28 October, 2023
From Mossman to Ottawa
FROM the lush rainforests of Mossman, singer/songwriter Mikhail Laxton now calls the often snowy Canadian capital of Ottawa home.
His home town has not been forgotten though, with one of the tracks on his newly released self-titled debut album simply titled Mossman.
He sings of the mountains and the ocean breeze of his Far North Queensland home – “talking about paradise” – in his homage to Mossman, co-written with Terra Lightfoot.
Hailing from the Kuku Yalanji people of the Mossman region, Mr Laxton wrote the track as a tribute to his roots – home to the world’s oldest living rainforest and providing a coastline to the Great Barrier Reef.
He sings further about his small home town of Mossman where everyone knows and cares about each other, and sings about “taking my time on Front St, talking to the people I know”.
Mr Laxton seamlessly flows between Americana, country, folk rock, blues and more, and ranges in topic from loss and longing, to the nostalgia for home, such as Mossman, to moments of love.
Lead single Dying To Let You Go serves as a deeply vulnerable offering, outlining Mr Laxton’s father’s heartbreaking battle with addiction.
Across the album’s 12 tracks, he weaves together his past, present and future selves.
“The night before recording started I was asked how I felt about making this album,” Mr Laxton said. “I thought about it and was surprised to realise that I wasn’t feeling nervous at all. Which was strange,” he said.
“The only thing I felt was ready. I couldn’t wait to get in there and turn this dream record into a reality and I couldn’t be happier with the way it has turned out.”
Recently, the same day Mr Laxton took the stage for a hometown play at Ottawa’s iconic RBC Bluesfest, he shared Leaving You With Less.
The real-life inspiration behind the song is wrought with drama. A seemingly happy relationship marred by unfaithfulness, a best friend’s betrayal, and an unwilling victim suddenly outcast by the community they once called home.
But the end of the story is nothing if not triumphant, celebrating a clean break and new beginnings including the release of his album.