Artist Website Buy on iTunes
Tobias the Owl is based on the songwriting of Toronto native turned Seattle resident, Elijah Dhawan, who spent years traveling, sometimes on foot, throughout the southwest and west coast. Along the way, he gathered a diverse set of influences, from Texas roots and folk traditions; deep Southern bluegrass; Canadian indie rock; Long Beach surf and rockabilly; and Pacific Northwestern acoustic music. Throughout, Elijah has also proudly carried and reflected the traditions of his native, Moroccan music; from the deeply spiritual, tones of classical Sufi music to the community-shared folk of Berber culture. The songs are built on using music to heal and sublimate the tribulations of life into higher spiritual awareness.
The name, “Tobias the Owl”, hales from a line in a Pavel Solivar poem, about a one-eyed owl who visits the home of a lonely musician. Hungry and unable to hunt, the owl begins to visit regularly for meals and keeps the musician company while he plays. The poem describes the moment at which the musician decides on a name to call the owl, stating: “Oh, Tobias, you see through the blindness, and in the cold of the darkness every eye that shines is a universe unto itself”.
After releasing their first EP, Painting Zeroes by Your Name, Tobias the Owl gained international prominence and critical acclaim for several of the songs, including the track “Low Life”, which has been performed by the likes of Deer Tick and Jonah Tolchin, the deeply spiritual singer-songwriter who has had the most profound influence on the band and their songwriting. Shortly after the release of PZBYN, Elijah began working with drummer/percussionist Scott Seiver, and legendary producer, Marvin Etzioni.
Since the start of the band, Tobias the Owl has been named “Best Songwriter” in the 2014 Seattle Sound Music Awards, and also “Best Singer/Songwriter” in the 2014 Toronto Independent Music Awards.
Their first single for London Tone Music’s 52x52 launch campaign is called, “No Light (Moon Song)”. When asked about the origins of the song, songwriter Elijah Dhawan explained, “it’s about the fine boundary between cherishing what we have, and gently letting go of the things that are beyond our reach,” adding, “put another way, it’s about tempering our ambitions in life with the recognition that our hopes and dreams shouldn’t diminish the joy we reap from each moment.”
In discussing their experiences working for the first time with Geoff Ott at London Bridge Studio, Dhawan said, “Geoff was extremely kind, patient, and thoughtful throughout the process. His attitude toward recording the song matched the song’s tone perfectly.”
Being in London Bridge Studio was also a really magical experience for Tobias the Owl. “There’s something indescribable about looking down at a microphone while you’re singing and realizing that the same microphone has transmitted the voices of iconic talents as diverse as Eddie Vedder, Layne Staley, Brandi Carlile, and Melissa Etheridge.”