Nathan Lawr shares tenderly clever folk single “Apocalypse Marshmallow”

Nathan Lawr came up as a drummer-for-hire during the Toronto indie rock heyday that spawned the likes of Broken Social Scene and Feist, drumming for seminal Three Gut Records’ bands Royal City and Sea Snakes. In 2000, he started writing his own tenderly clever folk songs, releasing a series of critically-lauded solo albums. In 2010, Lawr ditched the songwriting thing for the more expansive sound of Minotaurs, spending the next 10 years writing, recording, and performing with an 8-10piece indie funk band. During those years, he cut his teeth as a producer and band leader. 

Now, after spending almost a decade as a stay-at-home dad, Lawr has come into his own, finding his voice as a crooner once again. “Apocalypse Marshmallow,” the title track of his forthcoming new album, is a chaotic blend of Brian Eno production and classic rock vibes. It’s about the joyful chaos of parenthood and the imperfections and challenges of being a part of a family. 

Listen to Apocalypse Marshmallow” below and check out the new interview!

Can you talk to us about the inspiration behind your single, “Apocalypse Marshmallow”?

The very first time I took my kids camping was a total disaster. The kind you can only process through laughter after the fact. The images that came out of that trip were so potent, I couldn’t help but write them down. It became something of an allegory to family life in general: chaotic, messy, difficult but, ultimately, beautiful and the source of growth. It’s a cliche of course, but life is like that. We’re much better off in the long run by embracing the chaos and things we can’t control. 

How do you think your community has contributed to your success?

I don’t think anyone could be anything without a community. There is no success without others. And even if there were, it wouldn’t mean much. Friendly competition, pushing each other to be better, support, love, and inspiration, this is what a community means. 

What was the first thing that got you interested in music?

Ever since I was a kid I was fascinated by how music was put together. Sitting in the back seat of my parents’ car listening to classic rock radio, I would always try to figure out what the different instruments were doing. It was never enough to just listen, I had to know why things sounded the way they did and why the music had the power it did. 

Describe to our audience your music-making process.

It really depends. Sometimes songs just pop out fully-formed, as if from another dimension. Other times they are excruciatingly difficult to get out. Always though, the rhythm is the foundation. Until I find the basic rhythm of the song, I can’t progress with it.

What advice would you give other musicians?

They haven’t asked and I don’t give unsolicited advice!

How did it feel when you released this new music?

It felt great! I’ve been sitting on this song for about 5 years so it was so amazing to finally get it out there.

And finally, if you could collaborate with any musician/band, who would it be? And why?
Judee Sill. RIP. Gone way too soon. She died on my 5th birthday. Her voice, her songs, just devastating. I would have given anything to play in her band, to be around that voice.