The Cut Losses
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The Cut Losses

Langley, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | INDIE

Langley, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Alternative Psychedelic




"The Cut Losses: Vancouver's emerging indie rockers"

A lot of bands have weird and crazy stories about the way that they all met. The Cut Losses are no different. Lead singer and keyboardist Patrick McWilliams almost gave up on music before rediscovering it through literature classes and songwriting in high school. Even then, taking music to the next level looked like too big of a jump. When McWilliams seemed like he was out of luck, he sold almost all his gear and took a labour job. But the viral powers of social media had different plans and a batch of recordings that he had put out on his Facebook profile found their way to Cedar Street Records, a small label based out of Spokane, Washington. Soon a deal was in place and preparations for the debut EP Lightning Dolphin had begun.

One of the main steps remaining was forming a proper band. By chance, McWilliams came across guitarist Brett Mackay and bassist Todd Hazzard. Having just moved to Vancouver from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Mackay answered a Craigslist post by McWilliams, searching for band members. From their first encounter, it was clear to Mackay that he had managed to avoid “all the same shit, weekend warriors or dad bands” which usually clogged online band postings and found another musician who was into the same type of music that he was.

Duncan Lee joined the band as well, having already played drums on two tracks from the EP.

The band spent their first few months together in 2016, practicing, getting a feel for the songs and getting used to each other’s playing styles.

Lightning Dolphin itself deserves more than just one listen. Its five-song release may be short, but they pack-in plenty. With influences like Jimi Hendrix, Yes, the Beach Boys, the Police and more, each song honours the artists that inspired it and creates a unique, flowing sound.

Eventually, after taking enough time to get used to playing with each other, the band began to play some small shows and opening act sets. That’s when they hit their luck on Spotify. One of the songs from Lightning Dolphin, “Spending Time on My Own,” was picked for a Spotify weekly playlist and amassed over 155,000 plays.

As McWilliams described it, “the Spotify curators, I guess, go through blogs to find stuff to add ... to their playlists and they put that on two of their playlists and within a couple of hours and days it just kept growing and growing.”

Success with Spotify translated into the sudden growth of their following in Vancouver. The next show they played at the Fox Cabaret saw them bring in their largest crowd, at more than 100 attendees.

“[For] the first two bands, there were probably like 30 people, and for us coming out and there are that many people we’re just like ‘fuck.’ That was a crazy show and that was the only time we’ve ever headlined something,” said McWilliams.

Since then, the Cut Losses have played a number of shows including opening for Surfer Blood at the Cobalt and for Paper Lions. Their next show is on Saturday May 13 at Wise Hall on the East Side, where they’ll be opening for James McCartney, the son of Beatle Paul McCartney.

The Cut Losses remain on the indie rock forefront of Vancouver, but don’t be surprised to see them make the leap forward to the national stage in the coming years. - The Ubyssey

"Langley artist defies naysayers to create ‘meaningful’ music"

Despite being classified as too creative for the public schools and not creative enough for Langley Fine Arts, Langley’s Patrick McWilliams wasn’t willing to give up on his deep-seeded passion for music.

Today, the 21-year-old Langley City resident is the frontman for an indie-rock band called The Cut Losses – which has been signed to a Spokane-based record label, is getting ready to release their first full-length album soon, goes on tour this summer, and opens for Paul McCartney’s son James on Saturday at the Wise Hall in East Vancouver.

McWilliams, who was raised in Cloverdale, was an outcast in school and told by his high school teachers that he had no future in music.

But the reviews he and fellow band members Duncan Lee, Andrew Fyvie, and Brett McKay are receiving now suggest otherwise.

Friend helped him realize his future

McWilliams recalled how his passion for music began the first year of high school. His neighbour and best friend was a drummer and invited him to attend a youth rock concert he was performing in at the Fleetwood Community Centre.

Lee also invited along his girlfriend to watch the show, and McWilliams said it was her reaction to Lee, the band, and the music that changed his world.

“I just knew that’s what I wanted to do,” he said, noting how vivid her enthusiasm and the power of that night still are for him.

“I had this extreme moment of clarity,” he elaborated. “It’s interesting how powerful that was… I had this overwhelming feeling… I knew that would be what I was going to do.”

Enter the world of Guitar Hero. McWilliams, still mesmerized by his concert experience, immersed himself in the video-based game that he credits with giving him a real sense of music.

Soon, he picked up a real guitar, then learned to play drums, and now can instinctively play almost any instrument.

In short order, he was playing in a few different bands and performing at under-age events at the Tunnel Nightclub, Roxy, and Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver – first as a drummer, then a year in, focussing more on vocals.

Today, he’s the lead vocalist and plays guitar and keyboard for Cut Losses.

Rough journey to current successes

But his journey to this point was “definitely” rocky, to say the least.

