Wide Eyed make big music. The confidence on display in making enormous, spacey sounds that still rock is staggering. I saw them open for Wolf Parade's first reunion show this past year and they were a revelation that rivaled their more experienced headliners. Watch out for these guys - they're going to blow some minds and open some eyes wide open.
Favorite track: Obsessive / Compulsive.
"Starting life as a home recording project for the then 18-year-old, WIDE EYED is the vision of the band’s charismatic leader, MAX FRAZER. Utilizing loop pedals, drum machines and synthesizers, when immersed in home recording Frazer began to develop the WIDE EYED identity with a perfectionist’s attention to detail, an obsessive creative approach that has resulted in the painstakingly created and extraordinary, self-released debut album, IN WATER.
Named in tribute to the ‘Dans L’eau’ multimedia art project of Frazer’s late close friend, Anton Lemieux, to whom the album is dedicated, IN WATER fully realizes the huge potential WIDE EYED displayed from the first full-band hometown shows in 2015.
On this monumental debut songwriter Frazer (vocals/guitars/keyboards/synthesizer) is joined by long-time collaborators SEAN PATTON on bass and drummer PAUL CARPENTER, while the album also includes contributions from guests ALEX HICKS (backing vocals) and CHRIS THOMPSON (keyboards). Between them, from the shuddering, psychedelic riff and cavernous, gauzy vocals of the opening ‘Dans L’eau (Intro)’ to the enormous climax of album closer, ‘A Tale of Brief Indulgence and Fortitude,’ everything they have delivered on IN WATER is transcendent, stunningly beautiful and epic in scale.
Whether as a consequence of overwhelming sonic power or unfeasible fragility, there are so many heart-stopping moments throughout the album’s 49 minutes that the overall effect on the listener is dizzying. All designed to be best appreciated at considerable volume, the haunting middle section of ‘Tides’ and its searing guitar solo; the wonderfully composed quiet-loud-quiet structure of the magnificent, yearning ‘Still Life’, or the mountainous Pink Floyd/Besnard Lakes-esque majesty of ‘Cora’ are just three of so many utterly spine-tingling experiences on this breathtaking debut.
Recorded over the course of a year, Frazer laid down the vocals and keyboards in his basement home studio, with everything else captured at the legendary Gabriola Island studio The Noise Floor, who’s Jordan Koop co-engineered IN WATER alongside Frazer. Still only 21, Frazer also produced and mixed the album, with impeccable mastering undertaken by Brock McFarlane of CPS Mastering in Vancouver.
Completed under the most emotionally challenging circumstances with Frazer and Nanaimo’s independent music community grieving for Lemieux, IN WATER is an unmitigated triumph from an artist who, on this evidence, bears unlimited potential. "
-Dave Morrison -
released September 17, 2017
Max Frazer - Guitar / Keys / Synth / Vocals
Sean Patton - Bass / Keys
Paul Carpenter - Drums
Alex Hicks - Backing Vocals
Christopher Thompson - Synth
Recorded / engineered by Jordan Koop & Max Frazer at The Noise Floor and Max's Basement
Mastered by Brock McFarlane at CPS Mastering Studios