WINDTHORST - Tyler Gilbert of Windthorst has announced a new, full length, 11-song album, Kill the Magic, which is due out Nov. 20.
This album is a collection of ambient and rock songs written over the past three years. There have been four singles released from the album and overall it is a much softer album delving into the ambient and cinematic realm. Like his last albums Kill the Magic was produced by Justin Bender.
The pandemic definitely helped out in focusing more time to make an album when there was no touring being done.
Gilbert plays all genres of music but admits his heart lies with rock.
Growing up in a musical family, he had a lot of influence from both parents.
“From a young age I liked to sing,” explains Gilbert who also started playing guitar somewhere around Grade 8 after taking some lessons.
Growing up, he says he was a very shy kid, not wanting to stand up in class and give a presentation. That’s all changed. He now performs in front of audiences by the thousands.
“It’s funny how things turn out,” he said.
“I’ve always found singing in front of people less nerve-racking than speaking to a crowd.”
He now finds singing and playing guitar is his comfort zone.
One year after learning the guitar, he was given a machine to make demo tapes to make recordings.
“So I made some CDs and distributed them to the family,” explains Gilbert. “It was a good learning experience to craft my song-writing.”
With the help from his dad getting a few gigs in 2003, he started playing live shows here and there, although he admits he was pretty green, playing mostly cover songs back then.
In 2008 he made his first professional CD in a studio – The Vos EP, twangy rock with a full band – an eight-song CD.
It was then that he started playing ticketed shows all around Saskatchewan.
Over the years, Gilbert has made quite a few albums, including Tyler’s World, a folk album with acoustic guitar based style; and OK Murphy with a full band with a modern rock sound.
Eventually his tours started to get bigger and bigger, including a Western Canada tour as well as a few tours into the States.
Gilbert’s tours grew even more to include all of Canada except for the Maritimes, touring solo for many years.
With The Montana Kid album, a country-twangy rock sound, he toured all of Canada and into the Western U.S.
“I played the Folk Alliance International in Nebraska and played the Ohio State Fair,” explains Gilbert.
Leaning towards the hard rock sound where he could showcase his talents on the guitar, he then released the Underdog album. Following in 2020, he put out an EP called The Fallen.
Even though Gilbert is a “happy-go-lucky” guy, he jokingly states that some of his songs reflect otherwise.
Gilbert has had some radio success with a song from this CD, Lady of the Mountaintop.
It received air play on Sirius XM and CBC has always played his music throughout the years.
“I’ve always been an artist who writes a lot of music,” says Gilbert, who adds, “I have always found song-writing to come naturally. The whole idea of starting from a blank canvas and sculpting the whole thing is so fascinating to me.”
“Songwriting has always been one of my favourite aspects of the music industry … probably even more so than actually playing live shows.”
Although Gilbert considers the guitar to be his main instrument, he also plays piano, banjo and harmonica.
Gilbert has performed at some unique shows over the years.
“I’ve played on train station platforms in Ontario, the roof of the Third Hill Tower in Regina and a fashion show in Montmartre.”
Gilbert finds the acoustic shows a bit more intimate, which gives him the time to tell some stories between songs. It connects the audience to the singer.
Born in Calgary, Gilbert grew up in Regina, he and his girlfriend Ingrid recently made the move to Windthorst, eager to leave the hectic city.
Growing up he spent a lot of time in Windthorst, visiting relatives, so that just seemed to make sense to look for a place he knew well as a child.
Gilbert set up a limited studio at his residence, allowing him to play guitar, electric guitar, keyboard, synthesizer and do vocals from home. He finds it very peaceful in Windthorst while recording. There’s no crazy city noises.
When it comes to adding drums and a full band, he uses a studio in the city where he enlists various artists on his albums, including session players. JD Lemire, originally from Peebles, is his main bass player for live shows around Canada.
Gilbert has been doing this as his career for a long time already and he has no plans on stopping any time soon. This lifestyle has enabled him to see the sights of so many different places.
With 40 more songs in his repertoire, Gilbert already has plans of working on his next album.
In February and March 2022, Gilbert will be touring with a full band in Tennessee, Texas, Atlanta and North Carolina.
Living through COVID for the past 18 months, Gilbert says he’s excited to get back on the road touring soon.