At 15, he had a producer telling him he was “great,” but at the same time he was being milked for thousands of dollars to allegedly create an album that never came to fruition.

McWilliams admits he was naive. He got caught up in the dark side of the music world, and found himself overwhelmed by debt. He remembers 2014 as a bad time in his life where he was seriously depressed, more than $10,000 in the hole, his parents were divorcing, he was drinking to excess, and he landed on the outs with his best friend, Lee.

“I felt lost,” he said, noting he started busking in the hopes of rekindling his passion for music – like that first night he saw Lee perform.

Then, he said, another moment of clarity hit.

He started writing music in 2015, took a apprentice mechanics job to get out of debt, and began digging himself out from under.

He bought Garage Band on Apple, wrote his first song, Spending Time On My Own. He put it out on Facebook, and literally, overnight, his life changed.

The song he wrote for himself, that he didn’t believe would mean anything to others, apparently resonated with listeners.

By the next morning, the online media had embraced his song. And in short order, he was doing radio interviews and being invited to perform. Soon after that, he signed with a record label interested in releasing his new style of music.

About the same time, he reconnected with Lee, and the pair – who had never actually performed together in a band – joined up with the producer, spent two weeks in downtown Vancouver last May, and emerged with their first five-song EP called Lightning Dolphin, which was released last fall.

Since then, Lee and McWilliams have paired up with the two other musicians – from Moose Jaw – and have officially launched the band.

Given a career in music

Appropriately titled Cut Losses, the band is the result of McWilliams’ string of failed punk bands, the massive debt, unemployment, and a very dark time in his life, he explained to the Langley Advance.

“The Cut Losses frequently reflect on the feeling of isolation, and through their music hope to provide a voice for unity,” he said. “The Cut Losses want their music to get people dancing again, instilling fast-paced tempos behind dreamy textures and evocative lyrics touching on themes of outcast, fear of insanity, and acceptance.”

While paying homage to the 1970s, ’80s – and even Motown, McWilliams explained that their sound has been described as “retro-sounding to be sure, but the era that’s being evoked is hard to pin down.”

Whatever people want to call their style of music, McWilliams claimed Cut Losses is getting “high acclaim” and that has netted them a number of larger gigs in B.C. and Alberta.

“It’s given me a career,” he added, with a huge smile. “I never thought I’d be touring, opening for Paul McCartney’s son, and fronting a band… but I’m definitely an ambitious guy, so…”

He working on new music for a full-length album now, and envisions one day that Cut Losses will be playing to packed arenas across the continent and garnering “significant” radio play.

He doesn’t aspire to be a dancing pretty boy on stage entertaining the masses. He wants his music to reach people on what he calls a “meaningful level.”

“I hope to be an icon for people who felt the same way I did,” McWilliams said of his own struggle with isolation, depression, and anxiety.

“That’s what I hope to do with my music… to make people feel accepted… You don’t have to be a prodigy or classically trained musician to make it as an artist.”

He believes people can relate to his story, and he hopes to be an advocate for people living with mental illness.

“I don’t know the best way to help these people yet,” he said. But as the band’s popularity grows, McWilliams hopes to partner with some a few charities to make a difference in others lives the way his music has made a difference in his life.

More about the group is available on Facebook. - Langley Advance

"The Cut Losses "Spending Time On My Own" Video Premiere"

There’s something splendidly infectious about The Cut Losses sound. For all its languid charm, it feels almost entirely shaped by a desire to escape from the dullness of the day and the need to explore, to take the day by the horns and force adventure. Following up the previously-heard ‘It’s All Inside My Head‘ Patrick McWilliams and co. today deliver the new video for ‘Spending Time On My Own’ – and it’s every bit as charming as we’ve come to expect.

Taking the track’s swooning, sepia-tinged sense of nostalgia as its key protagonist, the new video is a total throw-back, unraveling across three considered but endearing minutes. Check out the video below, and read what McWilliams had to say about it all here:

“The video for Spending Time On My Own was inspired by the difficulty of modern dating and also the self entitlement of my generation. It portraits a man who seems to be a stalker, but in reality it is just how people are now perceived due to actions they must take in the dating world. The female lead actually had gone on a date with me before as well as one of the other girls in the end scene. It’s also supposed to reflect a “found footage” style family home movie from the 80s.” - GoldFlakePaint


The only thing better than good music is good music that originates close to home. For that reason, it was a huge surprise for us to discover Langley, British Columbia-based psych-pop band the Cut Losses earlier this year. The Cut Losses is the musical project of multi-instrumentalist Patrick McWilliams. With the help of a few close friends and various Vancouver musicians, McWilliams will release the Cut Losses debut E.P. “Lightning Dolphin” in late 2016. Holy Smokes had the opportunity to review the first single “It's All Inside My Head” and talk details with McWilliams.

