Wexler provides an honest and heartfelt range that grows across each smooth-transitioning track. Inlet Sound dances between refined effects, raw piano, gentle violins, and the quintessential amount of silent grace periods so that nothing gets unnoticed on the album.

“The Peculiar Disappearance of Marion Bojangles” weaves a few short French words into an outstanding and otherwise notable track, which sets the tone for the album and prepares listeners for other wonders such as “Lost Boys” and “Search and Rescue.”

Matt Wright - The Silhouette

"Inlet Sound - Live in Bellwoods"

The anatomy of the folk song doesn't often stray, it's rooted in the soul of folk- something timeless and unchanged. Inlet Sound takes that and sticks with it as best as fine young millenials can, singing borrowed words from older times, "but I must be on my way", referring to girls as 'gals' and smiling politely. In fact, if you notice- they're always smiling. Symptomatic of an emotion that's hard to come by these days, joy. Even when their songs take a sombre tone, there's that smile; poorly covered, ready to present itself whenever it sees fit. They're pleased with it all, all the words pronouced sound good and right brushing up against those guitar strokes and twinkly kid instruments. And why not? It's a beautiful day in Bellwoods park, and we're all among friends. - Nada Ali and the Humble Empire

"Forum 820 Radio Interview - Community Profile"

Podcast is available to stream online:

Skip to 33:15... - Hamilton's Forum Talk Show AM 820 and 1150

"The Sound of Settling In: Inlet Sound Interview by Kevin Elliott"

Thursday, September 23rd 2010

I began my afternoon adventure with Inlet Sound as the captivated spectator of a bedroom practice session. Preparing for a show at the Casbah in Hamilton for Sep. 26, the five-piece indie folk group made effective use of the cramped quarters, completely undeterred by protruding furniture and low ceilings. The intimacy was perfect, however. The energy signalled a rebirth in the band, and it emanated in each and every song.

It started off as a slow 2010 for the McMaster group. Vocalist and guitarist Michael Wexler and keyboardist Sean Hardy had been performing as a duo under Inlet Sound since early 2009, and began making a lot of headway across the province. But school and travel gradually impeded the built momentum, despite the release of a full-length self-titled album this past January.

“When the album was first released, promotion was tough to come by, and it had been a while since we were even able to play a show,” says Hardy. “But things really started opening up in the summer, and it felt like a new beginning for both the band and the album.”

Contacted by A&R reps with affiliations with both Sony and Universal to play a Battle of the Bands show at Toronto’s Mod Club in August, the two seized the opportunity. Quickly added to the line-up was violinist and mandolinist Steven Gore, guitarist Ian Russell and percussionist Matt Cramp to augment the band’s now more nuanced sound.

“It was definitely a turning point for us,” says Hardy of the show invitation. “It presented us the opportunity to really recreate our band, and now we can make great sounds that Mike and I wouldn’t have been able to do before.”

After the practice session, the group made a trip down to Cootes Paradise, instruments in hand. Photos were snapped, videos were recorded and songs were played for the pleasantly surprised passersby on the various bridges and paths of the nature preserve. The interactions between the guys certainly indicated a newfound energy within the band.

“Having Steven, Ian and Matt in the band now really makes a lot of sense for us,” says Wexler. “It really falls in line with the philosophy that Sean and I had from the outset. We chose the band name for a reason: an inlet is a narrow place where rivers or creeks will meet. The idea of convergence has always been at the centre of our music.”

What each new member now brings to the table is distinct, yet the band is progressing as an organic whole. “It’s a funny thing,” Hardy remarks as we make a steep climb up a forestry hill in Cootes. “We each bring something different to the music now, but at the same time, we all like the unified direction we’re heading in.”

The members’ mix of styles and backgrounds really feeds off of the equally diverse album, and to Hardy, the correlation is both welcoming and fulfilling. “For us, there is as much of an importance and emphasis on the creative process itself as there is on the music or the message that we can impart.

“In regards to the album, I’ve honestly tried on many occasions to pin down some sort of concrete theme to it, but I don’t think there is one. To label it with a theme just wouldn’t feel right.”

