Published Aug 18, 2016Over the years, pop and jazz vocalist Lori Cullen has offered up covers of material from Canadian artists like Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot. Now, she's linked up with national treasures Ron Sexsmith and Kurt Swinghammer to deliver a brand new collection given the alliterative and accurate title of Sexsmith Swinghammer Songs. The album arrives October 28 via True North.
A press release explains that the project first got off the ground when Sexsmith suggested to Swinghammer that they write a group of songs for friend Cullen to croon. Sexsmith penned the lyrics, while Swinghammer handled the arrangements. The resulting 12-song affair is described as a "fresh expression of jazz-infused chamber-pop," though it draws inspiration from the likes of Burt Bacharach, Antonio Carlos Jobim and more.
"To have two of my favourite people who also happen to be two of my favourite songwriters write an album of material for ME to sing is beyond exciting," Cullen said in a statement of the experience.
Additionally, Sexsmith said it was "a thrill" to take part in the project, while Swinghammer noted: "Having Sexsmith as wordsmith was true inspiration to pull out all the stops compositionally, and writing melodies for Lori's breathtakingly beautiful voice was the greatest motivation one could ever ask for."
The record was cut at Toronto's Canterbury Sound facility with engineer Jeremy Darby and produced by Maury Lafoy, with the bulk of the music being performed by drummer Mark Mariash, keyboardist Robbie Grunwald, and guitarist Swinghammer. Sexsmith also duets with Cullen on "Off Somewhere."
Beyond this, the record also features the sound of trumpets, trombones, oboes, clarinets, recorders, harmonicas, and the backing vocals of Mia Sheard and Jennifer Foster.
While the album doesn't arrive until October, you can check out its "Strange Is This Life" below, where you'll also find a few of Cullen's scheduled live appearances.
Sexsmith Swinghammer Songs:
1. The Face Of Emily
2. Miracle Home
3. Strange Is This Life
4. New Love
5. Something Right
6. This Morning
7. Beginner's Luck
8. Off Somewhere
9. Then There Were Three
10. Some Part Of Me
11. Don't Go Yet
08/20 Waterdown, ON - Waterdown Arts Festival
09/09 Toronto, ON - Hugh's Room
09/17 Toronto, ON - Kensington Market Jazz Festival
10/29 Toronto, ON - Hugh's Room (record release)