The debut single successfully captures all the elements of the psych-pop sound that is becoming so popular, partially due to the incredible success of bands like Tame Impala and Real Estate. “It's All Inside My Head” highlights McWilliams talent as both a multi-instrumentalist and a songwriter by tastefully combining a retro-pop vibe, church-hall piano and organs, and driving rhythm into an unconventional song structure that burrows the leading vocal hook,“I think it’s all inside my head” (a reference to the isolation and anxiety he felt while writing the record) deep into your subconscious. The song is further defined with smooth, acid-washed chord changes, new-wave inspired guitar and a saxophone solo that blends so naturally you'll have to pull your mind out of the ‘80s trip you fell into. McWilliams creatively blends a lazy, psychedelic mood with tight upbeat drums, and high-energy verse vocals to create a sound that is a fine blend of psych-pop energy.

Although the song is off the Cut Losses’ debut album, McWilliams has proven himself to be a talented song writer with a knack for creating pop-inspired hooks and dreamy soundscapes with tasteful layers of instruments. We're eagerly anticipating the album and hope the Cut Losses continue to evolve over the coming years.

Matt: How long have you been making music as The Cut Losses?

Patrick: I started the Cut Losses in high school around 2012 as a two-piece and was drumming at the time. It was more of a fun weekend thing and we didn’t really take ourselves too seriously. After things fell apart, I tried to restart it as a trio and this time I was singing and playing guitar. I took some turns playing bass as well which was cool because I got to see how all the parts in my songs fit together. The songs and line-up kept changing, so I guess it’s only the name that's been around for a while, but for me it's mostly just about the sentiment and how it represents my music. Last year I nearly stopped Cut Losses all together and really didn’t like what I was playing. Up until this year it had never been something I was counting on continuing, so the current songs and “band” have only been around since January of this year (2016).

Matt: Are the Cut Losses a full band, or is it a solo project? Who does the writing?

Patrick: I’ve always been the writer for the Cut Losses. I could never rely on people sticking around, so it was really hard to pass the torch to anyone knowing they’d be gone in a week and I would have to re-write the part or erase the song. Plus, it seems like everyone around here kind of fits into one of three genres based on their demographic location around Vancouver, except I don’t and people look at me like I’m some kind of alien. The songs on my latest album are 100% written by me, but this time I had production help from Felix Fung. I think a lot of people are afraid of writing songs themselves because they don’t want to come across as narcissistic, but in my opinion it rounds you out as a musician. When you’re in my position you don’t have any other option.

Matt: Is this a studio project, or do you play live shows?

Patrick: In high school, the main focus was just playing shows because you want to be in front of an audience and show all of your friends that you have a band. I think I carried that mentality over for far too long and it really affected my songwriting even into adulthood. I was putting no effort into my songs because I wanted to be playing shows and being seen. With the new album, it was exactly the opposite. I have some songs that have layers and layers of parts, so playing them live would be tough without an Arcade-Fire-sized band. I haven’t even thought about performing yet; I just wanted to put out an album that sounded amazing to hear through headphones. There’s no band behind me either and nothing’s booked, but who knows, right?

Matt: Can you talk about the songwriting process? How does a typical Cut Losses song come to be?

Patrick: I know a lot of people have songs that naturally come to them, and I envy that greatly. I have probably only written 12 songs or so in the entire time I’ve been a musician. For my album, the songs all came into existence over the span of 12 days downtown at Felix’s studio Little Red Sounds. I had a lot of self-reflecting going on at the time, as well as horrible anxiety and the fear that I was going to die. I just started suffering from panic attacks over the past year, and most of the lyrics were genuine questions I was asking myself and keeping notes of. A really forward theme on the album is definitely isolation and uncertainty. Once I had a few sentences together, I would usually just repeat them over some chords and see how they flowed together. Since I started off as a drummer, finding the rhythm of a song comes really easy and I build the rest from there.

Matt: How do you produce/record your music? What recording programs do you use?

Patrick: In my bedroom, where I do most of my writing/recording, I use Garageband and Logic Pro Studio. I have a really small room, it’s probably like 8 feet by 12 feet, and fitting drums or amps in here is really tricky. After I quit music last year, I got a macbook which came with Garageband. It’s really useful and straightforward and there is a ton of sounds to work with. I found it really inspiring, so in part I would say that program is to thank for this record.

Matt: What other musicians played on the record?

Patrick: I had my best friend Duncan Lee drum and play guitar on a few of the tracks. We’ve been wanting to do something together now for about 8 years, but we’ve always been in different bands. Our styles are really similar and I look up to him so much as an artist, so it was cool to see what he brought to the table for my songs. On two of the songs I had back-up vocals by Jovana Golubovicfrom the band Les Chausettes. I also went to a bunch of their shows while I was down here recording and it felt good to be around other musicians and not locked in my room for once. Matty Reed from the Pretty’s also played some saxophone on a few songs, which added a whole new niche to my songwriting that I never thought I would get to fulfil.

