>> People always ask me where I’m from and I don’t exactly know how to answer. I moved around so much growing up, going to nine or ten different schools throughout my life in Ontario and British Columbia. Because of this rootlessness, I identify strongly with the places my family is from. My mom’s family is from Newfoundland, specifically an island in Plancentia Bay called Red Island, and I’ve always felt very connected to the province, visiting whenever I can. So you can imagine how I jumped at the opportunity to be able to write in near-seclusion smack dab in the middle of Gros Morne National Park.
The space was formerly the Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital, now converted into an art space/physio therapy care center/hostel/radio station (I know, that’s a lot of things!). I was met with a wealth of inspiring landscape, incredible stories of the hospital’s operation and the people that kept it going, as well as a wealth of time in which to allow the writing to happen at the pace it required.
As an artist in the current climate, it feels as though you’re in a constant race to tour enough, post enough to social media, somehow clamor to stand out in the sea of incredible accessible music that is available in this day and age. It’s a cool and electric time to be doing what we’re doing, but at times it can also be incredibly challenging and gut-wrenching and seemingly hopeless. I found myself having lost most of the time to put into the actual creation of the music, the whole reason I began pursuing this career path in the first place. In this new and inspiring place far from where I called home, I felt I could finally breathe again and the music flowed.
I stayed there for three weeks, save the time I took to duck down to Halifax to play the Urban Folk Festival and to take a quick trip to Fogo Island with my friend Tom Cochrane to visit a cousin of mine, Paddy Barry. The actual songs took a while to come to life, but I had the luxury of being in no rush. To pass the time and get my creative gears turning, I could walk down to the bay, I could talk to folks in the community that I met along the way, read about the cottage hospital and community, or try to catch a glimpse of Gilbert, the local moose (which was a very stupid thing to do, as Gilbert was pretty aggressive apparently and had charged multiple people in Norris Point at that point, but I was fortunate enough to not actually run into him).
"Coal In Your Window" was the first song I wrote during my time in Newfoundland and I’m so happy to share it as the first single. The album comes out on June 7thand was written during my time at the Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital as well as my time in the Yukon as the Dawson City Music Festival Songwriter in Residence in January 2018. Stay tuned and keep on keepin on, buds. Thanks for reading!