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Id Guinness: Reviews

Cure for the Common Crush reviews

Soul Envy reviews

Lost Language reviews

I was sent this CD by Olav, as he felt that I might well be interested in it, so this Canadian album has made it all the way to New Zealand via Norway, so it is well-travelled, a bit like the music contained within it. This is the first time I have come across Canadian singer-songwriter and keyboard player Id Guinness who apparently is also a member of the Vancouver art rock outfit Red Herring. He released his debut solo album ‘Cure For The Common Crush’ in 2007, followed that up with ‘Soul Envy’ in 2010, with this being released in July this year. Of the ten songs on offer, nine are originals, with the final song on the album being a cover of “I Can’t Stay Long” by Ultravox, which originally appeared on 1978’s ‘Systems of Romance’. It’s interesting in that it doesn’t sound too far removed to Id’s own material, and shows one of his major influences. Id has a wonderful voice, melodic and emotional, pure and clean, with a strong range, which he places at the forefront of the arrangements, often with strident guitar placed against it. The whole album reminds me somewhat of the early 80’s, and as well as Ultravox one can point to Japan and Spandau Ballet as having a major influence to his work, but then combined with the likes of Cat Stevens or early Chris de Burgh. A picked acoustic guitar is sometimes used to great effect, and the whole album is incredibly polished and inviting. From the cover photo I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t an album as powerful and dramatic as this. I have really enjoyed playing this album, and highly recommend it to fans of art rock/singer songwriter, as this is sheer class. His second album is soon to be reissued, so I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for that.

Multi-talented Canadian Id Guinness is a keyboardist, producer, singer and songwriter. Presently he is part of the rock band Red Herring based in Vancouver. Lost Language is his latest solo outing. Just over ten years ago he released his debut solo album called Cure for the Common Crush then came Soul Envy in 2010 and now Lost Language. The ten songs found here are full of variety yet they still fit in the rock genre. More alternative rock, but still rock. There are also touches or flairs of prog rock and even some new wave. Yet the whole thing is rather relaxed and whimsical. That is accomplished even when the songs are quite uptempo. Do yourself a favour and make sure you listen to this album with headphones on. Doing so you can really hone in and concentrate on his voice. There is a David Bowie quality about it. There is a smoothness and depth to it which you don’t often find in that combination. He sounds like Bowie and several of the songs sound heavily influenced by 80s synth rock like The Cure (“Embassy Walls”) then the next song will possess a more Pink Floyd vibe to it (“Now”) and then around the corner comes Simon and Garfunkel. In other words, a nice blending and reworking of the 70s and 80s. What they all have in common are the great hooks involved in each track.

Kate - (Sep 24, 2018)

Canadian singer-songwriter and keyboard player Id Guinness first came to our attention with his sophomore solo record, Soul Envy. He stands apart from a crowded field of indie artists by having a unique, genre-blurring sound that should be equally appealing to fans of alternative rock, shoegaze, new wave, and melodic progressive rock.

On his latest release, Lost Language, Guinness doesn’t stray from his familiar sound and style, which is a good thing, because we’re not done enjoying it any more than he had exhausted writing songs with a particular sense of style.

The overall vibe of Lost Language is laid back and dreamy, even when up-tempo and rocking (this musical oxymoron really works here), and Guinness’ smooth baritone delivery still conjures up (for us) images of David Bowie and Iva Davies of Icehouse fame, the latter of whom shares more common musical footing thanks to the lush synth textures.

Not to confuse this record with anything synth-pop, however, it has plenty of great acoustic and electric guitar, too, and you’ll even hear some horns and orchestration pop up now and then. You can’t mistake the musical influence of artists like Pink Floyd on songs like “Now” or the Cure vibe in Guinness’ heavenly song, “Embassy Walls.” And, you’ll find some great vocal harmony work reminiscent of Simon & Garfunkel as well as Pink Floyd. But in great songwriting fashion, you’d never mistake the music of Id Guinness for that of his inspirations. And that’s part of what makes Lost Language so enjoyable to listen to over and over again.

Lost Language by Id Guinness definitely puts you in a vibe and takes you on an inward journey via his extremely introspective lyrics. His sound is also quite something to behold due to him blending modern rock sounds and instrumentation with styles from the 70s and 80s as well. If you're a fan of modern, post-modern, or even classic-rock then you've gotta give this album a listen.

