Maybe Smith
Gig Seeker Pro

Maybe Smith

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada | INDIE

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada | INDIE
Band Alternative Pop

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

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

Music

Press


The sad truth of it is that the actual talent/enjoyability of any given indie band is usually inversely proportional to the cheekiness of their song titles. So when confronted with titles like The Dilemna of Burning Down the House, You Would Never Survive the Winters In This Province, A Walrus with a Gunswordaxe vs. The Big Bang Machine, and I Suck at Photosynthesis, it's not hard to imagine the musical horror that lies beneath.

So imagine the shock and relief upon discovering that Maybe Smith's sixth long-player, Another Murder In the Morning, isn't just up to the challenge of its lyrical penmanship, it is firing hard on all cylinders, a roaring, sample-happy one-man engine of sound. (www.sirhandsomerecords.com)

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan's Maybe Smith (also known as Colin Skrapek) made Another Murder In the Morning by "respectfully ripping off" disparate artists like Leslie Gore, New Order, Animal Collective, Ride, The Flaming Lips, Les Savy Fav, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, The Drifters, M83 and many more while adding guitar and vocals and a soul. The results are cathedrals of sound and melody that soar, sometimes spectacularly, off simple recording foundations (hear Crimes and Diplomacy).

Another Murder In the Morning is available as of April 21, but there are a couple of opportunities to see him live before then in central Canada when Maybe Smith plays Amigos in Saskatoon on March 27 (with Polymaths) and at O'Hanlon's in Regina on April 10 (also with Polymaths).

Published Mar 19 2009, 07:58 PM by Jamie O'Meara - Hour, Montreal


Saskatchewan’s music community is one of the most underrated scenes in the country, and the eclectic, chaotic indie rocker Maybe Smith is one of its brightest shining stars. You might remember us debuting Bloopers - the catchy indie pop duet featuring Christine Fellows on vocals - on the Elgaard mixtape, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Maybe Smith – aka Colin Skrapek - has been making super creative music for a long time now, but I think he really hit his stride on his new record, Another Murder in the Morning - out until April 21. The 12-songs use keys, guitars, laptop effects, backing vocals and chaotic transitions to craft extremely hook filled indie rock, but the most impressive thing about the record is how Skrapek bulks up the melodies with powerful emotion and warm blasts of static and fuzz.

The constant shape shifting transforms the record, but his skilled touch keeps the train off the track even when the surges and energy peak. That’s probably because Colin is as comfortable playing the part of the melancholic troubadour (Night and Day) as he is experimenting with quirky shifts or straight ahead riffs, but in almost every case his songs are more of a melting pot of pop influences. The subtle acoustic and croon of Night and Day comes alive thanks to static and sound effects and leads perfectly into the whimsical feel of Treehouse Enthusiasts (the spinning noisemaker is perfect).

Colin says the record is full of “murder, winter and dogs” and while that may be true, he has also infused the songs with life, laughter and childhood memories. Dangerous Games Involving Bodies of Water (Fall & Winter) throws in some Beach Boys like harmonies, hand percussion and a sense of freedom that contrast the greys he sings about. Even the title track - a slow paced, emotive number – uses static, harmonies and keys to give the Jens Lekman-inspired track a fresher sound.

A Walrus with a Gunswordaxe vs. The Big Bang Machine is probably the best example of how complex Colin’s arrangements are. On the surface, the track is a fairly straightforward pop song, but he distorts the pleasantries of some choral vocals with a surging energy, before revisiting an 80's English Nightclub sound and finishing off with a stripped down, singer-songwriter closing verse. Dangerous Games Involving Bodies of Water (Fall & Winter) starts out with a hint of sadness, before changing into a swirling, frantic pop track. I Suck at Photosynthesis explodes into a thumping anthem from its humble lap-pop origin (and retreats to a dark synth outro), and I know these intricate, odd sounding combination of sounds may seem overwhelming, but Shrapek has such a clear vision of what he wants his songs to say that your attention never wavers.

Front to back, Another Murder in the Morning sizzles. It escapes classification, as Skrapek is as likely to sample from Nilsson or Orbison as he is quirky popsters like The Flaming Lips or cover the track with a blissful MBV haze, but never strays too far that he loses his own voice or his own unique style. Not your typical murder ballads or morose tales of loneliness, if we could all make our darkest thoughts sounds this good, the world would be a much better place. - Herohill, Halifax


Maybe Smith, the bedroom project of Saskatoon musician Colin Skrapek, currently barely makes a blip on any of those music resources, but this probably won’t last long. His latest release, Second Best Death, calls to mind equal parts Death Cab for Cutie, Buck 65 and Saint Germain. It is a lovingly hand-crafted DIY affair, veined with a quiet genius.

