Michael Paradise is breathing new life into an often plodding and over-serious Toronto indie scene. He may not be a household name yet, but check out (and fall in love with) last summer's playful video for "Lost Control" and see why we're all excited. With only a handful of tracks to his name, Paradise is already setting the tone for more quirky and incredibly endearing material... and his latest release is keeping that same energy.
Fresh off the digital streaming presses, Complex CA is happy to premiere Michael Paradise's latest single "Gold". Much like its title suggests, the brand new song shines bright with shoegaze-inspired guitar riffs and colourful production courtesy of fellow Toronto musician, Sylo Nozra. Speaking with us via email, Paradise explains how the collaboration came about.
“Sylo and I started hanging in 2018 through mutual friends and by the end of the year we got in a session together and had a ton of fun," Michael began. "I think I push him to work outside his normal wheelhouse and he pushes me to be a better songwriter. Working with Sylo really stepped it up a level for me so I’m excited about the lil bit of gold we produced.”
As for the track's lyrical inspiration, Paradise explained that it was a bit existential. “The concept for gold came from thinking about how we always want more out of our lives, our relationships, our experiences. I think it’s simply a product of living in such an intensely capitalistic world -- the result is an inability to be satisfied. The line ‘looking back I wanted more, all that ice and gold’ felt like it captured both this capitalist greed for more wealth and status, but also that emotional and social desire to be cool. It also felt a bit playful because I’m not one to ever be iced out [laughs].”
He also attributes the theme to a famous novella. “Throughout the last few years I’ve always come back to a quote from J.D. Salinger in Franny and Zooey that says, ‘I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.’ So I guess this song is about that. It’s about my frustration with not always being ok with being a nobody and a reminder to resist the capitalist framework we live within. Sounds academic but really I just mean make the art because you enjoy it rather than for anyone else. And that’s why I’ve always tried to keep a playfulness around this project.”
The WIL Studios-crafted visual for "Gold" sees Michael slip into a dream-like state surrounded by gold bars while bathing in soft lighting. “With the video we wanted to keep the light-heartedness or silliness present while also getting at the song concept. WIL Studios are a super sick creative agency in Toronto and I was really lucky to work with them. The idea is that the beginning shows this general discomfort or dissatisfaction with life, and then we rip through the mirror into the fantasy world of fame and wealth and fun. When we cut back to regular life there is a sense of understanding, a sense of recognition that these ideas are only dreams.”
You can watch the full video above via YouTube, and be sure to check out the track on Spotify below.