By Carson Redden (Host of The Border, Sunday 6:00-7:00pm)
If mundane (and most likely common) experiences are your primary songwriting material, how do you filter that into something usable? If you’re Tamara Lindeman, leader of The Weather Station, your writing is perhaps an ongoing process of extrapolation and reflection upon previous fragments of lyrics. “It’s like a pinhole camera,” says Lindeman, “one small bit touches all these broader things. I feel it would be difficult to write about in plain language.” Loyalty, the latest record from The Weather Station, has received plenty of attention on CFUV’s charts and major music news outlets for its lyrical subtlety, and careful arrangements. “By being really detailed about one little slice of life, it’s easier for me to talk about big things than it is to talk about big things directly.”
Lindeman has become no stranger to big things – especially big names, during the construction of Loyalty. She recorded the album at La Frette studios in France, with Afie Jurvanen, the voice behind Bahamas. La Frette is where Feist recorded her 2007 album, The Reminder, and Lindeman and Jurvanen were initially in the studio for a day, recording for Bahamas. She was surprised when Jurvanen asked her back to the studio to collaborate on a record of her own. “I’d just assumed that it was going to be his record,” says Lindeman, who has opened for, and sang in Bahamas, most notably on a tour where the band opened for Jack Johnson, and appeared on The Colbert Report with the mellow man himself. Despite touring with Jurvanen, Lindeman says that recording an album was “a bit of a question mark – we’d never made music before.”
Perhaps the uncertainty stemmed for the fact that Loyalty is a larger release than 2011’s All Of It Was Mine, released on You’ve Changed Records. Another Canadian folk presence, Daniel Romano, worked with Lindeman on the record, and she is a longtime member of Bruce Peninsula, another Ontario product. Loyalty was released on Outside Music, a necessary change, since “the recording has been getting easier, but the process of getting out the record was much longer.” The tour with Great Lake Swimmers has been a great success so far though, beginning in Thunder Bay, and with entirely new destinations awaiting south of the border. “Very professional,” says Lindeman of the tour, and she’s found the performances quite different without a band to back her up.
Yet she seems quite comfortable in the central role of a singer-songwriter. The difference is substantial from her former profession as an actress. “It’s very much obedient – not my artistic outlet – it’s a job,” she says, “with music, it’s my vision, songs, everything.”