The Scalawag (aka Teo Saefkow) is back with a new EP released July 23 and a video of the titular song “Run Away” launching today (Aug 6).
Runaway is a genre-bending five-track collection of songs that, while standing alone, collectively weave a story of cyclical anxiety and self-doubt.
Saefkow started production of the EP in May 2020 at the height of the first COVID-19 lockdown.
“I felt a crushing weight on my soul, and everywhere I looked I felt powerless to help,” he said. “I was just stuck in my home while people were out in the world suffering.”
Under that weight, Saefkow said he had an explosion of creativity writing seven songs in the first month.
Runaway is the first of two EPs he intends to release this year with a full-length album to follow in the summer of 2022.
Like on his debut solo album Scalawag, Saefkow plays all the instruments on the new EP and did all the recording and production himself in his home studio.
“It’s important to me that I create as many of the sounds myself as possible, instead of using stock instruments or samples,” he said.
“It gives every sound more weight and sanctity, to know that it took blood, sweat and tears to get a good performance out of myself for every instrument, and to make sure everything is sounding up to par and comparable to a studio recording with session musicians and engineers.”
He also self-produces his own videos.
The release of the “Run Away” video, an indie-pop/R&B inspired tune, scheduled for today at noon, was preceded by videos for the rockabilly “Touch,” the final song on the EP and “You on my Mind” a sentimental pop love song.
Scalawag will be supporting the EP with a tour in the fall including Sept. 18 in Smithers at the Bulkley Valley Brewery.
It kicks off in northern B.C. Sept. 16 in Prince Rupert with dates in Terrace and Prince George and will take him to Calgary before heading back through southern B.C. wrapping up in Fernie on Oct. 6.
Saefkow grew up in Smithers where he was known for his band Ranger Smash with long-time friend Zak Windle before striking out with his solo career.
He now calls Vancouver home.
When he released the debut album in 2019, he said he chose the name because it resonated with him.
“It describes me perfectly,” he said. “It just means someone who is mischievous, but not in a detrimental way to other people, just for fun.”