Matt: What are the Cut Losses plans for 2016/2017?

Patrick: Right now I’m pretty focused on putting out this album and just letting it soak in and have it’s own time to breathe. I hurt my back pretty bad last week so i’ve been in bed on painkillers and had an X-Ray done today so hopefully I’ll be back to normal soon. I’m really scared of dying, so if that’s the case then I’ll be trying to write as much music as I can. There are a few videos in the works currently to accompany the album. It’s a waiting game for a lot of things at this point, but I am really ambitious so I’m sure there will be a few things happening with me and the Cut Losses over the next year.

Matt: Can you tell us about a couple of local Vancouver bands you are currently excited about?

Patrick: Les Chaussettes, Girlfriends and Boyfriends, Mode Moderne. The Pretty’s and anything Duncan Lee does. Aside from that Vancouver really sucks for music right now, and I know I was equally to blame for it.

Matt: What’s one current album everyone should check out?

Patrick: New Misery - Cullen Omori - Holy Smokes Music Blog

"The Cut Losses premiere "It's All Inside My Head""

Psychedelic electronic music project The Cut Losses has been garnering a lot of attention in the industry. Originally just a solo project for Vancouver’s Patrick McWilliams, he has turned to a lot of talented musicians for collaboration and live performance sets. He’s got the music festival circuit down, and is ready to release another EP, titled Lightning Dolphin. We’ve got the latest single, a tune called “It’s All Inside My Head”.

Man, do we relate to the sentiment of the title of the track. And then come McWilliams’ ethereal vocals, with reverb bouncing off of the instrumentals making his voice sound like its own synth based instrument. When the saxophone and percussion hits, it adds a layer of that Motown sound The Cut Losses is known for, in between the pop sounds and quick beat reminiscent of 80’s classics. McWilliams continues to fascinate with his repetitive, sincere vocals.

Because perhaps it is all inside our heads? - Impose Magazine

"The Cut Losses "Lightning Dolphin - EP" First Impressions"

Sitting in Felix Fung‘s studio with Patrick McWilliams while he played back the new Cut Losses 5-track EP in its entirety, starting with the re-work of the breakout single, “Spending Time On My Own”, was fascinating.

Particularly because Patrick was listening to these songs reflectively for the first time as well. Watching his expressions, and his genuine curiosity and nervousness towards what we thought of the new material, was endearing and refreshing all at the same time. This is clearly a person who has put himself out on an artistic limb.

Earlier in the evening, Patrick had detailed how bands like The Beach Boys – especially their deeper cuts – had influenced him greatly growing up. And as soon as the first few beats hit our ears, it was clear to us as listeners that there was something familiar and friendly about the sound.

A polished, lo-fi tone, coupled with a generally easy and laid-back feeling permeate the tracks. This is definitely a body of work to be consumed as a whole– not an EP of singles. There are some surprising textural elements on a couple of the tracks, and we could tell Patrick was nervous about them. But they work. It works. Lyrically, Patrick has pushed himself and it shows in the best way possible. We found ourselves smirking. and relating. and even humming along by the end of a couple of the tunes.

And perhaps the most amazing thing about it, is that it all sounds effortless and genuinely cool.

This is an EP that is quintessentially current, with some great musical nods to a bygone era thrown into the mix. These are songs you could be rocking out in the desert to at Coachella next year. This is music people will want to hear live because the sound envelopes you – and Patrick allows the instruments to have their own little moments on most of the tracks.

Patrick himself doesn’t quite seem to know it yet, but he has created something great in his time with Felix. And Felix did a fantastic job of getting him to fully commit to being himself. The results are yet to be seen, but we have a feeling that a whole lot of people will love it. - Y57 Media

"Premiere: The Cut Losses - My Valentine"

Although Valentine’s Day is a ways away, the thought of its approach still inspires a panicked twinge in many. That’s what The Cut Losses, solo project of multi-instrumentalist Patrick McWilliams, is trying to explore in “My Valentine.” Surfy harmonies and a plucky bass drive this shoegazey lament forward. Check it out below.

