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Soulmatters (Toronto/Canada) by Cheryl Thompson   link

"Scott Lanaway is one of those rare gems you come across every few years. On Mergers & Acquisitions, he peels away layers of his psyche and what's left is just sheer brilliance. Tracks like "Gabapentin" with its electro beat paired perfectly to Lanaway's sultry almost falsetto voice adds a great complexity to what otherwise could be a rather mundane electronic track. Then there's "Oprah, God Wants You to Have a Private Jet." Even if you never heard this song, you just got to love its title. It's amazing! The track itself is actually quite heartfelt and intimate, not at all what you expect but a pleasant surprise nonetheless. Mergers and Acquisitions feels like a bit of something old and something new; like Lanaway was shedding his past while honouring it at the same time. It's an endearing quality that makes this disc genuine and sincere. On tracks "1333" and "All Our Yesterday," Lanaway keeps you guessing as to what kind of album this really is – electronica or experimental pop? You never quite know. And, that's what's so great about it. 4/5."

Greyown Point (Toronto/Canada)   link

"The way that Scott Lanaway combines the two genres of folk and electronic is by sometimes using electronic music with folk sensibilities and vice-versa. In one of the album standouts called 'Gabapentin', the electronic yet almost primitive-sounding drums and beats combine with a slower vocal style to create a really catchy song. For many of the songs Lanaway creates very lush electronic landscapes, at some points making you feel as though you're in a dream."

SEE Magazine (Edmonton) by Jen Hoyer   link

"Scott Lanaway might be the only person who could croon a tune called, "Oprah, God wants You To Have a Private Jet" and sound deeply sincere. His folk-pop melodies are gentle and genuine. The unending chorus, "I want to love you, you want to love me," on "Wild Eyes" never gets cheesy. My personal favourite is the clapping-and-bang-on-a-bucket percussion that accompanies Lanaway's honest and energetic tribute to pain meds and getting on with life in "Gabapentin." And then there are the atmospheric, electronic tracks that made me double check that my CD player hadn't switched to random mode. This other Lanaway cranks up the synth on "It's A Long Way Home" and opts for techy beats on '1333'." (UK) by Ian Fildes   link

"Enthralling Homebrewed Digi-folk"

"Lanaway spent much of the ‘90s paying dues in several burgeoning college rock bands on the Montreal scene, but when serious illness stopped him in his tracks in 2000, his convalescence worked in tandem with the slow building of a home recording facility that allowed him to capture his ideas at will as his body repaired itself. The resulting work (2006’s ‘Answering Machine Diaries’) documented his turbulent emotional journey, and four years later the story continues.

‘Mergers and Acquisitions’ has a deeply insular, almost claustrophobic, and coldly modern feel to it at times; featuring noticeably programmed percussion, acoustic guitars and pianos at the core, but given a considerable warmth and personality by streams of atmospherics, echoes, sounds from nature, and Lanaway’s familiarly toned and pleasing singing voice.

Possessing a vocal timbre that is a likeable mix of Neil Young’s higher fragile register, with more than a little of a restrained Rufus Wainwright’s diction and tone, Lanaway infuses all of this wonderful album’s 55 minutes with carefully structured melodies and a deep convincing melancholy. The swathes of melody and harmony that join the analogue electronic beats of opener ‘Let’s Be Together’ could easily be what Fleet Foxes would sound like if they should ever (as is now standard industry terminology) ‘Do a Radiohead’.

Perhaps the record’s bravest sonic venture; ‘What We Already Knew’ mixes, unsettling skittering beats and horns with a pop-savvy chorus and we have an approximation of Rufus Wainwright indulging in some almost bizarre post-millennial dub-step reggae existentialism. While ‘Garbepentin’ (Epilepsy medication, also used to combat severe nerve pains – Toxicity ed) with its meditations on consuming Voices on the Radio whilst frustratingly stuck in traffic, with the promise/mantra that “I am a good citizen, and I’m just fine” ratchets up the dead eyed angst.

After an initial burst of, albeit wonderfully skewed and awkward, upbeat tracks, the pace slows to a lethargic pace after a few numbers (a pace it barely ever stirs itself from). However this is where Lanaway allows himself to truly soar. The reverb-soaked ‘Wild Eyes’ and ‘Warm as the Sun’ are serenely anxious, acoustic affairs, laced with adroitly handled melodies and emotions. While the breathtakingly beautiful lament of ‘It’s a Long Way Home’ sounds like Neil Young having OD’d on ‘OK Computer’ before recording ‘Trans’, only better.

By the time the final track ‘All Our Yesterdays’ begins (itself arriving with the sound of a digital sea throwing wave after wave of resignation on a desolate beach of sorrow and solitude), the tired fractured heart in these songs has long since shown signs of cracking.

