Listen: Marc Robillard

A cross between Tom McRae and Wilco, Canadian-born Marc Robillard is the sort of singer/songwriter you wouldn’t mind stepping out with your daughter. Replete with considerable stubble and a sensitive persuasion, one gets the impression he’d please Dad, charm Mom, and (judging by the glint in both his eye and his vocal delivery) fully satisfy Becky in the lust department – although not simultaneously.

So yeah, Slipknot he isn’t (who on earth is?). He’s more of a melancholic minstrel with an acoustic guitar and a sharp haircut.

In fact, if the shimmering dexterity of his recent Paper Airplanes EP in any indication, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to soon hear him soaring high amid the quasi-indie chart(s) of suave and swoon. One need only watch the first 25 seconds of the vid for ‘The Pair” to ascertain where this Los Angeles-based artist is quintessentially coming from. He’s calm. He’s collected. And in a coat he most definitely did not borrow from James Dean, he certainly knows how to fully project himself onto the solipsistic slipstream of our collective imagination.

In and of itself, this may partially explain why the advertising moguls over at Frito Lay chose to feature Robillard’s “So Much More” in their Earth Day commercial for biodegradable packaging. Said song is, after all, as musically uplifting as the sentiment behind the advertising campaign is politically correct. As for the song itself, it, like the equally inviting “Butterscotch High”, resonates with all the warm-glow sincerity one’s learned to embrace via the likes of David Gray and Athlete.

With his debut album set for release this summer (watch out for a review) and a fund-raising gig for cancer prevention at Sashi-Manhattan Beach, CA, on April 25th, things might start getting busy for this particular songwriter. Who, if the truth be told, warrants further investigation.


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