With a retro sound that happily borrowed elements from '60s garage rock and '70s rock radio in almost equal proportions, Toronto-based singer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Rault started off self-producing and releasing his music, but after a string of records where he kept honing his craft, he caught on with two legendary labels, Burger and Daptone, and brought his sound to a wider audience.
Rault began his career in the mid-2000s, releasing a series of self-produced CD-Rs in his native city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. With a reputation for classic, retro-inspired songcraft, he was eventually signed to Sony Canada imprint Pirates Blend, which released his '50s rock-inspired debut, Ma-Me-O, in 2010. After relocating to Toronto in 2012, he followed up with the Whirlpool EP, a seven-song set that owed a larger debt to '60s garage and psychedelia. He became increasingly involved with other eccentric notables from the Toronto indie scene like Young Guv and Slim Twig, whose band Rault also played in. As he continued to develop his blend of psych, garage, retro R&B, and oddball guitar rock, he attracted the attention of California garage-centric cassette label Burger Records, which released his Still Not Sad/Nothing Means Nothing single in 2014. Rault's long-awaited follow-up LP, Living Daylight, was released by Burger in early 2015.
While on tour with soul singer Charles Bradley and then King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Rault made the acquaintance of Wayne Gordon, head honcho at the Daptone Records studio. This led to Rault heading to the studio in Brooklyn to work on some song ideas he had. Gordon liked what he heard and signed Rault to Daptone's Wick Records subsidiary, and the pair worked together to finish an album, bringing in new influences like folk-rock and '70s AOR while recording directly to tape to get a warm and organic sound. Less garage rock throwback and more classic rock replay, the resulting It's a New Day Tonight was released in May of 2018, after which Rault and his live band headed out on tour. ~ Timothy Monger