Waking Up in August
Deshead is mostly Des McKinney, a singer, songwriter, and producer from Toronto, Canada. Des's songs blend elements of the folk-rock his countrymen are known for with the energy and melodies of American alt-country. While undeniably Canadian, his songs have as much in common with The Jayhawks as with Lowest of the Low. Before embarking on his current solo career, Des fronted Toronto alt-rockers Time & Whiskey. Their full-length release Heals All Wounds was a fan favourite, and the band enjoyed local success through 2000 and 2001, opening for major label Canadian acts like Sum 41, Treble Charger, and Spirit of the West. Though the band parted ways, Des continued to write, and in 2005 began work on his first solo album. Waking Up In August was released in March 2006. Recorded and mixed through the previous summer, Des produced the album himself (with some help from veteran John Scrip, who mastered the final tracks.) The album is ambitious, covering genres and emotions from the melancholy Smiths-like Brand New Car to the uplifting Tom Petty-esque I Meant To Remember. But through this, the 12 songs on Waking Up In August are remarkably cohesive, tied together by the definitive hallmarks of deshead tunes: lush guitar textures, rich harmonies, and Des's forthright, earnest vocal delivery.