By Julia Dumbrell
Late into a typical evening, Vancouver dream-pop musician Yaris Paris is holed up in his one-bedroom-turned-studio, entangled in amp chords and musing on his phone, with his living room illuminated solely by a Logic Pro file. The moment gives an apartment-window-sized peek into the artist’s creative process. As his own producer, designer, and agent, the world Yaris Paris builds on his latest album Maximize Comfort is resolute from opening to closing track.
Yaris Paris, whose real name is Corbin Pawer, has been creating music from the comfort of his own space since his earliest memories, recalling his dad “had an 8-track recording setup” which he took interest in as a kid. Listeners may recognize his dad, an early collaborator, as the radio-confident introducer on his second album, Ultimate Fantasy, and the guiding spirit in his forthcoming work. “We would lay down some of my earliest songs in the living room,” he says. “My interest in home recording developed from there.”
Maximize Comfort is his fourth home-studio album. On it, Pawer endeavours to process incomparable grief, global travels, and existing in Vancouver in 2023. He elaborates on the creative process after undergoing a significant loss: “I instinctively began working on a sombre, emotional, and down-tempo album.” He soon had a realization that “doing more of what made me feel good, and less of what didn’t, matched how I felt creatively.” We hear these musings on the bouncy lead tracks “Like That” and “Strange Time”, as well as in his embrace of solitude with the final song “On The Wall”.
At its core, Maximize Comfort maintains a balance between his singular world and the larger themes of existentialism he grapples with. The music video for his titular track exemplifies this equilibrium, filmed at a location famously overrun by visitors in mid-July. Pawer took pains to keep his Stanley Park set free of pedestrians, maintaining an element of mystery as he captured the force of his home city’s nature. Even his artistic moniker reflects conflicting emotions, where the sentimentality of his family’s Toyota Yaris is juxtaposed by global aspirations of seeing Paris.
He says he’s “fascinated and horrified” by the way time passes, which explains the album’s themes of mortality—sure to resonate with listeners well beyond Vancouver. Across the ocean, the single cover for “On The Wall” obscures the artist in Japan; this trip influenced the final touches on the album, where the sounds of Tokyo inspired him to master his synths with even more gloss. He even copped his signature fleece hat at a market in Osaka.
His greatest advice for local artists looking to self-produce is to experiment as much as possible: “I’ve spent more time randomly clicking buttons, turning digital knobs, and enabling plug-ins than I have watching tutorials,” Pawer offers. “Taking a DIY approach has helped me shape my own unique sound and production style. It’s also been more fun.”
Yaris Paris Maximize Comfort Album Release Show
Where: The Lido
When: October 12
Admission: $10 at the door