‘Extra-dimensional Sorcerer’ Lailien is a 21st Century Musical Enigma

Toronto based Lailien describes himself as the ‘anti-matter twin and alter-ego’ of poet Brad Shubat, whose debut album ‘Ensoular‘ is set to smash any preconceived notions of how pop music should be contrived from a pre-defined formula. As a classically trained pianist and university graduate (at one point on the path to become a Professor of Literature), predictably this record unveils a mature talent for careful, poetic and intelligent song-writing, although you might be forgiven for misinterpreting your own expectations on your first listen.

“Lailien exists as a fictional character within a mythic cosmology at play: An extra-dimensional sorcerer, conqueror of Vishnu’s body-suit, rational empiricist, fool, gender fluid prince of darkness… and yet another iteration of the Gnostic Christ resurrected.”

From a belief that “the best musical artists [utilise] profound, erudite, mind-expanding lyricism“, ‘Ensoular’ is less of a genre-crossing, and more of a genre-creating experience – with no single track taking the lead on the how the rest of the album sounds. It’s perhaps unsurprising that this debut LP was written in part during an intense period of experimentation with psychedelics, which had resulted in an intense period of clinically diagnosed psychosis during periods of the creative process.

“What happens when you love yourself or someone else unconditionally, with all your heart and soul, but you know that suffering will disrupt said love? Exploring the complex interrelationship between life and death, the song and video features principles of eternal reoccurrence, anti-matter spacetime, a multidimensional daemon and mystical psychopomps.”

The accompanying video for the track ‘Blue Love’ is every bit as imaginative as his music. Having been conceptualised by Lailien himself, the video was shot by Mina A Solomon and directed by Zafir Ahmed of NRWFilms and stars lead actress and former Miss Universe Canada delegate Chealse Sophia Howell.

“a symphony of thick and warped textures… subtle beats and infectious melancholic vocals.” Line of Best Fit

Though discovering a love for experimental electronic, pop, rock and jazz sounds derives the main fuel for his creative imagination, Lailien is perhaps best described as a ‘cultural-omnivore’. At the same time as citing a diverse range of musical influences from Animal Collective to Lana Del Ray, academic influences such as gender theorist Judith Butler and modernist writer Virginia Woolf, even video game influences such as Legend of Zelda and Super Mario had samples which made it into the final edit.






Sixty Seconds on Songwriting with Heronimus Fin

Underground rockers, Heronimus Fin, release their new album on 20th August and with it introduce a heavier side to the band. After four albums of hugely acclaimed psychedelic and folk adventures, they present ‘The Pharmacist’, a concept album following the tragic life of an individual addicted to prescription drugs. We catch up with the quintet to find out more…

Tell us more about the concept behind The Pharmacist and where it originated from.

The concept is based loosely on my own situation having been on prescription medication for 30+ years due to chronic migraines and now finding the medication has become the problem, the addiction…I think this has become a major issue for many people today who look for a solution to an ailment then the solution becomes the problem..ironic really!

Your songs are anchored by strong lyrical content, what’s on the spectrum of topics you’ve covered so far?

We’ve written about such things as high school shootings/gun culture, political mismanagement, conspiracy theories, deaths through recreational drug use, prophecy, historical stories, animal cruelty.

Which acts do you cite as a source of inspiration?

Musically our influences are late 60’s/early 70’s psych prog rock bands such as Budgie, Black Sabbath, Golden Earring, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper.

You’ve pivoted to a new realm of rock on this album. What can you tell us about the production?

It was co produced at Woodbine Studios, Leamington by John Rivers (who did The Specials – Ghost Town/ Ocean Colour Scene), it’s very 60’s/70’s influenced rock production.
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