Here’s what McWilliams had to say about the new track:

“My Valentine” was brought into concept after last Valentine’s Day. Both my sister and mom had exciting new relationships, as well as a majority of my friends. I remember being in my room alone feeling like I had done something wrong by being single on that day. It was a really isolating experience and it made me question a lot about holidays and their values. - All Things Go

"New Music Take Away // Cut Losses - My Valentine"

Coming Soon? – Latest E.P. Lightning Dolphin was released a few weeks back

The Word – Thought we’d start this grey thursday afternoon with some nice warm hazy, dream pop if that’s ok with you guys? Goodo. It comes from Patrick McWilliams aka The Cut Losses and it sounds like a sort of shoegazey cross between the Beach Boys (it comes as no surprise that Endless Summer was one of his fave albums during his formative years) and Tame Impala’s latest stuff, maybe with a little Childhood thrown in too. Close your eyes, summer’s not finished yet, summer’s not finished yet… - Your Hands Music

"The Cut Losses - A Reinvention"

On a refreshingly sunny, beautiful day in downtown Vancouver, Patrick McWilliams, aka The Cut Losses, is just finishing up his 2 ½ week tenure recording with one of the city’s leading producers, Felix Fung, at his east-side studio known as Little Red Sounds.

To an outsider, this opportunity is a big deal. Any other person might be puffing their chest and tooting their horn, but not Patrick. If anything else, he seems genuinely surprised that anyone would be interested in him at all, and doesn’t exactly see himself as a certified, real-life artist…yet.

His new 5-track EP is to be released sometime this summer by Cedar Street Records, out of Spokane WA. This particular project has been both a challenge, and a creative release for Patrick, who has really pushed himself to let go of his self-imposed limits during his time at Little Red Sounds. Y57 Media caught up with him there to chat some more about how he has managed to navigate this new territory, and to join him in a first listen-thru of the release.

First off, thanks so much for inviting us here today. It’s a real pleasure to be here chatting with you..

Thanks for coming! It really means a lot.

I was reading a post you made about how this time in the studio has challenged you like never before, and that you’ve really been pushing yourself. So what exactly has this process been like for you creatively?

I think reinvention is a really good word, because I’ve been involved in the music scene here playing with other bands that are either pop or punk, but it was never really genuine. At the time it made sense because I was just happy to be playing music and playing with my friends, but when I would watch footage of the shows – I would think it was terrible.

CutLosses Image 4

So before this, you weren’t even really into your own material?

Yeah exactly. The music industry is weird because a lot of people just pump each other’s tires, so people around me kept telling me it was great. And being so young, I was like, “wow everyone loves me!”, and I was blinded by that for such a long time. That made me have no drive or ambition.

Was there a defining moment where you realised you needed to do more to make yourself happy with what you were putting out there?

I went down to LA a lot last year, and was working with some people there. I came back and had a breakdown. Not in a crazy way, but I was in debt from recording and paying other people to do everything. I got a copy of the CD I was working on at the time, and I thought it was so bad. It made me depressed to hear it. I let my family listen and they basically walked out of the room!

Wow, that’s definitely a kick in the butt!

Definitely! I eventually quit playing music altogether, I just got a job and focused on getting out of debt. And then I started listening to the music that I really like. I was a bit insecure about listening to weirder music that isn’t as popular or as accepted, but I was listening to these cool bands and started wondering if I could start doing something like it, because I love all this music and had never tried anything other than pop or punk.

So you had never let yourself go there musically before, even though this other genre is what you had grown up listening to?

Yeah! Bands like The Beach Boys had a huge influence on me growing up. If you listen to their deep-cuts, they’re so bizarre. So I just started writing more of those kinds of songs and it was so natural and easy. Before, I was trying so hard to be punk and fulfil the plans others had laid out for me, but not necessarily trying to write a song. When I started working with Felix, he talked to me about the idea of a song needing to exist. And that hit me so hard. Artistically, for me, I just want to write music that needs to exist, even if it’s just a snapshot in time. I’m in the middle of it, so I haven’t had time to process if it’s good. But I know I’m happier doing it.

You definitely seem a lot happier now that you are doing your own thing and not worrying so much about what other people are hearing. Let’s talk about how you signed to Cedar Street Records. How did that come about?

I only had one song, “Spending Time On My Own”, which I was really proud of because it was the first push back from what I had been doing up until then. And I guess they heard the recording on a blog or through a radio show, and contacted me and wanted to sign me right away. I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing to some degree, but I know they do.


CutLosses Image 3

I’m sure you’re in good hands! It’s crazy that as soon as you started doing what you really wanted, people took notice.

I remember thinking, “this is what it takes to get signed?!”

So, what do you think The Cut Losses fans will think of this new material? Because it is quite different…

Well, first off, I don’t really know who The Cut Losses fans are, because I’ve met a lot of mixed people during this whole project. Some of them are middle-aged women who would pinch my cheeks, and it made me feel a bit like a joke. But then there would be these die-hard punk people who liked it. I’ve met such a wide demographic, so I’m not sure what they’re like. Or what the precursor on me is.

It’s interesting that you’ve created this new fan-base almost. The ones who really latched onto “Spending Time On My Own”…Maybe there will be some kind of rebranding in the future?

