2014 is not a year I regret saying goodbye to, by any means. In fact I think it ranks as my least favourite year of the last 36 or so. Despite that, a lot of incredible things happened that reminded me why it’s so good to be spinning around on this ball of water and mud with the rest of you. In the spirit of the holiday, here is a selected recap:
- playing music with some of our favourite friends and collaborators, including making a new record with Stanley Brinks and Freschard (stay tuned for “The Fox”…); a lo-fi Bruce Springsteen covers album with our tour-mate Boo Hoo; a crazy show in Paris with Leo and Billy from Coming Soon; singing and recording in German for the first time (danke Daantje, Matthias & Timo!); Ariel’s adventures with Susie Asado; guesting on bass guitar with bands from Canada, Malta and Liechtenstein (Blimp Rock, Bark Bark Disco and MoreEats); and being reunited with our extended musical families in Peterborough and St. John’s: Jill Staveley, Jenny Gleeson, Jenny Mitchell, Mike Duguay, Adam DeMarsh, Vish Khanna, John Duff and Natasha Blackwood.
- accomplishing our first ever tour (one-way, at least) by bicycle in Ireland. And it didn’t even rain.
- discovering the UK for the very first time, and meeting so many incredible promoters, musicians and new mates. Not ‘mates’ in a biological mating sense, you understand. That’s just what they say there when they mean friends.
- getting to collaborate on three new records, all of which I’m very proud of: Michael Feuerstack’s Singer-Songer, Community Theatre’s Northern Register, and – of course – LIVINGSTON: Artificially Intelligent Folk Songs of Canada, Volume 2.
- the biggest mind-blowing gift of friendship ever, in the form of the My Name Is Mathias tribute album. I’ve written a lot about this already but I still don’t have the right words.
2015 is as unpredictable as any other arbitrary collection of days and nights, but so far I’m optimistic that it will involve at least one new record at some point, and certainly a lot of gigs. We’ll be in the UK and Europe again in June and July and some of those shows are already announced and on sale here.
But however the new year turns out—if you’ll allow me another brief moment of sentimentality—I feel very lucky to know all the wonderful people I know. You are all so kind, funny, talented and heartbreakingly giving, and nothing in this life would be worth a fig without you. Even half a fig. Anyway, please don’t go anywhere anytime soon.
Love and a happy new year.