During this time Sinclair and Stanwyck started a song writing partnership that ultimately lead them in a different direction than TPOH and early in 1991 the duo left the band to form their own group. They put together a pop rock band to play the songs they had written and then slugged it out touring extensively before recording their debut album "Magic Basement". The album blended many influences of them both but had a sound that was unique and fresh which introduced Stanwyck's charming vocals against a back drop of melodic yet driving guitars. The album received rave reviews and the singles "Just Before Mary Goes" and "Upfront With You" broke out on to the air waves with cross over appeal by getting college, alternative and rock radio support in Canada and the U.S.
Sinclair & Stanwyck, as a new and exciting writing duo already started making headway as credible song writers by having songs from their first album winning spots in television shows and movies. "Just Before Mary Goes" was used in it's entirety in the opening scene in Ashley Judd and Luke Perry's movie Normal Life. Also using Universal Honey songs was the critically acclaimed movie director Denys Arcand (Love and Human Remains). In 1996, after touring the success of "Magic Basement", The Honey's took time to go back to the studio to record their second album "Earth Moon Transit".
This album produced another set of solid tracks that received glowing reviews and again received airplay in both the U.S. and Canada. The single "Any Road Back", gained them even more recognition at radio stations across the U.S. Videos were also featured on MTV's 120 Minutes and on MuchMusic.
The single "Make My Mind" was added to MTV's M2 and MuchMusic. They began touring again which included US radio festivals and then a very lengthy and effective tour across the U.S. with the Goo Goo Dolls. Non-stop touring, traveling in a van for months on end and other hardships took their toll on all involved in the Honey's organization.
After a change in management they took time to reflect, recoup and rejuvenate then started putting into words and music the very confusing and overwhelming times they had just experienced. In 1999 Sinclair and Stanwyck recorded their third album ,the self-titled, "Universal Honey" and also tested their producing abilities. The album was a bit scattered in concept but as always contained hidden gems. The single "Hit the Ground Running" was added to MuchMoreMusic and also used in the short lived WB TV series Grosse Pointe.
More and more TV spots began to materialize, Dawson's Creek used "Real World", and "Big Mistake" was used in the CBC movie "Harry's Case". The Honey's next experimented with moods on their album "Fearless". A darker tone was set for this fourth album and they acquired the production talents of Dale Penner (Nickleback, Holly Macnarland). And now a common occurrence, more television placements.
"Won't Find You" was used in Dawson's Creek and Robby Takac from the Goo Goo Dolls added his flair and remixed the track. Other tunes from this collection have been used on the CBC cooking show "Surreal Gourmet". The single "Think you Know", received air play in pockets across North America and was on the CHUM Top 100 songs for 2002. Not stopping for a breath, Sinclair and Stanwyck began assembling their own recording studio and in 2002, with what they had learned over the years, recorded then released their fifth album "Invincible".
Several of their songs during this time were used in the Rosanna Arquette documentary "Searching For Debra Winger" (Selma Hayek, Melanie Griffith, Jane Fonda, Sharon Stone, Gwyneth Paltrow), which premiered at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival and is in regular rotation on cable channels world wide. Again the title track received moderate airplay as proof of the strength of their songwriting. "Invincible" is a more consistent album than the last few with a sincerity that's refreshing. Still experimenting in their studio, and with the encouragement of their manager, in 2003 Sinclair and Stanwyck recorded and released a Christmas Album with 12 original tunes. The album, "Can’t Stop Thinking About Christmas", received and is still receiving rave reviews worldwide.
The album is upbeat, fun and calls upon many fellow musicians, with guest appearances from Ron Sexsmith , Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo), Tyler Stewart (Barenaked Ladies) and more. Four songs from this album charted on the BDS airplay chart in Canada. The CD has grabbed attention and garnered radio airplay in the US, Canada and Europe. Universal Honey keeps expanding their recognition and credibility and in 2004 put out an album full of well crafted pop songs. Once again the classically trained Stanwyck played all the guitars, keyboards and all vocals, a fact that often gets overlooked.
Adding to the mix was Darrin Pfeiffer of Goldfinger fame. Probably the most pure Universal Honey sound "Vicious Circles", is just starting to receive positive reviews in Canada and the US. An excellent review from USA Today music editor and reviewer Ken Barnes is just one of many. The comparisons to super groups such as Fleetwood Mac and The Pretenders show the mass appeal of this duo.
Universal Honey is now one of the most used artists on Dawson's Creek. Television shows and movies continue finding spots for their music. Throughout their career as song writers they have always managed to get their songs played on radio. A task which is increasingly more difficult for indie bands these days.
There are few bands, indie and otherwise, that are able to maintain the momentum and flow of creativity and solid song writing that this duo has accomplished. There are many who have been sitting on the sidelines silently cheering for this hard working, prolific, determined and innovative twosome. And when their time has come, when many more know as they know, they will then say I told you so. And they will be right.
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