Howie Beck is a Canadian musician mixer and producer based in Toronto. His debut album, 1997’s Pop and Crash, was recorded at home while Beck recovered from mononucleosis. He has been nominated for three JUNO awards in Canada on three occasions for Adult Alternative album, Engineer of the Year and Producer of the Year (2017).
Beck began to attract attention outside of Canada with 1999’s Hollow. Around this time, some of Beck’s songs made appearances in prime-time TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Queer as Folk, and Felicity. Picked up by the independent record label Easy!Tiger, Hollow was released in Europe nearly two years after its Canadian release, and regular international tours followed. More recently, his music has appeared in episodes of One Tree Hill and Degrassi.
Beck regularly trades guest appearances, in recording sessions and onstage, with other Canadian artists such as Sarah Harmer, Hayden, Leslie Feist, Jason Collett and British singer-songwriter Ed Harcourt. Beck is also an accomplished drummer, and briefly played drums for Bourbon Tabernacle Choir in the mid-nineties. He has also appeared as a multi-instrumentalist on many albums by Hayden, Sarah Harmer, Gonzales and others.
After a long break from the music industry, partly triggered by September 11, Beck finally released his third, self-titled album in Canada in 2004. The album was again released in 2006 in the UK, Europe and the US to generally positive reviews. That year he toured with Josh Rouse and Nada Surf in Europe and Scandinavia.
How to Fall Down in Public, his fourth full-length album, was released to critical acclaim in Canada on February 24, 2009, receiving glowing reviews and features in the Canadian press. Beck continues to have mainly a devoted cult following, largely due to his irregular live appearances. Though he again played all of the instruments on the album, he was assisted by Gonzales in some instrumental and production duties. Also appearing on the album are Feist and Sarah Harmer, both as guest vocalists.
In recent years, Beck has started to work on select projects as a producer and mixer. He produced and mixed three albums for Broken Social Scene member Jason Collett, Idols of Exile (2005) Here’s to Being Here (2008), and Reckon (2012), Hayden’s 2009 album The Place Where We Lived and Matthew Barber’s album, True Believer, released in 2010.
In March 2010, Beck was nominated for a Juno Award in Canada for his album, How To Fall Down in Public.
Howie Beck is currently producing and mixing records for others, including a mix on the 2011 release, Metals, by Feist (The Undiscovered First), Kalle Mattson (2011), Jason Collett (2012), Hannah Georgas (2012), Walk Off The Earth (2013), Barenaked Ladies (2013), Jamie Lidell (2016), and Ron Sexsmith (2017). He also composed and performed the original music to an upcoming documentary about Burt Shavitz, of Burt’s Bees fame, which had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in 2013.