As the day neared its end, the band walked through the campus playing songs to the delight of all of the students who happened to walk by. The intimate experience was not just an extension of the day’s events, but of the band’s overarching goal to make their music an interactive and personal endeavour, particularly in the environment out of which the band was born.

“It can certainly be a stressful balancing act sometimes. We’re all students who come from different places and have different backgrounds and varying priorities and obligations,” says Wexler on the conflicting interrelation between the band’s increasing popularity and their commitments as students. “But, simply put, if you love something enough, then you have to do it—there’s no compromise.” - The Silhouette


October 16, 2012 - "The Romantics" [10-Track LP]

Currently in rotation on CBC Radio 1 & 2, and across various Canadian college radio markets.

Produced and recorded by Laurence Currie in Tobermory, Hamilton & Toronto, Ontario
Except Saturday (co-produced by Inlet Sound & Laurence Currie)
And Mademoiselle (produced by Inlet Sound)

Mixed by Laurence Currie at Sunnyside Studios (Toronto)
Mastered by Charles Carvalho at Carvalho Mastering (Toronto)

September 1, 2011 - "Dream Awake" [5-Track EP]

Canadian National College Radio Campaign with Frontside Promotions (#26 Hamilton, #19 Edmonton)

Produced by Inlet Sound;
Mixed by Danny Greenspoon (Great Big Sea, Spirit of the West);
Mastered by Shawn Jurek (Wilderness of Manitoba, Whale Tooth);
Recorded and co-produced by Andrew Heppner at Canterbury Studios.

April 1, 2011 - "The Peculiar Disappearance of Marion Bojangles"
(Single + Music Video)

Music Videos:



Inlet Sound is the musical convergence of passionate folk-rock spirit and atmospheric pop form. The bandspent the greater part of 2012 tirelessly crafting The Romantics, their first full-length record, in lofty cabins and expansive churches with the help of acclaimed Canadian producer Laurence Currie (Sloan, Wintersleep, Holy Fuck, Hey Rosetta!). Having released the album on October 16, 2012, Inlet Sound’s Michael Wexler (vocals/guitar), Sean Hardy (keys), Steven Gore (mandolin/violin), Curtis Murphy (bass) and Kate MacLean (drums) are riding the high from the realization of a dream project that has been in the works for two years.

Since its humble beginnings in 2009 as a two-piece folk-pop collaboration between Wexler and Hardy, Inlet Sound has gone through both physical and sonic transformations: a coming-of-age that mirrors what The Romantics has come to represent. Members have come and gone and musical ideas have taken shape around the personal experiences from which the band has grown and matured; the album’s elements have come into being almost organically – a natural extension of the lives of those creating it. Armed with the record's emotional foundation, a strong lyrical direction and tunes in their heads, the gang began piecing together the puzzle during the summer of 2011 in a sweltering apartment above a Toronto delicatessen. As the songs began to take form, teaming up with Currie as producer sent the project to new heights, further strengthening their creative vision and allowing them to begin recording in the serenity of Northern Ontario and the Canadian Shield.

For the band, the theme of the record was clear from the outset: to translate the tumultuous experiences of youth and maturation into a message to which many could relate, in a medium that is expressive enough to do it justice. Painted with both melancholy and hopefulness, The Romantics is a narrative of sorts; forged from the anxiety of growing old, the album draws on personal reflections and countless formative experiences to create a story both unique and inherently universal. Opening with tracks like the relentlessly optimistic Magnetic North and Romantics I, the record explores and moves through shades of cynicism and self-doubt, only to arrive at tracks like Young Hearts or Mademoiselle and conclude hopeful and refreshed. The album was recorded over a period of three months in the spring of 2012 in various spaces across the province of Ontario, staying true to its vagabond and exploratory thematic roots.

Having shared the stage with the likes of Fred Penner, Jesse Cook, and Gentleman Reg,  receiving glowing support from CBC, there is most certainly adventure on the horizon. Adding the rhythmic foundation of Murphy and MacLean, while continuing to develop markets and play clubs and festivals both East and West of their Southern Ontario home, the band is looking ahead to the new year in anticipation of bringing their powerful and infectiously catchy live show to as many new fans as possible. Exactly what awaits them in the long term remains to be seen, but whatever the future may hold, one thing is clear – they are just getting started.

Band Members