Dundas native Andrew Lisson came to St. Catharines to study Film Studies at Brock University, but instead, his stay here gave him an education in a somewhat modern DIY punk ethos.
Living at The Green Room, a St. Catharines DIY folk/punk venue, Lisson frequently saw acts coming in to perform, and then decided to branch out and start writing songs on his own.
This past September, Lisson released his third full length album in two years under his folk/emo/punk moniker The Midwife Crisis, an obvious play on words. Treats, a sequel to his debut album Sweets (with an all-electric self titled record in between), was recorded by himself in his bedroom.
“I was staying in a really tiny room for most of the process, so it was really crammed fitting the mics in there. Halfway through I was able to move into my old roommates room which was much bigger, with better acoustics and more space,” said Lisson.
Lisson explained that his recording knowledge came from recording in a professional grade studio with a friend and mentor of his when he was in high school playing in an act called Suburban Skyline.
“I picked up a few techniques from there, but I’m still learning too. On the first record I was really insecure about my voice, so I drowned it out in reverb,” Lisson said. “On this record I learned how to scale things down a bit. I also learned how to EQ the songs, add some compression and even out the volume levels.”
The record, which has an overarching theme in candy and other sweets, must like his debut, is a record about Lisson’s vices, relationships with people and his struggles with mental illness and poverty.
Lisson summed it up as “a dark album disguised and packaged as a bubblegum-punk record. On the first track I refer to it as ‘part 2 of my autobiography’ with Sweets being part 1. Sweets is more about guilt, self loathing and depression, but this new one explores the world around me a little more.”
With both heavy and relatable themes coursing through the album, Lisson explained that he is hopeful that people will connect with the themes. While Lisson understands that The Midwife Crisis’ music is not for everyone, Lisson hopes that there will be people that resonate with the music.
“I don’t care if everyone gets it, it’s music for the people that DO get it. It seems to help people feel like they’re not alone, and it also helps me feel like I’m not alone,” said Lisson. “I’ve always had trouble relating to other people, but with my music, hopefully I can reach out to those people who feel the same way.”
The Midwife Crisis performs on Thursday, October 17 at Warehouse with Errunhrd, Whatzername, and Lux + The Curio Cabinet. Doors at 7pm, tickets are $10 in advance.