Sue Smith Tonight We Sail

 

The Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation said last Thursday that preliminary findings from a survey of the grounds at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School uncovered the remains of 215 children.

                                                                                                                      CBC News, May 31/21

 

“Some schools have playgrounds, some schools have graveyards.  Prayers westward.”

                                                                                                                        Jeremy Dutcher, May 31/21

 

I offer prayers. 

      

 

 

“There is a quality to Sue Smith's voice, so evident on "Tonight We Sail" that simultaneously earns your trust while somehow remaining inscrutable. It's the voice of a mysterious and experienced shepherd, someone whose job is to lead visitors safely through unknown spaces, without necessarily giving her secrets away. And I think that's what this album represents, 11 songs that collectively build a liminal space, melancholic and yearning--a space that requires a shepherd.

It's a tricky business to describe liminal space in music, because I think the only way you can do it is to be in it.  I imagine the temptation to overplay, overdramatize is always there, but if it's indulged, it will surely break the spell. What I love about "Tonight We Sail" is the feeling of every musician sitting back on their skills in order for the songs to waft up like smoke. Kevin Breit's guitar makes the most demonstrative punches here, growling asymmetrical phrases that give these otherwise lush environments their requisite drop of tension.

The production is spare and exquisite, done so I think to heighten the live interplay between Smith's voice and the Potion King's rhythm and lead instruments. It is impossible to imagine these songs being layered up in a studio, there is such evident synergy and seasoned understanding between musicians.  The thrill of these tracks lives therefore in their immediacy--they unfold in real time, they exist in a room just big enough for you to drink your potion and get lost.”

Tiny Bill Cody
Hamilton, ON Icon