By Rachel SandersChange is good, according to Amelia Curran. Well, for the most part, anyway. And the folk-y singer-songwriter should know. Curran's upcoming fifth album, Hunter, Hunter, has been a study in change. After putting out four independently produced discs since 2000, she's been picked up by whip-smart Toronto label Six Shooter, which also recently re-released her ECMA-nominated 2006 album, War Brides.
Curran describes Six Shooter as "brilliant" and her relationship with the label as "a good marriage," but the big change, as change so often is, was accompanied by brand new anxieties.
"I was very nervous, because I've been independent for so long," Curran says in an interview with Exclaim! "Hunter, Hunter is the first thing that I've really had to deliver. With the label and also with the people who enjoyed War Brides, it's almost like waiting for approval, which is nerve-racking. I've never gone through that before."
Set to be released on September 1, Hunter, Hunter was also recorded in a brand new recording locale, though one that was awfully familiar to her. A resident of Halifax for the past ten years, Curran returned to her hometown of St. John's, Newfoundland to record for the first time.
Going home was an interesting experiment for Curran, who isn't quite sure how her Newfoundland roots affected her songwriting. "People, myself even, are always wondering: 'Where is the Newfoundland in the music?' And I think it's there somewhere. I don't care to know exactly where. I enjoy that that's sort of a mystery."
And taking her music back home also gave her the chance to work with a new set of musicians, such as St. John's singing trio the Once, who backed her on several of the tracks. "It was a chance to work with people who I've been watching my whole life," she says.
Returning home can be an enlightening and transformative experience. When asked if she misses St. John's, Curran responds without hesitation, "every day," and then reflects on the reasons she left in the first place.
"When I left I was young. It wasn't that I was moving to Halifax, it's just that I was getting off the island, which I do think is maybe the best decision I ever made," Curran laughs. "I'm not quite ready to move back yet but it's definitely going to happen."
Change is good. But sometimes a good old double-back is even better.
1. "Bye, Bye Montreal" 2. "Hands on a Grain of Sand" 3. "Ah, Me" 4. "The Mistress" 5. "Mad World, Outlive Me" 6. "The Company Store" 7. "Julia" 8. "Tiny Glass Houses" 9. "The Dozens" 10. "Love's Lost Regard" 11. "Wrecking Ball" 12. "Last Call"
Amelia Curran tour dates:
9/3 St. John's, NL - Holy Heart Auditorium 9/5 Halifax, NS - The Company House, * 9/9 Charlottetown, PEI - The Guild 9/10 Saint John, NB - The Blue Olive 9/11 Fredericton, NB - Evergreen Theatre 9/12 Wolfville, NS - Al Whittle Theatre 9/17 Toronto, ON - The Rivoli 9/19 Wakefield, PQ - The Blacksheep Inn
More dates TBA * 2:00 p.m. matinee and 8:00 p.m. evening show