I’ll be like Snoop Dogg, didn’t he have a re-awakening? I really have no idea of anything anymore. Every experience is new. I’ve had 2 nights of actual sleep in the past week since being [in the studio], plus working my day job, doing hard labour, where I wasn’t even thinking of making the album. Then I would come to the studio and it would be filled with hard-core musicians who are talking about chord progressions and all this stuff.

Do you think making the transition into full-time musician will be difficult for you?

I wouldn’t be sad if I got to make a living out of this. I would be really happy. But I love my day job a lot and I would genuinely be sad to leave it and leave the people there. I don’t even consider myself an artist right now, and people have expectations about writing music and what it means to be an artist. But for the first time in a long time I’m just playing guitar or keyboards or drums again because it’s fun; Luckily I got thrown into this situation where someone has enjoyed it enough that they want me to put out a product. I can’t complain about it, but does that make me an artist?

Do you think someone else calling you an artist means that you’re an artist?

Maybe. I think I’m trying to take myself more seriously. I’m letting it soak in.

Do you think you’ll lost any creative edge if you take yourself too seriously?

I’m terrified of that. I feel like that’s the good contrast between having a job and doing music. I work with people who don’t care about me being in a band. And I like that. I’m a human and I don’t deserve more than them. I don’t want to go back to what it was like before where I am so caught up in my own head and don’t realise that something I’m doing is trash.

CutLosses Image 2

Well, obviously, people are recognising within you something that maybe you don’t see yet. But it’s you doing your own thing and that’s what matters. So were you in here recording everything yourself?

Thank you! We had some people come in to do some instrumentation and add texture – like saxophone and backing vocals – but everything else has just been me and Felix sitting here working on it. It’s cool because it’s not a full band, but also not a solo act. I like having a name or brand associated with me, it takes away from the self-indulgence of it. I can hide behind the name a bit more. And working with a producer when you’re by yourself is amazing! It’s someone verifying that “yes, this is good”, rather than dealing with a band member who thinks a certain part sucks, for example. It’s been a lot of help too since most of this is purely experimental.

What would you hope is the reaction to this when it’s released? Would you want to have a big audience? Or increase exposure?

I really want a lot of people to hear it because it’s the most expressive album that I’ve done. I know that just as a listener. There’s a lot of deep, weird ideas on it and some people might not understand it, or might be afraid of it. I want people to hear it and like it, or not like it, but I don’t want it to be for everyone. But at least they heard it, and it impacted them, and they had some sort of thought about it. I also want to do videos for all the songs, because they’re visual-sounding, if that makes sense. All the songs are literally a snapshot in my time here, which is pretty unique. They were all written and recorded in the week I was here with Felix. It’s the first music that I’ve done that’s getting a physical release, too. I think I’ll be a lot more motivated to play shows as well. But I don’t want to shove it in people’s faces either.

Sounds like you really want people to engage with it, rather than listen to it for the sake of listening to an album.

Yeah! I want it to have an impact. I feel like I ripped a lot of people off in the past. If I put this out, and people love it, then I know I’m on to something.

Of course you will be! Best of luck! We’re all looking forward to it.
Thanks! - Y57 Media

"Perle Nascoste #1 | 5 tracce shoegaze, psych rock, post rock"

Sometimes the name of a band is chosen without a real reason, just because it sounds good: It's not the case with The Cut Losses; Patrick McWilliams's project starts after thousands of dollars of debt following various failed post-punk projects.

In the band - based in Vancouver, Canada - McWilliams is supported by his best friend (and close) Duncan Lee. The two released their first EP together with Lightning Dolphin last year, and Spending Time on My Own is the second track.

With bass and guitar screaming Kevin Parker, the track fills with nostalgia, a nostalgia of Canadian summits I have never experienced but I can live in the three minutes of the song.

The Cut Losses are on Soundcloud - Spotify - Bandcamp - Facebook - Noisy Road


We’re going to close this one off with a song to help you when you need to spend some time alone. The Cut Losses give the listener a indie rock/beach vibe that’s hard to resist on their track “Spending Time on My Own.”

We’ve all had those moments where we just want to relax. Well, this song fits that narrative almost entirely, but not in the way you think. “Spending Time on My Own” isn’t this quiet, tranquil lullaby that will lull you into a state of peace.

No, The Cut Losses calm the listener with extensive guitar solos and a repetitive chorus that feels like it belongs in the soundtrack to a movie about a sad kid in college.

Blast it, and take it all in. Sad or not. - The Indie Sound


Fans who came to see The Cut Losses perform their debut EP Lightning Dolphin may have had a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Lead singer Patrick McWilliams is having dental surgery next month, and the band will go on indefinite hiatus.

Before the show, The Cut Losses are excited to perform. Though it may be one of their last gigs, Patrick tells me it’s also their first. “The heat is on,” he says with a laugh. During opening sets by local acts Ponytail and Wishkicker, Cut Losses members walk around the room in blazers fresh from the ‘80s. Except bass player Andrew Fyvie. “He almost got the memo,” grins Patrick. If they’re nervous, you can’t tell. Drummer Duncan Lee has his jacket collar popped by midway through the second set.

