The Hylozoists

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The Hylozoists
Origin Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Genres Instrumental rock, indie rock
Years active 2001–present
Labels Boompa, Zunior
Associated acts Broken Social Scene, The Weakerthans, The Sadies, Cuff the Duke, Do Make Say Think, FemBots, Tricky Woo, Rockets Red Glare, Sea Snakes, Heavy Blinkers, The Guthries, Christine Fellows, Hummer, Hopeful Monster
Members Paul Aucoin, Randy Lee, Paul Lowman, Greg Millson, Christopher Sandes, François Turenne, Eric Woolston
Past members Bryden Baird, Jason Ball, Dave Christensen, Patrick Conan, Peter Conrad, Matthew Faris, Jonina Gibson, Rob Gordon, Monica Guenter, Taylor Knox, Nathan Lawr, Dave MacKinnon, Ruth Minnikin, Damian Monyhan, Dale Murray, Michael Olsen, Owen Pallett, Lukas Pearse, Julie Penner, Wayne Petti, Brian Poirier, Jeremy Strachan, Jason Tait, Leanne Zacharias

The Hylozoists are a Canadian instrumental rock supergroup formed in 2001 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The band's name is derived from hylozoism and was started as a side project of record producer and multi-instrumentalist Paul Aucoin.


The Hylozoists is an instrumental band conceived by producer Paul Aucoin in 2001. Aucoin wrote and recorded their first album La Nouvelle Gauche (using a line-up of musicians mainly from Halifax) in his studio in Nova Scotia. Sadly, The Hylozoists were moved to the back burner as Aucoin had to return to his responsibilities for the band The Sadies.

In 2004 Aucoin moved to Toronto where he revived The Hylozoists. This conception of The Hylozoists would consist of musicians from other bands such as The Weakerthans, FemBots, and Cuff the Duke. It was here that Aucoin started fresh and captured the collective sound of his new collaborators, he shed the idea of a “solo project” and created a full-blown supergroup.

The group's third album, L'île de Sept Villes, received a Juno Award nomination in 2010 for Instrumental Album of the Year.[1]

In addition to his work with Hylozoists, Aucoin has also produced albums for other artists, including Cuff the Duke's Sidelines of the City, The Golden Dogs' Big Eye Little Eye and John K. Samson's Provincial.


Their MySpace page describes their music as Indie/Classical/Emotronic. This is a pretty accurate description of their music, especially considering their instrumentation. A majority of their instruments (vibes, glockenspiel, organ, violin, viola) are primarily used in classical music, and in some instances jazz. These instruments interact in conjunction with the other “non-classical" instruments (drums, pedal steel, guitar, bass). What makes their sound unique is the application of the instruments, not necessarily the instrumentation itself. While using vibes and a glock is unique for an indie band, what makes it interesting is that some of their songs sound like something out of a feature film. Aucoin had a musical education (i.e. he had either conservatory tutoring or maybe even post-secondary, classical training) and he uses it in an effective way, not just in writing but also in orchestrating. In their song "Warning Against Judging", the opening minute is played on glock, organ and a little bit of a guitar - if you were to replace it with strings it would be something from an orchestral movie score. After the first minute of the song drums and bass come in, as well as violin and trumpet. It still keeps the feeling of a movie score, something that has been thought out by someone knowledgeable in orchestration.

What is interesting about this band is not only its make up, instrumentation wise, but also its origins and albums. Technically this band originated in Halifax and then moved to Toronto during its second inception. Their first album, done in Halifax, was titled La Nouvelle Gauche. Their second album, done in Toronto, was titled La Fin du Monde.


Regular touring members[edit]

Past (and part-time touring) members[edit]


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