These home-made paeans to loss, confusion and all encompassing yet never fully explained anguish packs an emotional punch that retains its power with repeated listens. Lanaway’s skill as a songwriter, and also arranger despite the often stark backdrop, are obvious and effective through every note of this rather special record which manages to be both unspeakably beautiful and unsettling at once.  9/10"

NXEW / Earbuds & Ticket Stubs (Canada) by Brenda Lee   link

"Toronto's Scott Lanaway had been completely under the radar for me, so when his album came in my mailbox, it languished in purgatory (on my shelf) for a while during the busiest period of school season. It wasn't until one morning, when I absentmindedly popped it in the stereo in the shower, that I perked up my ears to Lanaway's airy yet beat-driven pop. The new album, Mergers & Acquisitions, is Lanaway's second, the first being 2006's Answering Machine Diaries. It opens with "Let's Be Together," a track that starts with a simple snare/kick-drum beat before expanding into spacey keys and Lanaways' light voice. Through the album's entire 13-track journey, the listener is led by an almost constant hypnotic beat, characterized by a strong electronic-laden soundscape. There are also more acoustic-driven tracks, but the strength of the album is in its beat-driven, mood-infused quality. The atmospheric and comically-named "Oprah, God Wants You To Have a Private Jet" is a highlight; positively floating off into the air, dreamy but not sleepy. The album is available in its entirety for streaming on, and is available on iTunes, Amazon and your local record store."

Confront Magazine (Montreal) by Steve Karmazenuk   link

"The latest from Toronto-area Electro Folk artist Scott Lanaway is an ethereal delight. I’m reminded of Sting’s solo work with regards to the vocal and lyrical content, with falsetto vocals and an interesting mix of traditional and electronic instrumentation, Lanaway crafts a sophisticated and sensual sound. The music here has a certain bleak beauty to it, a mournful, lonesome romanticism. The jazzy world-beat sounds, African rhythms and soulful lyrics on songs like “What We Already Knew”, “Gabapentin” and the haunting “Wild Eyes” are gems on an album full of wonderful, musical treasure. This is my first introduction to Scott Lanaway’s music, but it certainly won’t be my last. If you like folksy, Indie Rock, mellow sounds and poetic lyrics, you really should be listening to ‘Mergers and Acquisition.  9/10"

The Province (Vancouver) by Stuart Derdeyn   link

"A mixed bag of styles from this Toronto multi-instrumentalist that makes for varied listening. There is everything from the near-dubstep of "What We Already Knew" to the smooth goof pop ballad "Oprah, God Wants You To Have A Private Jet." All told, 13 tracks of solid tuneage."

SCENE Magazine (London) by Bob Klanac   link

"It's probably to Toronto musician Scott Lanaway's benefit that he never got tagged as a folk musician, electronic musician or a pro tools geek for that matter. As he makes clear on Mergers & Acquisitions his seeming penchant for electropop is a mere surface issue that obfuscates his passion for aural textures whatever their musical DNA. Lanaway's M&A is the kind of disc one throws on only to shuffle back to check the artwork to make certain that the last song was by the same guy who did the one before. It's also the kind that ensures hitting the repeat button. Again. And again."

VUE Weekly (Edmonton) by Bryan Birtles   link

"Toronto's Scott Lanaway has the inside track on that laid-back but densely worded, Tears For Fears-esque kind of jam that couldn't exactly find a place in a club but is perfect for gathering around a turntable in your parents' basement with a few friends. Lanaway doesn't stop there, infusing his music with rocksteady and some subtle doo-wop sounds. It's a record that floats all over the place in terms of rhythms but is grounded by its tones, both musical and vocal, which carry with them a kind of seriousness that underpins even the album's most ridiculous track, the island-influenced "Oprah, God Wants You To Have a Private Jet."

T.O. Snobs Music (Toronto)   link

"Lush, electronically-created soundscapes are the name of the game on Mergers & Acquisitions. Precision beats mix with layers of sounds to weave a sonic texture that yanks '70s minimalist Moog music into the 21st Century. The results are even better when Lanaway ever so gently turns up the tempo. A track like "Gabapentin" becomes almost catchy, in a very non-traditional way. With the extra aggression, "Juliet Of The Spirits" assumes an exceptional smoldering tension."


Press for 'Answering Machine Diaries' (2006)

Exclaim Magazine (Canada) by Rachel Saunders. June 25, 2006.
'....Torontonian singer-songwriter Scott Lanaway’s first solo album has an oddly claustrophobic atmosphere and an abundance of infectious electronic beats.... ....refining his sonically experimental compositions into the complex and meticulous nuggets that appear on this album...' (Canada) by Mark Carcasole. July 29, 2006.
'....Toronto-based Lanaway isn’t afraid to get a little experimental on Answering Machine Diaries, and that fearlessness works...' ....Atmospheric synths, head-bobbing beats, sneaky guitar licks, random noise in the background, and plenty of effects send you on your way when it’s all said and done....' '....Answering Machine Diaries is a little slice of experimental goodness. Not content to do the standard shtick, he dips into everything from freestyle and booty bass-like beats to trip-hop and electro pop. What’s important to note, is he also makes it sound good!...'

Monday Magazine (British Columbia) by Dana McNairn. Aug 9, 2006.
'....Lanaway's previous music made him a darling of college radio and there's a lot to like about this solo outing with its singer songwriter genre tweaked and spiced up enough so that it doesn't drift into typical guitar-strumming earnestness. "Pinstriped Suit" is a mellow sexy-funk stroll down a hot sidewalk. "Flying" features spacey piano and hazy, but strangely calming vocals....'

SEE Magazine, (Edmonton Newsweekly) by Adam Gaumant. June 29, 2006.
'....Long, minimalist instrumental movements ("Flying," "City on the Edge of Forever") evoke art-rockers like Sufjan Stevens, while the poppier mixes that permeate the first half of the album recall Radiohead and Beck....'

Americana UK, (UK) by Lynne Pettinger. November 10, 2006.
'....Deconstructed and sparse electronica make play with songs about mundane things, as on “queen street” and “what goes around”, with some flashes of great beauty.....'