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James Burrows’ album Paradise Cinema is a road trip

James BurrowsTrent University graduate and former Arthur editor, James Burrows, is soon to release his first studio album “Paradise Cinema”.

After graduating from Trent University, Burrows went on to York University to do his Masters. There he quickly learned that music was the road for him, and he has been on it ever since.

“I found myself in a program that wasn’t really right for me,” says Burrows.

After leaving York University, Burrows spent some time touring around North America with his wife after she released her first album.

Having toured with his partner playing folk music, he figured out what he wanted to do with his own music. “What I wanted to do was add a dancier element to the story-telling that is really strong in the folk community.”

Burrows then spent some time in Brooklyn, New York where he recorded his first studio album at Galaxy Smith Studios. This album came with a new sound; rock, taking some elements of folk and leaving the rest on the pavement.

Burrows explains that the idea behind his album is based around where a lot of our generation is, the spectrum ranging from being stuck in a program that isn’t right, to having to move home to live with our parents, which for so many has become a reality.

The writing for the album happened in two parts,  “Half the songs I had since I was at Trent, and then when I got to the studio in New York I started writing in the studio.”
Having only 10 days in the studio, Burrows and his team started recording in September of 2013. The album was then mixed and mastered this past summer and into the fall, and will be released in full in April 2015, followed by a Canadian tour come the summer.

Later this month, Burrows will be releasing a single off of Paradise Cinema followed by the full release of the album sometime in April. But if you can’t wait until April to hear the full album, Burrows will be playing a live show at The Garnet on Hunter St on Saturday January 24 at 10pm!

Burrows began writing songs while he was still in high school, often skipping class to practice and play the guitar. “In the back of my mind I always thought I would get to music, I just didn’t know when… My father gave me a Beatles guitar book when I was in grade nine and I taught myself how to play.”

Burrows was looking for something to do and that was how he learned how to play. “Skipping school can be really productive,” he jokes.

It can be so easy to lose sight of our passions, but it’s important to remember that if you aren’t learning what you want to learn where you are, you should learn it somewhere else.

“I’ve been writing songs about my family and my road trips on the road and they just kind of came together in a way that made me feel like there was something to tell,” explains Burrows.

When talking about Paradise Cinema, Burrows never talked about the songs but rather he called the album a story, each “song” a part of the bigger story. “The stories on the album are basically stories about people who are stuck between two relatively terrible options and what they do and how they work their way though it.”

Having moved around a lot, Burrows found the base of his stories. This album is not just a collection of random songs; this album is a journey. Burrows’ idea of writing a story and putting it to music brings an element to the album that is not always present in other music.

Paradise Cinema is not an album of singles; it is a road trip. Burrows has created a piece of art that is cohesive as a whole, allowing the listeners to see the world, for a moment, through the eyes of someone else, only to learn they are seeing the same thing.

To hear some of James Burrows music check out his website: and remember to visit him out at The Garnet on January 24 at 10pm to hear him play live.

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