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“I'm excited that people will get to hear what we dreamed of” - LJ to release five Gary O produced tracks next month

by Scott Roos

LJ photos by Aaron Brown/Aaron Brown Photography

Gary O photo by Scott Roos

The end of an era… Maybe that’s too cliche to say but it’s hard to not make use of the phrase when considering Prince Albert’s own L.J. Tyson Kimbley aka LJ these days. A strong and productive member of the music community within our beloved “one bridge town” for several years now, LJ has recently formed a new project alongside Kayanna Wirtz, Colin Klassen, and brother Kolton Kimbley. An “all for one, one for all” group entitled Former Lovers it’s a star studded lineup of musicians. In fact, if you’re even moderately in the know with the local Saskatoon and P.A. music scenes you could almost call it a supergroup. But, at the same time, it effectively puts LJ’s solo career on hold... for now. 

“This is me wrapping up my solo stuff for the moment and I've kind of made people aware of that,” L.J. tells NSMZ, “I'm fulfilling my last gigs that I was contracted for. I’m obviously open to collaboration still and maybe some singer-songwriter stuff, but as far as it goes for me working as a L.J. Tyson these next few months are kind of it for me.”

“(Wirtz, Klassen, and brother Kolton) joined my band a little over a year ago and we just decided we didn't want to play the music that we were working on at the time because we were coming up with a new sound (together). So we decided to ditch the LJ moniker and make our own thing and what we have dreamed up,” LJ explains, “I think this is where our hearts are at the moment….” 

Part of LJ 's process of clearing things off of the metaphorical desk of his solo project, though, is a two album set of recordings he’s calling The Vault of which the first single is the Gary Ostafichuk (aka Prince Albert based rocker Gary O)  produced pop bubblegum styled “Arcade”. It’s an interesting juxtaposition for Gary O given his rock n’ roll leanings that he was so well known in the community for. 

“He (Gary O) respected the art of a well-crafted pop song,” explains LJ of Gary O's interest in the genre, “It's conversations with people like Gary that made me come to the realization that not only is there a formula to pop music, but you can play with the formula to make it an art form and Gary was a pro at that.”

In total there will be five Ostafichuk produced tracks on The Vault - two finished songs (including “Arcade”) and three demos. What makes these songs extra special is they represent some of the last known things that Ostafichuk was working on prior to his untimely passing last year. LJ and Ostafichuk worked on the music during COVID but had to stop during lockdown and, unfortunately, never got back to finishing a full album’s worth of material. 

“I'm excited that people will get to hear what we dreamed of,” LJ continues.

The late great Gary O shredding guitar at the 2022 Prince Albert Street Fair

On top of the five Ostafichuk produced tracks, The Vault will also have material produced by Jesse Weiman, Travis Beatty and Rich McFarlane and NSMZ will be on hand next month for the release to talk in more depth with LJ about it. We’ll also talk more about Former Lovers. June is shaping up to be a great month for LJ.

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