Fans of Twins Cities based singer-songwriter Tim Mahoney know and love him primarily for his powerful voice, which—aptly enough—he showed off as a contestant on Adam Levine’s team during the inaugural season of NBC’s The Voice. However, the musician is branching off into an unexpected direction this holiday season, with an instrumental-only EP, Peace of Winter: Live at MacPhail, set for release on November 28.
The record, which follows up 2011’s pop-rock project Shine Through, features Mahoney meandering through hypnotizing piano interpretations, calling to mind visions of seasonal landscapes. There is no singing on the album at all; a choice Mahoney has been pondering for some time.
“I’ve always wanted to make something like this. I’ve been playing piano for years; I learned by ear,” Mahoney explains of his foray into an instrumental direction. “I don’t even really think of myself as a player, I just really love the raw simplistic sound of the piano. “
The six-song EP was recorded live for an intimate audience, using a nine-foot Steinway Grand at Antonello Hall located in the MacPhail Center for Music. Mahoney, who teaches rock camps at MacPhail, describes the locale as “Just a very cool space overlooking Minneapolis…It was inspiring.”
He adds that although the project is not technically a Christmas record, he was struck by its overall “wintery” feel, resulting in a decision to release it for the holidays.
Mahoney is so enamored of the keys that he admits sometimes he’ll play a few notes over and over for an hour; any fellow music lover will certainly appreciate his attention to tone. However, the vocalist—who famously wowed “The Voice” audience with a staggering performance of Sam Cooke’s “Bring it On Home to Me”–admits his fan base might be surprised by his new instrumental-only direction.
“I’m not sure what people will think,” he says with a laugh. “They might be waiting for singing to start…but there is none!”
“It has a different audience,” he projects, adding that he hopes fans “can just see the simplicity of it…I made something truly that I would like to listen to; and hopefully someone else does too.”
The year 2014 has been a busy one for Mahoney overall; in addition to working on his new album, the singer-songwriter recently signed deals with Volkswagen Midwest and Mills Fleet Farm Auto Group for his music to be featured in their respective advertising campaigns. He also won a high-profile local radio contest and helms an educational program teaching children the basics of songwriting and vocal performance.
He also continues to grow his base via his reality-show history. The Voice released two of Mahoney’s performances as iTunes singles, which sold a total of 50K copies, with one hitting a top chart position of #28.
For more information, please visit www.timmahoney.com