- (Jul 26, 2018)

Id Guinness has traveled the Canadian pop/rock scene for quite a while. He's currently in Vancouver-based Red Herring, and he's bounced around many other bands over the years. His solo career has been fitful, but perhaps all that prelude is what led to this wonderment.

Id Guinness
Lost Language
(Rapid Tranformation Music)

I have not heard his earlier two albums (from 2007 and 2010), and they're not easily accessible (as in, I can't figure out how to get them at all). So I don't know how much of a change this effort might be. But Guinness takes the stereotypically Canadian pop eclectic approach to the meandering (and occasionally twee) pop of American acts like the Shins and Pinback (or Rob Crow, generally).

So the songs have amazing hooks and seem to attack from all directions. Guinness seems to know exactly where he's going, but he's willing to let his songs stray a bit. Then the piece settles in, the song locks onto its target and BAM! Or something like that.

A most assured and sprightly effort. Guinness hasn't just been spinning his wheels. Add his voice to the pantheon of exceptional Canadian popsters. Enjoyment is guaranteed.

Jon Worley - Aid & Abet (Aug 13, 2018)

Two Katherines

Two Katherines is the latest release from Canadian indie pop group Id Guinness, showing a remarkably different style of music from the norm. As well as the classic indie-pop features, elements of folk run amok, with the instrumentation used here to create a wonderful atmosphere of mystery and intrigue. The vocals don’t enter properly until late, but when they do they only serve to add more to this feeling, with parts that even sound like they’re aiming to imitate choral music.  - Jane Howkins, York Calling, UK

Reminds me fondly and strongly of XTC. Really great aesthetic…everything is here for future success. I look forward to future submissions from this project – Obscure Sound, USA

Very nice song. I really liked the main melody. I have nothing negative to say about it. - Fancy Melancholic 

 Beautiful lo-fi sound with an exciting frame – FV Indie, Sweden

The musicianship and vocals are solid on this track. A lot of potential here – YabYum Music and Arts, USA

"You can tell there is an emotional resonance here, the cooing and that low-slung arrangement is just made for chin strokers and for those who want to look beyond idle pop and electro emptiness. There is a world music feel too, sorta Peter Gabriel – mp3hugger, Ireland

Musically it was great, unique, I like that. Vocal sound was lovely." – Music Injection, Melbourne, AU

Really dreamy track, like the tempo, acoustic guitar riffs and the vocal fits well – Playlist Boutique, US

very welcome dark/psychedelic style – Destroy/Exist, CA

Loving the instrumentals here, it has a very classic rock feel to it…the lyrics are awesome. A creative and careful artist – Cheers to the Vikings, USA


White Bird in a Blizzard

Cool tune, nice psychedelic vibe and aesthetic in here. Some really strong ideas all around with a catchy chorus.- Sacred Exile, CA


shrouded in atmosphere from the first seconds – underrated, Moscow, RU

I love the guitar melody and the mysterious vibe of the single. thanks for sending this along! – SSG Music, US

A cool dreamy pop with dark vocals … dramatic – Dansende Beren, BE

We appreciate the darkness this carries and the warm performance, Glad for the early and surely interesting listen Destroy/Exist, CA

I really like the guitar and synth sound on here. It's a well performed track – Pop Occulture, US


Them are some cinematic chords, growing when the percussion invites a change of tempo. The sense is that there could be a spaghetti western like scene approaching, especially as those vocals approximate a broken spirit in a dusty scene. Quite different … A smooth effort..." – mp3hugger, IE

Strong track – Indie Obsessive, US

I like the lyrics a lot, very thought out – Left Bank Magazine, US


Embassy Walls

Such sweet indie pop that pulls from the greats that operated in the 90's. Operating with an 80's vocal too which gives greater credence for a band that knows how exactly how it wants to sound. There is plenty going on too in the arrangements so no chance to get bored. Perhaps it was all that activity that put me off a tad in fact but this remains a happy few minutes entertainment." – mp3hugger, Ireland

Very good song… we have nothing negative to say about it. – Fancy Melancholic



Loved the blend of light in the instrumentation and an eerie kind of welcoming darkness in the vocal -  When the Horn Blows, UK


Advance Press (Jul 17, 2018)