Gord Downie's Wife Kaya Usher Forms Family Band, Announces Kevin Drew-Produced Debut Album
'All This Is' — featuring two of Usher and Downie's four children — arrives next week
Published Nov 08, 2021Kaya Usher is finally seeing her late husband Gord Downie's long-held dream come into fruition with All This Is — her debut album with the Family Band, which is set to arrive on November 17 via Arts & Crafts. Today, she's shared the first single entitled "Heart Clicks."
From Montreal, Usher was 20 when she met the would-be beloved poet laureate Downie at university, where they fell deeply in love. As they say, the rest is history: the Tragically Hip became wildly successful, meanwhile, Usher stayed home to raise their four kids.
This project is an unexpected manifestation of Downie's lifelong desire to see his loved ones create music together as a family unit — a dream he shared with Usher. Their 21-year-old son Lou and 26-year-old daughter Willo perform on the album, with Willo also having designed the artwork.
Journeying through an awakening process that began when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in her 40s, this collection of songs has been almost 30 years in the making for Usher, who contributes classical guitar, organ, harmonica — a gift from Downie prior to his death in 2017 — and vocals.
All This Is was produced by Nyles Spencer and Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew, who struck up a friendship with Usher after Downie introduced them in 2013. Recorded at the Hip's famed Bathouse studio and mastered by Emily Lazar, its hypnotic chords and ambient rhythms facilitate a high-frequency sonic metamorphosis to buoy Usher's healing transformation.
"This is a very personal album for me," Usher said in a statement. "Not only because I get to jam out with my kids, but also because music has helped me to rise up and transcend what was holding me back. Everyone can connect to music. My hope is that this album helps others reach new heights too."
Evidenced by the mesmerizingly repetitive arrangement of "Heart Clicks," All This Is captures the love and strength that can be transfigured while cycling through great loss.
Watch the Drew Barry-directed video for "Heart Clicks" and check out the album tracklist below.
All This Is:
1. Coming Home
3. First Frequency
7. Disappearing Bridge
8. The Field
9. Brilliant Self
10. Heart Clicks
Pre-order All This Is.