David Usher

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David Usher
David Usher 2012.jpg
Usher in May 2012
Background information
Born (1966-04-24) April 24, 1966 (age 48)
Oxford, England
Origin Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genres Rock, pop rock
Years active 1992–present
Labels MapleMusic Recordings, Capitol
Associated acts Moist
Website davidusher.com

David Usher (born April 24, 1966) is a British-born Canadian singer-songwriter. Usher is the frontman for the alternative rock band Moist, which originally formed in 1992, went on indefinite hiatus in 2000, and reunited in 2013. In 1997, Usher embarked on a solo career and has released seven solo albums to date.


David Usher was born in Oxford, England to a Thai Buddhist, artist Samphan Usher, and a Jewish Montrealer, Dan Usher, who is a professor of economics at Queen's University. He has lived in various places such as Malaysia, New York City, California and Thailand since early childhood, before his family settled in Kingston, Ontario. He attended high school at Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute. Usher attended Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, majoring in political science. His degree would later influence his music career. Usher is a humanist, and has been involved in such causes as War Child Canada, White Ribbon Campaign and Amnesty International. Usher is featured in the acclaimed 2001 MuchMusic special Musicians in the WarZone, a humanitarian documentary produced by War Child Canada, directed by filmmaker Liz Marshall.[1] In it Usher journeys to the northern border of Thailand to visit a large Burmese refugee community.

Usher married Sabrina Reeves, photographer and co-artistic director for the Bluemouth Inc. performance theatre company, in 1997. They have two daughters: Coco, born January 10, 2003, and Océane Danayia, born April 28, 2008.

Musical career[edit]


David Usher met his Moist bandmates in 1992 while in university and their 1994 debut release, Silver, went quadruple platinum in Canada. Moist went on to release their multi-platinum follow-up, Creature, in 1996, Mercedes 5 and Dime in 1999 and Machine Punch Through, a collection of singles, in 2001. The band reunited in 2013 after twelve years, and is planning to release a new studio album in 2014.

Solo career[edit]

Usher in 2008

David Usher recorded his acoustic, debut solo album "Little Songs" in his kitchen in three 10-day stretches. Little Songs was released in April 1998 during Moist's hiatus following the release of Creature, and spawned a minor hit in Canada with the single "Forestfire".

Following Moist's Mercedes 5 and Dime, Usher revived his solo career and released the highly successful Morning Orbit in the summer of 2001. It contains the hit singles "Alone in the Universe", as well as "Black Black Heart" which was co-produced by Jeff Martin, former frontman for the Canadian rock group The Tea Party. Other "special guests" on Morning Orbit include rapper Snow, Jagori Tanna and Bruce Gordon from I Mother Earth as well as Gord Sinclair from The Tragically Hip.

In 2003, he released another solo album entitled Hallucinations, which features a cover track by Manic Street Preachers entitled "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next", as well as a bonus disc which includes live tracks and one remixed track.

After Hallucinations, Usher left EMI in favour of a smaller record company MapleMusic, moved his family to New York, and released the predominantly acoustic If God Had Curves in 2005. This effort featured a collaboration with Tegan Quin, on the track "Hey Kids", as well as a guest guitar performance by Bruce Cockburn on the track "Long Goodbye". That same year Usher released a DVD entitled "Walk.Don't.Run", which gives us a look into the making of If God Had Curves.

Usher's fifth solo album, released in March 2007, is titled Strange Birds. It contains the popular song "The Music". David and his family moved back from New York. They now reside in Montreal, Quebec.

Wake Up and Say Goodbye is the second single and title track from Usher's latest album released on September 23, 2008.[2]

Solo Discography[edit]

Title Details Peak chart
Little Songs
  • Release date: March 17, 1998
  • Label: EMI
Morning Orbit
  • Release date: July 31, 2001
  • Label: EMI
  • Release date: September 9, 2003
  • Label: EMI
If God Had Curves
  • Release date: April 26, 2005
  • Label: EMI
Strange Birds 10
Wake Up and Say Goodbye
  • Release date: September 23, 2008
  • Label: Maple Music
The Mile End Sessions
  • Release date: September 14, 2010
  • Label: Maple Music
Songs from the Last Day on Earth
  • Release date: October 2, 2012
  • Label: Maple Music
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


  • Appears in Building a Mystery from Sarah McLachlan's Surfacing (1997)
  • Forestfire from Little Songs (1998)
  • Jesus Was My Girl from Little Songs (1998)
  • St. Lawrence River from Little Songs (1998)
  • Alone in the Universe from Morning Orbit (2001)
  • Black Black Heart V 1.0-2.0 from Morning Orbit (2001)
  • A Day in the Life from Morning Orbit (2002)
  • My Way Out from Morning Orbit (2002)
  • Time of Our Lives from Hallucinations (2003)
  • Surfacing from Hallucinations (2003)
  • Love Will Save The Day from If God Had Curves (May 2005)
  • The Music from Strange Birds (2007)
  • Ugly is Beautiful from Strange Birds (July 2007)
  • Kill the Lights from Wake Up and Say Goodbye (November 2008)
  • Je repars from "The Mile End Sessions" (August 2010)
  • Rice Paper from "Songs from the Last Day on Earth" (October 2012)
  • Partir ailleurs from "Songs from the Last Day on Earth" (October 2012)


  1. ^ LizMars - Musicians in the WarZone
  2. ^ David Usher Tour Schedule. http://www.davidusher.com/tour/, accessed 27 Feb 2008.

External links[edit]