Dylan Menzie: Genuine and getting back to basics.

Dylan Menzie: Genuine and getting back to basics.

Songwriting and performance took hold of P.E.I.’s Dylan Menzie when he first stepped onto stage at the tender age of 16, and it shows no signs of letting go.

“What I’m passionate about is just making music; making music and playing music. It’s my big focus in life,” he says. Although slowing down isn’t on the horizon for Menzie, more than a decade after his first release he does admit, “It’s been a long haul.”

The hard work is paying off, and he’s racking up accolades and recognition, taking home his first first ECMA for Song of the Year in 2022, winning the 2021 SOCAN Songwriter of the Year award and being nominated for two ECMAs in 2023 (Folk Recording of the Year and Rising Star Recording of the Year).

Modern Classic is the first album I've recorded and produced myself, so to have it be nominated feels extra special,” says Menzie, whose foray into self-production found him getting back to basics.

Blundstone Playlist Artist Dylan Menzie

“With this record, I wanted something really focused on my writing, which I feel has gotten a lot better in the last few years.” About his prior recordings he reflects, “I was kind of hiding behind big sounds and arrangements, but for this one I wanted the complete opposite of that. I’ve never done anything where it was just me and guitar.”

Armed with a microphone and comfy in his dining room, Menzie spent the summer recording, periodically rearranging the furniture to create the right energy, reaching out only for some mixing help in the end.

“I have one harmony part on top of a vocal, lead guitar, rhythm, maybe a shaker. It’s so, so bare. That really spoke to me. I wanted it to feel genuine, with imperfections,” he says. “Imperfection is what I love in music. I love being in moments with people that are never going to happen again.” 

Modern Classic dropped last fall and Menzie is hitting the road to promote it, with solo dates and full-band gigs scattered about the calendar and continent. But he’s got another iron in the fire already. He’s headed to the studio—a traditional one this time—to record his next EP, aiming for a fuller, rockier sound.

In front of an audience is where he finds his groove, though. “I’m really looking forward to being out again. I love meeting new people, experiencing new things,” he says. “As a musician, you find yourself in these small towns that you would never go to otherwise. You get the chance to learn about local traditions, and I just love that.”

Find out if Dylan is headed your way @dylan_menzie and dylanmenzie.com.