The small crowd grows to around a hundred by the time The Cut Losses take the stage, greeted by warm applause. They launch into an energetic set of dreamy garage rock, tightly performed. The band is all smiles, even when the vocal harmonies are slightly out of tune. While the rhythms reveal punk influence, Patrick’s pure voice and soft synth tones give the sound a clean finish. The audience is clustered around the stage. Few dance until the band invites them to, but heads are bobbing and feet tapping.

Some of the highlights come between songs, when the band and audience interact like teenagers on a first date. It’s awkward, but sincere. Telling a story about food poisoning, Patrick apologizes for swearing, and then goes on to swear at least twice more. The crowd doesn’t always respond right where they’re supposed to. Calls for an encore are scattered, but the applause when the band comes back on anyway shows the fans really did want more. They get the mellow, yet upbeat single “Spending Time On My Own” as a farewell.

The Cut Losses will play at least one more show in November, but have no set return date after Patrick’s surgery. Still, it’s hard to believe they’re finished. The fans at this show would come back, and with a good recording out, The Cut Losses could expand their audience. It may be telling that Patrick’s final words to the audience were “see you next time.” - Ride The Tempo


Local band The Cut Losses are celebrating the release of their debut album Lightning Dolphin this Friday @ The Fox, and we give it 5 stars ***** - Do604

"[Listen] The Cut Losses - "It's All Inside My Head""

“It’s All Inside My Head” is retro-sounding to be sure, but the era that’s being evoked is hard to pin down. Whimsical ’80s synthpop perhaps, but those saxes sound downright ’70s. Then again there are strains of early 2000’s contemporary. Just slide back and enjoy it. - Ride The Tempo

"Single Review - The Cut Losses"

The Canadian dream-gaze project The Cut Losses which centres around Patrick McWilliams have recently released their début single Spending Time On My Own.

There is a scent of patchouli oil that permeates the room as the elastic notes of The Cut Losses draw on long bongs of kaleidoscopic colours which exhale whimsical meanderings of stretched guitar whilst precise percussion sits in stark contrast to the dreamy spires of strings. The vocal spirals into the ears akin to moulding plasticine to the auricular.

The Cut Losses draw on influences of ’70s psychedelia, whilst giving it a brush up to have a coherency that fits with the ’10s.

Although the audience can relax into the sound, there is a sense that The Cut Losses are working a little too hard to be not quite what they are, as it all sounds a little contrived in an attempt to be interesting, in similar vein to a suburbanite trying to be an Urban Street Rapper. This is a project that has much to add to the world of music and the sooner they stop apologising for being middle-class misfits pretending to be working-class revolutionaries and accept that they are what they are, the more I sense they will have to offer.

Join Emerging Indie Bands on Tumblr for more new releases. - Emerging Indie Bands

"The Cut Losses // Artist Profile // Live Session"

Out of the ashes of Patrick McWilliams’ pop-punk band, the new and improved Cut Losses have arisen. Branching out, Patrick and his new bandmates (Brett McKay on guitar, Andrew Fyvie on bass, and Duncan Lee on the drums) have recently recorded their debut album Lighting Dolphin with widely renowned producer Felix Fung. The band’s sound can be described in many ways at the same time. The interplay between 70’s psychedelic, 80’s electronic, and more modern indie sounds from influences such as Tame Impala is what makes The Cut Losses so unique. With so much of their music exploring difficult to process - and oftentimes contrasting - emotions, The Cut Losses’ up tempo, yet dreamy, soundscapes reflect the complexity of their message. At the end of the day, they want their music to speak to the weirdness in everyone, bringing people together in the process. - Coastal Motion

"Watch - Spending Time On My Own"

If you can get past the awkward “white guy” dance (or perhaps revel in it) Patrick McWilliams and friends give an engagingly earnest performance from their basement. A lo-fi gem, to be sure. - Ride The Tempo


The Cut Losses delivers its newest single, “It’s All Inside My Head,” a chill yet multifaceted track in which psychedelic saxophone pairs with subdued drums and light, falsetto vocals. The many elements of the track come together through the ingenuity of the band’s solo member Patrick McWilliams, all together recalling Tame Impala, along with more chill garage bands such as Beach Fossils & Real Estate. “All Inside My Head” will be a part of his new EP to be released this summer, Lightning Dolphin. - Spill Magazine

"The Cut Losses New 70's Psychedelia Music Video"

A follow-up from “It’s All Inside My Head,” The Cut Losses have delivered a brand new visual with “Spending Time On My Own,” drawing influences of ’70s psychedelia with that 90’s VCR nostalgia.

