Blake''s songs place an emphasis on structure and indelibility over technique, and his lyrics deal with psychological, sexual and existential issues through humorous character sketches portraying life through the eyes of the perpetual outsider.
Born in Toronto, Canada, to an engineer father and a mother who studied psychology in university, Blake was the middle of 3 boys. As a child, he was fascinated with insects and airplanes and ultimately went to university to study Aerospace Engineering and Medical Physics (a field he continues to work in to this day). Following graduation, Blake relocated to Ottawa in the early 90''s. Around the same time, at the relatively late age of 27, he took up guitar in order to translate the sounds that he was increasingly hearing in his head into coherent music. Blake describes one incident in which he leaned into a colleague''s cubical to tell them to turn their radio down only to find the cubical empty and the radio off.
After a few years playing local open stages, Blake assembled the band, Sweet Crush Apparatus, as a vehicle for his songs. Best described as psychological power pop, Sweet Crush Apparatus folded in 2000, after only 2 years on the live circuit, leaving behind almost no recorded output. Still writing prolifically, Blake retreated to his bedroom with a 4-track tape machine to record his first solo "album", Geek in Love (2001), which saw limited release in a few Ottawa-area record stores and from the stage at Blake''s solo gigs.
Blake wanted a more open, rock-oriented sound for his second album, and so he worked with two Ottawa-area musicians, Tom McMahon (bass, baliset) and Ross Murray (drums, percussion, mixing, production), on his second album, Downtown Baby (2004). The result was a brash, tuneful album that successfully captured the energy and off-kilter humour in Blake''s music. Seeking to recreate the immediacy of a live solo performance, Blake once again enlisted the help of Ross Murray to record his most recent album, Music for Misfits (2007). Recorded from a wooden chair in the middle of the studio, Music for Misfits features only acoustic guitar and vocals with no overdubs. By turns melancholy, harrowing and humorous, it is a distillation of the elements of Blake''s music. Blake continues to be a unique voice on the music scene, and currently plays both solo and with his trio, The New Direction.
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