A very different record for Cousins, resulting from a period of introspection and collaboration. After the release of 2012's Juno-winning We Have Made A Spark, and the 2014 EP Stray Birds, she allowed herself the time to get off the music business treadmill and instead connect artistically in a variety of projects. Ultimately, that led to some co-writing in several locations, and then forming an interesting team to make this album.
A-list producer Joe Henry (Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint, Aimee Mann) was already a friend, and brought some of his ace team to Toronto, while Cousins brought in some of her associates, assembling an ace group including pianist Aaron Davis, drummer Jay Bellarose and bass player David Piltch. If you're familiar with these names, you'll know that means a rich, textured feel, no gimmickry, with a late night, jazzy feel.
The songs explore personal values and qualities, with a lot of honest feelings on display. The characters have big hearts and strength, but self-doubt and worry as well, trying to navigate the complexities of relationships and personal trials. As intense as the bare lyrics can be, there's also a warmth and empathy that's calming from both Cousins' vocals and the soothing musicianship. While there are some echoes of early '70s singer-songwriter music in its openness, ultimately it's more timeless and genre-neutral, simply Rose Cousins music at an emotional peak.
Cousins is on the road right now, and you can find her on the following spots soon:
- April 3 - St. John's, LSPU Hall
- April 5 - Halifax, St. Matthews United Church
- April 6 - Fredericton, Wilmot United Church
- April 7 - Moncton, Tide & Boar
- April 8 - Charlottetown, Confederation Centre of the Arts