The Cut Losses new EP, Lightning Dolphin, is set to be released later this month on September 30, 2016. - Face The Noise

"Cut Losses – “Spending Time On My Own” Official Music Video"

Drawing influences of 70’s psychedelia with that 90’s VCR nostalgia, The Cut Losses deliver a new visual with “Spending Time On My Own” in their new music video. Watch below.

Find out more about Cut Losses on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud

Video from Cut Losses - Accidental Bear

"The Cut Losses Release Music Video For "Growing Old""

Vancouver-based indie rock/pop/psych band The Cut Losses have released the video for their new single "Growing Old".

The song is part of our current playlist and is out now via Time Crystal Records. Get it here.

Watch the video below. - KOOL ROCK RADIO

"VIDEO PREMIERE: The Cut Losses - "Growing Old""

VANCOUVER – Two years after the release of “Spending Time On My Own” the Cut Losses have grown up without getting old. Gone are the days when guitarist and vocalist, Patrick McWilliams, was bandless and immersed in his laptop in Langley. Drummer and vocalist Duncan Lee being the first to get on board, McWilliams vision for indie rock bliss is a little bit clearer and their most recent creation is proof. Today the Cut Losses are a full four-piece act residing in Vancouver.

The video for “Growing Old” was filmed by the band in a single day, directed and edited by McWilliams. “It was shot at the Jack Chow Insurance building, it’s world-known and record-breaking, and I think we’d like to be those things as a band one day too,” said McWilliams.

The new single is fresh, fun and honest. The band embraces the pop aspect of their sound, which evolved from their self-described “raw-rock-psychedelic foundation.” The Cut Losses are pushing forward the idea that no matter what age or point you’re at in life, you can still find fun in innocence. - Beatroute


The Cut Losses - Lightning Dolphin EP (2016)

The Cut Losses - Are We In Heaven? EP (2018)



  • 100,000+ plays on Spotify in 72 hours (2016)
  • #1 Video debut for "Spending Time On My Own" on BIRP.FM (2016)
  • MusicBC's member of the week (2016)
  • Featured on Spotify's "Fresh Finds" playlist (2016)
  • Featured on Spotify's "Fresh Finds: Six Strings" playlist (2016)
  • Spill Magazine "Song of the Day" for "Spending Time On My Own" (2016)
  • Spill Magazine "Song of the Day" for "It's All Inside My Head" (2016)

Appropriately titled, The Cut Losses is the result of indie-rocker Patrick McWilliams' string of failed punk bands, over 10,000$ of debt and being faced with un-employment. While paying homage to the 70's, 80's and even Motown, their sound has been described as "retro-sounding to be sure, but the era that’s being evoked is hard to pin down". The Cut Losses wasn't fully conceived until his best-friend and neighbour Duncan Lee joined in 2016, followed by recording what would become their debut demo tape "Lightning Dolphin".

The Cut Losses were quickly embraced, gaining over 100,000 plays in 48 hours on Spotify due to a feature on their "Fresh Finds" playlist. After being told McWilliams had no future in music by his high-school teachers, highly-praised reviews from his teenage idols J.P. Pitts of Surfer Blood and Mike Hindert of The Bravery, as well as landing opening spots for Together Pangea and Paper Lions suggested otherwise. They have been touted as "the next big thing" by internet music critics and fellow bloggers. 

The past year has seen the group at their busiest; performing alongside main-tier artists internationally and at festivals including James McCartney, Surfer Blood, Said the Whale, Joey Cape and BIG Winter Classic 2017 all while selling-out their own headline shows. On top of this, the ambitious group found time to make a short-length film, release 2 side-project EP's and even start the follow up to their debut. With all things considered, it isn't hard to see why The Cut losses have earned the title of "Vancouver's buzziest young psyche pop act" - The Fox Cabaret.

"It reminds me of Pet Sounds, but very current to what is being released now." - Jennifer Thorington, Senior Publicist, Working Brilliantly

"McWilliams has proven himself to be a talented song writer with a knack for creating pop-inspired hooks and dreamy soundscapes with tasteful layers of instruments." - Holy Smokes!

"There’s something splendidly infectious about The Cut Losses sound. For all its languid charm, it feels almost entirely shaped by a desire to escape from the dullness of the day and the need to explore, to take the day by the horns and force adventure." - GoldFlakePaint

"Retro-sounding to be sure, but the era that’s being evoked is hard to pin down. Whimsical ’80s synthpop perhaps, but those saxes sound downright ’70s. Then again there are strains of early 2000’s contemporary. Just slide back and enjoy it." - Ride The Tempo

"The Cut Losses have been garnering a lot of attention in the industry. McWilliams’ ethereal vocals, with reverb bouncing off of the instrumentals, make his voice sound
like it's own synth based instrument." - IMPOSE Magazine

Band Members