By Vish KhannaFormer Constantines lead singer Bry Webb has returned to making music after a self-imposed hiatus, and though his new work may be as tense as ever, it's also some of the softest he's ever made. Webb took himself off the road in 2009 to start a family in Guelph, ON and, in a sense, even the title of his gorgeous new record, Provider, speaks to his mindset as a young husband and new father.
To let us better know what we can expect from Provider, the Exclaim! TV crew were invited to 6 Nassau Studios to film a pair of new album tracks, including a celebration of new life in "Asa" and a resignation with death in "Undertaker." You can watch performances of both below.
"Asa is my son's name," Webb explains. "It means 'morning' in Japanese, 'wings' in Portuguese, 'sharp' in Latvian, 'healer' in Hebrew and 'little hawk' in Nigerian. I wanted to write a lullabye for him that used all of the meanings of his name. It was the first song I had written in a year and a half, and it helped me sort a lot of things out."
Webb goes on to explain, "The record, Provider, is dedicated to Asa, and to my grandmother and grandfather, who both passed away, two months apart, while I was recording. My grandmother once told me I had the perfect disposition to be an undertaker. So I wrote that song ["Undertaker"] for her several years ago. They were both wonderful people who would have appreciated the humour in the song."
While his closest friends expected to hear more from his little-known, Montreal-based solo project the Harbourcoats, when Webb pulled out of that city, he left their completed record behind him as well. It really wasn't until Webb's old friend Feist caught wind of those songs and invited him to open her upcoming Canadian tour that the deceptively shy Webb felt the urge to write and record Provider for public consumption. Otherwise, he may have kept his newest songs -- inspired in part by his newborn son, as well as the mysterious murk of adulthood -- all to himself.
Provider is due out on November 15 via Idée Fixe Records. You can pre-order the album here. Below, you can see all Webb's upcoming tour dates, several of which are with Feist, and watch his performances of "Asa" and "Undertaker" on Exclaim! TV at the bottom of the page.
11/10 Guelph, ON - The Ebar (Opening for Sandro Perri and Ryan Driver) 11/20 Edmonton, AB - Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium # 11/21 Calgary, AB - Jack Singer Concert Hall # 12/1 Toronto, ON - Massey Hall # 12/3 Montreal, QC - Metropolis # 12/5 Ottawa, ON - National Arts Centre # 12/6 Quebec City, QC - Grand Theatre du Quebec #