Sound Check

David Usher on his favourite lyric from his new album “Songs From The Last Day On Earth”

David Usher (The Canadian Press Images-Mario Beauregard)

Many artists will refrain from choosing a favourite part of their own work. Not David Usher.

The Montreal-based musician, who released his eighth solo record "Songs From The Last Day On Earth" on Oct. 2, says that one of his favourite lyrics comes from the track "Lonely People" that goes:

"And we will walk into this darkness where our eyes are awakened now/And we will trade the ones we love in and for this emptiness somehow."

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"The song is based on the idea that in a world where things are all amped up, where only the loudest voice [or] the most extreme voices tend to be heard, that there is tons of value in people that are quiet, that are introspective and that are thinking," the 46-year-old told Yahoo! Canada Music.

He continued, "There's value in that and we tend to overlook those people and those ideas because they aren't screaming all of the time…People that are sitting and thinking about ideas and are quieter, introspective [and] working on things in their rooms, it's about their voice."

Previously known as the frontman for the '90s Canadian alternative rock band Moist, Usher began his solo career in 1998 with his debut record "Little Things" and to date has sold a combination of over 1.4 million albums between his time with the band and on his own.

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On his latest solo effort, the "Alone In The Universe" hitmaker decided to write songs with a more acoustic base and focused on the theme of cherishing life's moments.

"It's a conceptual album in that I think it comes from a theme [or] idea that it's so hard to grab onto single moments these days and identify the important things in your life," he said. "It does come from that place where you're trying to distil your life down into single moments and being able to hold onto those longer."

Revealing an underlying memory that he had during the album's conception, Usher tells us that he thought of a special ritual that he shares with his friends on summer nights in Montreal.

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"In the middle of the night, my friends and I all take out our bicycles and ride through the city," he explained. "There's something about Montreal in the summer at night on your bicycle that brings back memories of when you were a kid and at the same time, it's right now."

Bike riding makes an appearance in Usher's new video "Rice Paper," which barely features the musician and is instead centred around a couple's relationship journey that begins on the day they meet and follows them through things like courtship and having children.

"I've done a lot of videos and I like making things and making new things, so sometimes you're in it and sometimes you're not," the "Black Black Heart" singer said. "[This time] I was quite happy not to be in it [very much.] It doesn't mean I won't be in another one, but you never know."

A few of the "new things" that Usher has been spending his time working on outside of music is speaking about creativity and the creative process. He also runs a company called  CloudID Creativity Labs that developed a new website for Amnesty International which connects fans with free music.

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"The newest thing we did was we just built and launched a site called ArtistsForAmnesty.com," he said. "[It] is an Amnesty International website where artists donate songs and then fans come and get those songs for free in exchange for joining Amnesty and spreading the word about social justice."

Check out more of Usher's creative projects by heading here.

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