Full article: http://vueweekly.com/articles/default.aspx?i=4473 - Vue Weekly


“Second Best Death” is not only Maybe Smith’s best, it also is perhaps one of the most effective recorded conversations between analogue and digital music ever. This is a speech and dialogue, a reciprocal actor that can speak directly to the audience while inspiring you to move…

Full article: http://www.threeohsix.org/reviews/albums/maybe_smith_-_second_best_death/ - Threeohsix


Skrapek, like Dan Snaith or a younger Andrew Whiteman, has the ability and considerable charm to pull off these seemingly disparate genres. This is music for Sunday drives and Sunday hangovers. In other words, it’s a good record to have around…

Full article: http://www.chartattack.com/damn/2006/03/2801.cfm - ChartAttack


By: Rob Bolton
Exclaim!
April 2006

The first few minutes on this third release from Saskatoon’s Colin Skrapek gives you a sense of the joys that await you: fuzzy, shoegazer-influenced guitar, with an accompanying slide guitar rooting the sound in vintage country melodies. Sound incongruous? Well, Mojave 3 did used to be Slowdive after all. There’s a lot going on throughout Second Best Death — bubbling, quirky electronics, off-kilter drum programming, sweet guitar melodies, and distinct, emotive vocals. Comparisons aren’t easy, but Skrapek finds himself in good company if the closest his dense sound comes to is the work of Dave Pajo and Grandaddy. It’s truly amazing what one can record in a bedroom these days. “And Suddenly” is incredibly epic, and easily challenges the sound of Spiritualized at a fraction of the budget and manpower. Best of all is the title track, which just might be the most beautiful song you’ll hear this year. With an experimental attitude and solid understanding of pop hooks, moving Maybe Smith away from more basic electro pop has worked out startlingly well for a one-man project. Although only seven tracks in total, the effect this album has makes it seem so much bigger. Definitely a highlight of Canadian indie music so far this year. - Exclaim!


[Animals & Architects] sounds nothing like what you think of when you think of the Canadian prairies. Instead of being a record of gentle acoustic or steel guitars, Animals & Architects is an album built on a foundation of distorted piano loops, catchy melodies and electronic squiggles. Skrapek’s music has much more in common with the big city sample-based Russian Futurists than it does with the handful of famed Saskatchewanian (Saskatchewonian? Saskatchwanese?) singer-songwriters, like, say, Joni Mitchell… With music this good coming out of the province, maybe there is a reason to visit Saskatchewan after all.

Full review: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/music/reviews/34082/maybe-smith-animals-architects/ - PopMatters.com


Saskatchewan’s Maybe Smith (a.k.a Colin Skrapek) has written and produced all four of his full-length albums. Perhaps by virtue of his mono-artistic method, his songs sound like a beehive of co-operative harmonic loops, fuzzy drum machines and lap steel guitar wrapped around layered vocals. The result hovers somewhere between Peter, Bjorn & John’s simple electro-folk aesthetic—“In The Woods” could easily moonlight as a track from Writer’s Block—and the honest pop musicality of Yo La Tengo. It’s a winning combination. Skrapek accomplishes on his own what many bands fail to achieve as a collective, all without coming off contrived, which is why it’s surprising that he’s remained below the radar for so long. Here’s your chance to discover a true northern talent. - Chart Magazine


Animals & Architects, Skrapek’s fifth release in as many years, is already garnering nods from the likes of CBC Radio 3’s Grant Lawrence. Rightly so: the record is chock-full of Maybe Smith’s signature fuzzy electronica, surprisingly and undeniably fun-loving. You’ll be hard-pressed not to sing along, roll down your window and turn it up.

Full review: http://www.vueweekly.com/articles/default.aspx?i=6613 - Vue Weekly


Maybe it’s just me, but I always enjoy albums more when they seem to come out of nowhere and blow me away. Animals & Architects is probably a pretty good example of this…If we really are in a new age of music consumption, however, and people are willing to accept that the year’s best album may just come from the middle of the prairies, then Animals & Architects might just put the Saskatchewan music boom on the map.

Full review: http://www.iheartmusic.net/serendipity/index.php?/archives/973-This-weeks-feature-Maybe-Smith.html - I (heart) Music


Discography

Another Murder in the Morning (CD sir007 2009)
Tinfoil on the Windows (Collaboration with soso, end013, 2007)
Snowmen & Scientists EP (Online-only sir006 2007)
Animals & Architects (CD sir005 2007)
Second Best Death (CD sir004 2006)
Root Hug (CD sir003 2004)
One For None (CD sir002 2003)
The Arriere Garde EP (CD sir001 2002)

Photos

Bio

Maybe Smith (Saskatoon's Colin Skrapek) has been releasing densely packed pop music full of samples, electronic squiggles and other curiosities since 2002. He has earned praise as "a highlight of Canadian indie music" (Exclaim!), "a true northern talent" (Chart Magazine) and "Canada's best kept musical secret" (Grant Lawrence, CBC Radio 3). In 2008 his album Animals & Architects was nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award. It lost to a Nickelback-esque rock album.