“Connor McGuire’s songs take a road traveled by the likes of Mason Jennings and Jason Collett... His lyrical couplets follow ideas to their full conclusion (see “The End of the Line”), blending axioms and blunt moments into a seamless earnestness.”
- Synthesis Magazine
“Connor's restless energy and perfectionism ear-mark him, to my mind, as one of those talents to watch for on the Canadian music scene.”
- Alex Browne - The Peace Arch News
“By the next record, McGuire likely will have changed again, but for now this is remarkably confident and sure.”
- Tom Harrison - The Vancouver Province
CONNOR McGUIRE is passionate/pissed off, positive/perplexed, political/pacifist all key traits we look for in a troubadour. This is the beginning of something real & great.
- Dave Chesney - The White Rock Sun
Blink and you might miss Connor McGuire.
At 20 years old, Connor already has been through rock, punk and hip hop phases, either leading his own band or being a sideman, as a multi-instrumentalist or as a singer.
Fortunately, he paused long enough to record his first album, yet Different After Dawn shows another side of him, another phase. It can be characterized as a folk album or at least that of a singer songwriter. Apart from a string section used sparingly on a few tracks, Connor played all of the instruments himself. It's a stripped down approach that has a slide guitar here, a dash of keyboards there. The attention falls on a simple but dexterous guitar technique and the language of his lyrics, but mostly the focus becomes the songs. They are contemplative, suggesting someone wise beyond his years.
"Bleed The Runway was the first song I wrote," Connor recollects. "I did it when I was 16, but I didn't know what to do with it. I just put it on the shelf but kept coming back to it."
As various bands fell apart around him, Connor more and more saw Bleed The Runway as a beacon. Connor realized he could compose songs on his own, armed only with an acoustic guitar. Bleed The Runway provided the direction to Different After Dawn. Yet there was a temptation to use the recording studio, with all the multi-tracking available, to its fullest extent. He came to the conclusion that, true enough, less is more, and reduced the album to a bare but effective minimum. This kept him honest as there are no smoke nor mirrors behind which the album's 11 selections can hide.
Yet, even as he was recording his first album, Connor already was thinking about his second.
"Absolutely," he exclaims. "I'm thinking for the second record that I would have a band. But, still, the most important thing is the songs. You can strip down the production as long as you have the songs."
Connor McGuire was brought up in White Rock, the son of Trooper's Ra McGuire. His music is dramatically different from his dad's but his ability comes from an understanding and supportive family environment. Ra's experience in the music business prepared Connor for what lies ahead and prompted Connor to assert his own individuality.
"I want whoever reads about me to put the CD in their player and they can decide for themselves if it's any good," he says. "That can be the hardest thing."