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Andrew Cole

Andrew Cole doesn't mince words about his choice of Why We Wonder as the title of his independent debut record. “Anyone who knows me will say I'm the biggest worrier ever. I analyze everything; especially those tiny intricacies that happen everyday that are so hard to even name because they're so small.

“But it's positive worrying,” the Toronto born singer/songwriter adds. A product of following his parents to Liverpool, Wales, Las Vegas, Toronto and Florida and rarely having had an opportunity to set down roots. More importantly, it's the driving force behind the development of his unique voice and lyrical sense.

A natural born singer, Cole grew up constantly singing other people's songs, developing a vocal style characterized by a remarkable range of expression. Still, Cole couldn't see himself as a performer. “I don't know whether it was because I was pushed all over the world, or if it was because I was a natural born cheeky little bastard, but I just wouldn't have anyone tell me anything, I was stubborn and a rebel, I wanted to have a voice, but I didn't want people looking at me.”

In the end Cole did decide to take the stage and begin the process of finding his voice: In 2002 he entered and won Stars In Your Eyes, a nationwide UK musical competition; the next year was named the UK's North West Artist of the Year; over three years of university at Salford in Manchester – the longest uninterrupted time he'd spent in one place – he played the pubs four nights a week, further developing his already substantial vocal chops.

Still his voice as a songwriter remained in lock up, expressed only through his reinterpretations of the songs he chose to cover. It wasn't until he returned to Canada after his father's death in late 2004 that he began working on his own material; writing his first song – Why We Wonder's closing track, We Must Win – in the backyard of his new home in Oakville, Ontario.

When Canadian rock icon Tom Cochrane and his wife Kathleene, now Cole's manager, heard rough demos of those first efforts they were convinced by what Cochrane describes as “a voice other singers would die for”, and set out to help the fledgling songwriter realize his potential.

Recorded over the past two years in various studios in Toronto and at the Wire Recording Studio in Austin, Texas, Why We Wonder balances elements of acoustic pop, folk and all out rock, a signature mix of acoustic and electric textures enhanced by lush soundscapes and rich string and Mellotron arrangements – courtesy of the ‘EMI Mellotron' the very machine used to record The Beatles' Strawberry Fields.

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