From the fathoms, the dark solitary deeps, comes Amelia Curran’s Spectators, released in October 2012 on Six Shooter Records. A meditation on frailty, restlessness, time and its finitudes, Spectatorsis both storm and harbour.
The Juno winning artist has charted a course through longing and loss with lyrics that face life’s beauties and terrors with disconsolate urgency. With Spectators, Curran returns to the scene with ten tracks that yet raise the bar on her signature lyricism, but push beyond the folk boundaries that have defined her previous releases.
Produced by John Critchley, Spectators brings surprises, including brass, strings, piano, and rumbling percussion. “What Will You Be Building,” a downtrodden Dixieland dirge, distills existence into one essential question. “The Modern Man” is another standout track – Curran’s stark vision stands sharply against a dark, tense, shivering backdrop. Even, or perhaps especially, the love songs, cut through the bone. In particular, the earthquake heartache of “San Andreas Fault,” is as graceful as it is devastating.
The opening track, “Years,” strides forward with a dynamic deliberation undercut by repeated speculation about all the trouble’s worth. Ever cautious in her optimism, “Years” introduces the record’s measured truths in fine fashion.
Guest musicians and arrangers are a collection of Toronto and St. John’s notables, including The Once, Todor Kobakov, Bryden Baird, Selina Martin, Oh Susanna, and Martin Tielli.
Spectators was nominated for the 2013 Juno Award for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year: Solo.