Toronto’s Eden Warsaw creates a synth-charged, electro indie sound and isn’t afraid to dabble in pop and R&B. In Fall of last year, he released his Dream of Beaches EP, with just three songs that had the sonic capabilities to make a listener do just that – even if the cold weather was on its way.
With the help of his band, Eden Warsaw is releasing his debut full length, Searching For Someone, tomorrow, January 15th. It’s available for pre-order on iTunes, where you can snag the Instant Grat track “Lightning Touch”. Eden took some time to answer a few questions for us pertaining to the new release, his place in the Toronto music scene, and more:
There’s an undeniable sense of influence from multiple genres in your music. Who has influenced you most?
Eden Warsaw: I wish there was an easy way to answer that, it’s pretty even across the board. I like artists that are genuinely unique and own their sound. Artists and bands like Beach House, Radiohead, Lana Del Rey, and Lykke Li to name a few. I respect when someone believes more in their music and sound than what impact it could have on their success or what people ‘expect’ from them.
What do you take from each genre to make a sound of your own, and how do you keep it from veering into one particular category?
When I’m writing I try to use sounds that blend well together and draw some kind of emotional reaction. I think being solely focused on the sounds I enjoy and not being tied to the boundaries of a specific genre helps me naturally blend multiple genres.
Once I release more of the music I’ve been working on people will hear the true style I have instead of the little teaser that the Dream of Beaches EP showed.
While poppy, there’s a dreaminess to your songs. Where do you find inspiration for writing that might be considered out of the ordinary?
I wish I knew! My perspective is always that there’s something ‘more’ in a moment or experience that has an effect on life. If I go through something whether it’s positive or negative I just try to take a step back and see a bigger picture…
I guess that’s how I would describe it, but there really isn’t a formula that I have. If I feel it, I write about it. The music is about trying to evoke those emotions with lyrics explaining what they feel like.
What can you say about breaking into the Toronto indie scene? Has pop been a genre that is well represented?
[laughs] I’ll let you know when I break into the Toronto scene! On a serious note, Toronto has taken off in the last few years musically and I think my albums get to add something different to the mix. There are a lot of big artists that rep Toronto, but the best part is how different each artist is.
You have Drake, The Weeknd, and DFA 1979 for example – they all have their unique sound. I think indie-pop/alternative is where it’s at right now for me, but there aren’t too many artists or bands in that genre currently. I would say Lights is a great example of a cutting edge Toronto pop artist because she can write and perform that style really well.
What have you found to be some of the most underrated marketing engagement strategies as an indie artist?
I’m honestly just getting started with promoting this music. Once my band started rehearsing – shout out to PChan on guitar, Troy on bass and Kyle on drums – they were the ones that kept telling me to start releasing these albums. After we worked out our live show we decided to release the Dream of Beaches EP just to get the social media rust off; now we’ll start playing some shows and hopefully people enjoy the debut album!
Besides TuneCore, what other tools and platforms are vital for you as an indie artist?
If I could go back in time, catching up with social media, I would have used Facebook and Twitter a lot more. I’ve never really been an avid user of social media and I don’t really use Twitter too much, but I’m growing fonder of Instagram and Facebook. It’s actually a good way to keep people connected, and for anyone that knows me they know I love just talking about the music and explaining what I’m going for.
With that said, I think word of mouth and actually talking to people about the music is almost a lost art; I don’t think everything should go fully digital, so I’m hoping any engagement I have with people is as authentic as possible.
With the forthcoming release of your debut album, how do you feel your music has evolved up to this point in time?
Well years ago, I was writing strictly acoustic songs which gave me a strong foundation for songwriting. Then I played in some bands, which ended up with me writing some alternative/pop type of solo stuff. That ended up becoming an electronic project for a bit, which was a good learning curve, but now I’m feeling really good back in my pop/alternative groove.
I like the rawness and emotion of alternative but the accessibility and catchiness of pop, so I try to blend the two. I think I’ve really found a sound that I can call my own, which is really important to me, and I love the way it translates to the live shows. From a song writing perspective, I’ve been able to really focus on what I’m trying to say in a song, making sure the lyrics are multi-dimensional, and that the music is layered enough to be exciting and fresh but not overdone.
This took me years to figure out so I’m excited about it.
What kinds of topics does your songwriting cover on Searching For Someone?
I’m lucky with the track-listing in Searching For Someone because it tells the full story of the ups and downs of relationships. I know it’s common to write about love or love lost, but I think this has a few angles that are unique, vulnerable and honest.
There’s a lot of happiness, heartbreak and hope throughout the album, and if it can give someone the soundtrack to whatever they are going through, then that will be worth it. I’m a big fan of listening to albums from start to finish so I wanted to do that with Searching For Someone as well.
What do you foresee in the near future for indie alternative/pop music?
I hope that this genre mix grows. It was really cool to see a band like MuteMath, who were making a lot of guitar-based alternative music, naturally switch over to a more electronic sound but keep that same emotion. I think that’s a really good example of where I hope things go.
As an artist with some experience under your belt, what kind of advice can you offer to those just getting started?
Evolving in songwriting is important, which is about the only advice I can give to artists just getting started. I’m already really excited about the songs that are coming after Searching For Someone, so we’ll see what happens!