Brewing fine tunes

Story by Wyatt Tremblay


Photos by Sergei Belski

Summer 2024

Airdrie singer-songwriter Andy Perrin approaches music with a blend of thoughtfulness and intentionality.

“I don’t write falling-in-love songs; I write staying in love songs. They’re about the complexities of life,” he says.

Perrin, who recently turned 40, has been married for 22 years.

“You don’t have to always write about personal experiences, but we’ve grown up together, and it would be a little disingenuous and awkward for a 40-year-old to write ‘baby, baby,’ songs,” he laughs. “My wife would say, ‘Who’re you singing about? Who’s this ‘baby?’”

He says his career as a research academic at Athabasca University, where writing is a major part of his work, affects how he composes the lyrics for his songs.

“As a writer, every word has to have a point. Otherwise, you don’t need it, and that’s tricky enough when writing a song,” Perrin says. “You have melody and cadence to think about, but then there’s the lyrics.”

He approaches his music like he does his research, either methodically or with a let’s-see-what-happens approach. Perrin says he prefers the latter because he’s an inquisitive person and the result feels authentic.

“Everybody writes differently, but this keeps me interested,” he says.

Perrin began playing guitar when he was nine and has performed as a solo artist and in various bands, but it’s only as his two children have gotten older that he’s been able to find more time.

“I’m approaching music in a different phase of my life,” Perrin says. “When I was 21, I was, like, ‘I’ve got to make something of it.’ But now it’s, ‘No, I can do it because I want to do it.’”

He says approaching music as a mature person has given him greater freedom to write the songs he wants and to understand that the process isn’t all about him. He points to his performing name, Perrin & Co., as an example.

“The name is somewhat of an inside joke for me — I play most of the instruments on my latest EP — but it’s also very serious,” Perrin says. “If you can put something together in such a way that it invites people in and lets them bring their strength, then it’s going to be way better.”

That EP, Patina, has three original songs and was recorded and engineered in his home studio, with virtual contributions from musicians in B.C., the U.K. and Romania. It was released in May at the Atlas Brewing Company. The event featured local musicians, including up-and-comer Hayley Isabel, and a surprise guest brew. Perrin asked co-owner and brewer Mike Phipps if he would pair a beer with one of the songs on the EP, Hellfire or Holy Water. The result was an amber ale named, naturally, Hellfire, Holy Water.

“It’s a mix of American pale ale and India ale, like the blending of the two phrases in the song,” he says.

Perrin says performing at Atlas Brewing and other local venues has helped him appreciate the relationship between musicians and businesses.

“One of the things I love about gigging around is that you get to be a guest in their business for a night,” he says.

Perrin adds that blending arts, business, culture and people creates a better community. It’s a part of being thoughtful and intentional as a musician.

“It’s never just about me,” he says. “It’s about that sixth sense that something more is going to happen when you get people together.”

Now that Patina is out, Perrin is already working on his next EP.

“I like EPs. Between gigging, writing and recording at the kind of pace I’m able to with work, life and family, it’s enough to keep me active and interested in it.”

Find Andy Perrin’s music at and Instagram at