Winnipeg-based singer-songwriter channels breakup hardships in upcoming album

Liam Duncan of The Middle Coast will perform a small show Friday night in Kamloops

Liam Duncan has gone solo — in more ways than one.

While you may not recognize his name, you may have heard of the trio he played with up until recently — Winnipeg’s The Middle Coast, a band that described its sound as “‘70s-style yacht rock.”

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So how does Duncan describe his sound as a solo act?

“Not that,” he said.

“It’s more along the singer-songwriter, alt-country, indie rock vibe. They are pretty straight up songs with pop song structure — that’s sort of the school I’m born and raised in,” he told KTW.

Members of The Middle Coast have decided to pursue their respective solo acts for the time being, but Duncan said they might work together again later.

As for Duncan, his solo pursuit is driven by a recent romantic departure.

“The album coming out is just a top-to-bottom breakup album,” he said.

The wounds are fresh. It’s the first time a long-term relationship has ended for the soon-to-be 23-year-old Winnipeg artist.

He didn’t hesitate to document his experience through songwriting.

He is, however, a little hesitant to put it all out there. The former couple has resolved their differences and are friends, but Duncan is still living with the words he’s put to music.

“It kind of hurts a little bit every time I put out another song,” he said.

That means the pain has returned at least twice. Duncan released Times Like These at the beginning of February and followed up with Shaking on March 8.

His album is due out in June. Its tracks are ordered in the same order he wrote them — as he endured each stage of breakup grief.

The record has been somewhat of a songwriting awakening for Duncan, who said he normally writes about what’s going on in his personal life.

“I think it was cathartic. I’ve never written so many songs in my life, so it really helped my songwriting a lot,” he said.

The upcoming album was produced by Howard Redekopp, a Vancouver-based producer who has done records with acts like Tegan and Sara, 54-40, The New Pornographers, Said the Whale and Mother Mother.

While work on the new album wraps up, Duncan has also been playing keyboard for The Bros. Landreth, a Winnipeg-based band that won a Juno Award for roots and traditional album of the year in 2015.

He said sometimes it’s nice to be a cog in the machine for a change.

Duncan has some other B.C. Interior dates planned, including Kelowna and Vancouver before heading back east for shows in Regina and Winnipeg at the end of the month.

In Kamloops, he will play a show at 8 p.m. on Friday at The Bassment, a small home-based venue with room for about 40 people. Seating must be reserved online at

© Kamloops This Week


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