T. Thomason just released an EP, quit his job and moved home to Halifax for the summer. A few other things have changed since we last heard from him, but quite frankly, Halifax hasn't yet been formally introduced.
Known as Molly Thomason in a soon-to-be-forgotten past life, the 21-year-old from Antigonish has given birth to a new self, a new sound and a brand-spankin'-new EP, sweet baby—and he's damn-well ready to release it.
"We started demoing in October 2014, so, almost two years, and surprisingly I don't hate it," he says, laughing. "I feel I still really relate to these songs, and I'm excited to play them and have people react to them and hear what they think."
Though iTunes categorizes all five tracks on the album under the "rock" genre, Thomason says the new sound strays far from your typical guitar riff/drum-fill tunes.
"Some people call the sound melodramatic—I call it 'huge,'" he says about the synthy, textured new tracks—adding that the album is more of a collaboration with close friend and producer Dave Henriques, than a solo project.
"This is our baby together," Thomason says. "He put in a lot of overtime that I could not afford, and made it sound like I had more money than I did, basically."
Lyrically, the album was born from all types of first experiences—from transitioning and finding a new community of people ("My Kind"), to doing mushrooms for the first time and having a really great trip ("Sally, Be My Spirit Guide").
"I was playing Evolve a couple summers ago, and the next day I was playing Granville Green or something, so the next day was a bit, like, coming off my first mushroom trip," says Thomason. "And I just remember walking down the train tracks on the waterfront in Port Hawksebury waiting for sound check and the song 'Sally' came into my head and I just started singing it, and I was just like, 'Man if this is going to happen every time I do mushrooms, I'm into it.'"
Sweet baby had its Toronto unveiling a couple weeks back, but luckily you can catch the Halifax release show Tuesday at The Company House. "I wanted to do a Toronto release show for sure, because that's where I'm based, and then I was coming back to Halifax anyway, and I just figured it's a good homecoming.
"There's still a lot of people here who've supported my music over many, many years and I wanted to give them a good party and a good show, and a bit of a celebration. Because so much of my career happened here and wouldn't have been possible without Nova Scotia."
Though Thomason has roots in Nova Scotia, he feels more like a visitor here in Halifax. "My relationship with Halifax is just that I think it's really, really cool and I've never 100 percent felt like I've fully integrated myself... so every time I come back here I'm kind of in awe of it.
"I don't really know where I'm from, to be honest."
Thomason—who also recently won the Jack Daniels Supporting Act competition–says despite having racked up a roster of nominations, connections and accolades before transitioning, he doesn't want his former musical career to contend with his current one.
"I took down all my old YouTube videos. I think anything that was kind of put out by me, I tried to kind of remove. My records are still on iTunes, but I don't want the two competing," he says. "But, it's definitely a big part of who I am—I don't want to erase completely."
Over the next few months, you can expect to see two more EPs come from Thomason and Henriques, who're heading to the Banff Arts Centre at the end of September to work on sweet baby's successor. Until then, you can catch Thomason in a summer residency, playing every Tuesday at The Company House starting August 9—and expect to see some special guests. As he says, "My goal is to have as many friends as possible involved in all the shows."
T. Thomason w/Dance Movie
Tuesday, August 9, 9:30pm
The Company House, 2202 Gottingen Street