Published Feb 22, 2011It's been three years since singer-songwriter Shannon Lyon left Canada for Berlin. And while the Kitchener, ON native has had extended stays in Europe over the past 15 years, it seems this time he has found solace.
At least that's the overriding tone of his recently released album, This Love This Love, recorded with a quartet of well-known Berlin session players in the basement of one of the city's former hospitals, built in the 19th century. Lyon is known as a soul-baring roots rocker, best displayed on his 2003 album Wandered (the first release by a Canadian artist on Richard Branson's V2 Records), and This Love This Love is a return to that electric spirit following several predominantly solo acoustic releases.
"It's the best I've felt in half a decade," Lyon tells Exclaim!, though he can't confirm a return to Canada is imminent. Despite the foreign residence, This Love This Love is available through Busted Flat Records, the Kitchener-based label that Lyon helped establish before his latest departure. Through recent signees such as Matt Andersen and former Northern Pike Jay Semko, Busted Flat has become one of the most respected roots music outlets in the country.
Lyon is now residing in rural Holland and will be touring that country, as well as Spain, France and Germany in the coming months. "I left Berlin after finishing the album and moved into a cabin in the north of Holland," he explains. "It was an old circus wagon parked down on a dirt road in a forest. There was no running water or heat, just a wood stove. That's where I got my focus back. I stayed there for two months until I moved onto the farm where I live now in the southern province of Limburg."
Lyon's descriptions of his current digs certainly paint an idyllic picture, and it seems as if more material will be making its way to North America on a regular basis, whether in the form of albums or songs for movies and TV, such as the track "December Song" that was used in a 2008 episode of the CBC drama The Border.
"During the day I take care of my organic garden and my chickens," he says. "When I'm not doing that, I'm in my home studio. I've been sober for 13 months. I'm mentally and physically ready to take the album out on the road."
Go to Busted Flat's website for samples of This Love This Love and for ordering info.
This Love This Love:
1. "This Love This Love"
2. "Blue Flowers"
3. "I Crossed the Ocean"
4. "Writings On the Wall"
5. "My Bride Light"
6. "A Light Unto"
7. "Pleasing You Pleases Me"
8. "Willing Lies"
9. "Softest Lips"
10. "Wish It Would Rain"