Today, rising star Mikhail Laxton announces the release of his debut EP Real, available May 7th via Acronym Records. Laxton has released a handful of tracks from Real thus far, including lead single ‘Hold On’, the follow-up smash ‘Cheater’ and his latest, ‘Wasting Our Time’ FT. Rebecca Noelle, of which Apt613 says “we not only see ourselves in every word they sing, but are also pierced by the raw emotion emanating from the singers.” Described as a soul outlaw, Laxton has quite the story to tell, beginning with his Indigenous Australian roots, his subsequent move to Canada and everything in between. The songs on Real are evidence of his dynamic artistry and vocal abilities, fluidly combining elements of Folk, R&B, Rock, Pop, Blues and more – simultaneously blurring the lines between genres and individually setting themselves apart.
Laxton, now a permanent resident in Canada who calls Ottawa home, grew up in the small town of Mossman on Australia’s northeastern coast. Discovering classic rock at the age of 10, he started out playing the drums before making the switch to guitar, and by his early 20s he was busking at a farmer’s market in Brisbane, and playing regularly at a café run by his then future wife. He soon became a mentor to young local singer/songwriters, a natural extension of his outgoing personality.
In 2015, he auditioned for the Australian version of “The Voice”, where he advanced to the “Super Battle” round. Though the rules stipulated contestants sing songs by other artists, celebrity coach Jessie J encouraged him to keep developing his own original material, which ultimately set him on the path to moving to Canada.
Laxton quickly found a writing partner in Maia Davies, known for her co-writes with Jill Barber, Serena Ryder and more in addition to her own music and former band Ladies of the Canyon. Agreeing to produce the record (alongside Borza Ghomeshi), Davies also introduced Laxton to her frequent collaborator, multi-award winner Gavin Brown (Billy Talent, Barenaked Ladies) who leaned in with co-writing and additional production on some tracks. Together, the songs were fleshed out in arrangements that explore a multitude of genres, with a heavy focus on Laxton’s incredible voice. The forthcoming release of Real delivers an extended expression of Laxton himself, drawing primary inspiration from the power of love as an extension of who he is; honest, humble and soulful.