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Liam Corcoran
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Liam Corcoran is back in the Game!

After the demise of Two Hours Traffic, Liam Corcoran is setting out again with a new solo release.

By Erin Flynn

Venturing out on his own, Liam Corcoran has written an album that really feels like he is sharing a story.  A long distance love story.  On the  campus of Uof PEI I caught up with Liam and got a little more insight into the album ROM-DROM – a cute play on the movie genre rom-com with a dramatic flare.

Liam played in Two-Hours Traffic – a power pop band from Charlottetown who disbanded in 2013.  He co-founded that band when he was just 19.  Listening to ROM DROM, I can hear the maturity and confidence of someone who has settled in to something very natural.

“Moving in to this project I was really able to dive into a few things. You know I am a big fan of Alt Country and folk stuff so I wanted to really represent that fully for the first time,” says Liam, “ I wanted to just get a band of good professionals and bring in more folk oriented material and just let it speak for itself that way.”

For any artist going solo must be a little daunting but also incredibly exciting.  “It was scary figuring out how I was going to present the songs, but once the recordings came together and I had a band it was kinda a feeling of relief, a feeling of freedom.  The hardest part about the band in the later days was just getting everyone committed and I mean you have more things going on in your life as a you get older and it was hard to just get us all in the same room and on the same page so whats nice about the solo thing is I can go play on my own, or if it is a bigger show I will hire a band.” 

I didn't plan it out that way so I don't think I can truly call it a concept album

Even though Two Hours Traffic were good pals there is always compromise.   “I have always had songs that didn't make it in to the band because it didn't fit the spirit of Two Hours Traffic,” confesses Liam, “It is nice to be able to do the different side of the way that I write. I do love the pop songs but it was nice to do it a little bit differently. It has given me a lot of opportunity to collaborate with a lot more people. I really enjoy that. At the same time, you don't get to feel success in the same way you don't get to share it with anyone - it is a bit lonelier that way. But there are a lot of advantages to it and I totally see why people my age move away from that indie rock band because unless you are making millions of dollars it is very very hard to keep everyone committed you know in the way it was when we were a bit younger.”

The album, Rom-Drom, starts with the  catchy track July – eh July -oh, a song of longing for a distant lover.  As the  album unfolds Liam recounts the trials and tribulations of a long distance relationship.  Heartache, hope, bliss, doubt.

“I didn't plan it out that way so I don't think I can truly call it a concept album. I might have had twelve or thirteen songs I was looking at and started to cut a few along the way that weren't really working. I didn't want to make a full album this time around. I wanted to kind of introduce it slowly.” Liam tells me. “And I stood back and there was just this kind of story line running through out it and I hadn't really realized it was there but it was just kind of a long distance relationship. So two people in two different places, wondering if they are going to continue on. Wether it is worth the effort to continue putting into this relationship.”

Sometimes we tell the stories we forgot we had in us, maybe this is something that you lived?   “Years ago my wife lived in Ottawa and I live at home, and I had certainly spent a lot of my 20s on the road so I know that feeling of being away from someone. Although I am firmly planted on PEI now, I think I am always looking to the past. I have always wanted to write an album that has a nice concept running through out it and it is just kind of funny that I saw these pieces sort of working together and I hadn't really consciously planned it out that way.”

Liam Corcoran

Life can sometimes take us exactly where we wanted to go before we realize it. ROM-DROM is a touted as a solo album however I learned from Liam that as it turns out solo work may be more collaborative.  “I am seeing a lot of advantages to it for where I am now. I am not even touring. I play a lot of shows around home but I am in school right now so my biggest goal is really just make the recordings and get them out there to whoever wants to hear them and just really share the songs. I am trying to get a bit more in to producing too. I have done a couple of records. My good friend Mark Geddes, who we have worked on a, we are trying to sort of sell ourselves as a production team. So this is another example of what we can do with a pretty small budget and working with all local musicians here in Charlottetown. So because I am doing other things now, instead of focussing on touring, I do love the idea of getting in to the production aspect of it and work on different things without going on the road.” 

And he worked with some of the east coasts' best and most prolific. Dale Murray to name just one. “Dale played some pedal steel on the early Two Hours Traffic records and since then I think he has worked on at least one song on everything I have done. He is a great mixing engineer. We did all the recording in Charlottetown, then Mark and I actually went over to hang out with Dale partly because we like hanging out with Dale” he says with a smile in his voice, “There was a lot of fun but we needed a big time professional and Dale is incredibly efficient so we went over and mixed with him.”

Andy Magoffin, of the House of Miracles, mastered the album.  The whole thing was recorded in a small room at BackAlley Music, a record store in Charlottetown.  “It has a big back room that our friend uses for charity events and he just let us go in there. So we would work in the evenings. We were going for a certain drum sound, a certain idea. It was a good room for that, it is a small room, it is all wood. We were really calling in a lot of favours for this album.”

All this and you cannot get your hands on a copy – vinyl and CD pressings might be optional but not ideal. “If I won the lottery tomorrow I would do it. It is just that when you are not touring and you do not have a way to sell a lot of them... I would love to have it on vinyl because I am very proud of it.” So we will have to hang on until the next release from Liam. “ So I guess I am looking a head. I have a bunch of songs done already for another full length and it would be nice if by the time I am pressing another record I can go back and press this one. I dunno how it is going to play out. I just knew that I had to put my resources in to just getting the songs how I want them and then giving them up online. I didn't even do CDs. It is kind of weird to not have a physical copy, I have always done physical copies for everything. I was looking at this as an introduction to me as a solo artist, definitely when I make a full length I would have a physical copy.”

Have a listen to ROM-DROM for a sincere, dreamy, alt-country escape today.

 
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