Former James Bay residents Teagan Johnston and Brandon Mellett on their wedding night at Fantan Alley.

James Bay musician’s love life inspiration for new album

For Teagan Johnston, the past few years have flown by.

For Teagan Johnston, the past few years have flown by.

She graduated from high school, recorded her first EP, fell in love, moved to Toronto and got married.

The past three years has brought a lot of changes for the former James Bay resident. Now, the 20-year-old, also known as Little Coyote, is using those years of falling in love as inspiration for her first full-length album.

The Trouble with Teeth is about love in the modern age for millennials, and being young, falling in love and figuring out how to deal with relationships. It features classical piano and northern Canadiana folk.

“The whole album is about me figuring out what it is to love because he’s (my husband) the first person I’ve fallen in love with,” Johnston said, adding she just received funding from the Canadian Council of the Arts to complete the album. “It’s an interesting and intense thing to go through, falling in love.”

Johnston has always been musically talented. She began playing the piano when she was just five years old and took up singing and songwriting lessons when she was 14 years old.

She also had the opportunity to study under local jazz musician Anne Schaefer, who introduced her to two musicians who helped record her first EP Winter’s Child.

But it would be her relationship with her husband, Brandon Mellett, from which she would draw inspiration and eventually find her sound.

Johnston met Mellett after she graduated from high school at a Victoria music festival. Shortly after, the duo moved to Toronto so Johnston could pursue a career in music, develop a sound and find a band to play with in a more wide open, unfamiliar space.

“I just really love (music) as a platform for communication, feelings and philosophy and just an open space for people to take what they will from something that you have to say,” Johnston said. “The last few years have been a time for me to go through that thought process and figuring out how I feel about it (love).”

After making Toronto their permanent home (Brandon now goes to school in the city), the couple returned to Victoria to get married. They were wed at Dales Art Gallery on Dec. 22 in front of family and friends.

Using her new relationships as inspiration, Johnston hopes to have The Trouble with Teeth completed by the end of the year or in early 2017.