Here’s our first listen to Alex Lifeson’s post-Rush project, Envy of None

Alex Lifeson was getting antsy. Several years after Rush stopped touring and two years after the death of Neil Peart, he found that he really, really missed making music. But how? With who? And what kind of music would be fulfilling? The answer came in an extremely roundabout way.

Back in the 80s, Andy Curran was the bass player in a Canadian band called Coney Hatch. When the group disbanded, he found work with Anthem Entertainment, Rush’s management company, and spent years working in the background. Last year, he was asked to work as a mentor to some of the finalists in an American songwriting competition, which is how he met a woman named Maiah Wynne, of Portland, Oregon.

Zooming with her during the pandemic, one of the things he told her was that she needed to really start networking with other musicians. “Reach out to people,” said Andy. “Offer to collaborate with them so you can learn how these sorts of creative relationships work.”

“Well,” said Maiah, “do you want to write with me?” Andy said he would.

It turned out that Maiah was a natural at this sort of collaboration and the songs started to flow. Things were sounding so good that Andy played some of the new material for Alex (Andy had played bass on a couple of Alex Lifeson solo songs). He was so impressed that he started adding bits to the tracks they were working on. Tracks started zipping around online between Alex, Andy, and Maiah. Producer/engineer Alfio Annibalini was brought in. And before anyone realized what was going on, it appeared that they had a real band. They decided to call themselves Envy of None.

Andy told me this story over breakfast just before Christmas and then sent me the album. It. Is. Excellent.

Before you ask, no, it doesn’t sound anything like Rush. I’d characterize the sound as similar to If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, the brilliant album from Halsey, which was produced by Trent Reznor. You might even think of Billie Eilish if she were to get a little thuddier with her sound. The textures and beats and melodies are very contemporary and (dare I say it) rather alt-rock-ish.

This 11-track self-titled record will appear on April 8. A deluxe edition will come with five additional songs plus a 28-page book of exclusive content.

Here’s the first taste of the album. Believe me when I tell you that there’s a lot more to come.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

3 thoughts on “Here’s our first listen to Alex Lifeson’s post-Rush project, Envy of None

  • January 13, 2022 at 10:18 am
    Permalink

    Well, I’d have never guessed Alex was playing guitar on this. But I really like it.

    Reply
    • January 13, 2022 at 10:21 am
      Permalink

      Wait until you hear the rest of the album. Alex didn’t want to do the Rush thing. “Been there, done that” was his attitude.

      Reply
  • January 19, 2022 at 6:11 am
    Permalink

    Very, very different than RUSH Alex, but I like it a lot. Very atmospheric sound and I am loving Maiah’s voice. Almost hits me like an evolved version of Garbage, another band I really like.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.