Music News from ABC

Rush’s Alex Lifeson discusses new Envy of None album and the project’s “secret weapon,” singer Maiah Wynne

Kscope

Envy of None, Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson's new band, released its self-titled debut album on Friday, April 8.

The project came together after Andy Curran, veteran Canadian band Coney Hatch's bassist and a longtime musical associate of Lifeson, began working with a young Oregon-based singer-songwriter named Maiah Wynne and asked Alex if he'd lend his guitar talents to a track.

"I sent it over to him, and he was floored," Curran tells ABC Audio. "He said, 'Andy, I think we've found a diamond in the rough here. This girl is a secret weapon.' And that was the beginning of it all."

Envy of None is quite a departure from Rush, with songs influenced by a variety of genres, including alternative rock, synth pop, Euro pop and industrial rock.

Lifeson tells ABC Audio, "I think what connects all of these different styles of music is [Maiah's] voice. Her voice always sits right on top of what chaos the music is creating."

The 68-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer says Wynne, 25, basically became his "muse" for the Envy of None project.

"[H]er sensibilities and her skill [are] such that she's…very, very, very talented at a very early age," he maintains. "[E]very song [she contributed to] had something that I wasn't quite expecting."

The album ends with the introspective instrumental "Western Sunset" that's dedicated to late Rush drummer Neil Peart, whom Alex calls his "brother…good friend [and] working partner."

Lifeson says he was inspired to compose the tune while watching the sunset during visits to an ailing Peart at his California home.

"It gives you a chance to catch your breath after listening to all this pretty intense material," Alex notes of the song, "and just puts you in a very…contemplative mode."

 

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