This was the album I had to make. I don't mean to suggest that it had to get made, that it is somehow uniquely "important" or that I was compelled by some ephemeral muse to make it – none of that capital-A "Artist" nonsense. No, making an album is certainly a luxury, and I am grateful to be able to indulge in it.
What I mean is that ever since I recorded Dead and Gone in 2013, I've been struggling to decide how to follow it up. I've been sitting on a great long list of songs and trying to figure out what the identity of the next record would be. In retrospect, I spent years obsessing over a record that would only ever exist in my head.
I was broken out of that rut when Brodie Stevenson offering to record some demos for me. Driven by the fact that I was going to be moving away from Toronto for a while, we decided to just get some stuff on tape "just to have it", and it was during those loose, no-pressure, perfectionism-free sessions that Blossington began to take shape.
Album art & design by Sarah Rafter
The whole thing was recorded in two weeks. 21 tracks were narrowed down to a tight 8 and Devin Staple, Tish Gaudio, Joshua Campbell Gladston, and Nathan Smith were kind enough to lend their talents. Brodie Stevenson found a way to make everything as pain free as it possibly could be and to help me pull it off without any funding. A luxury indeed.
At the end of the day, the album turned out just how I had pictured it. A much stronger set of songwriting than my debut, in my opinion, though produced and performed in a looser, more laid-back fashion. Any mixed feelings I have about the result are not because we failed to achieve what we set out to do (we didn't), but because I wonder what might have happened if we had tried to do something almost, but not quite, entirely different.
I guess that's what the next album is for (and yes, I've already started writing track orders for that). I don't know yet if it's going to be a primarily folk, rock, country or bluegrass record, but it will probably finally contain some live favourites people keep asking me about. I'd like to use this space to track the history of album #3, through song selection and demoing all the way to the end, whenever that may be. If that's something that interests you, well, good.
Until next time.