I’ve had the pleasure of working with Nadya Kwandibens of Red Works Studio a few times now and was thrilled to see her at Aboriginal Day Live! Check out the album on Facebook – her photography never fails to capture the most amazing moments. xo Nods!
After taking over 1,400 photographs and using up most of my best eyeliner, Nick Lakowski (aka Husband) and I made my first lyric video. Check it out! Share it! Boom!
Christa Couture: Lyric Video – “You Were Here in Michigan”
The first single from my new album is out today!
You can buy it on iTunes, or download it for free via NoiseTrade:
“Michigan” has been, through the recording process, the short hand for my song “You Were Here in Michigan” which will be the first single – coming in one week! – from my new album – coming in September! – “The Living Record”.
A savvy and smart friend of mine commented not too long ago “it seems ‘Lost in the City’ would be a better title” and he’s right in some ways. Lost in the city is the lyrical hook of the song and a less cumbersome, ie catchier name than “You Were Here in Michigan”. I’ve been told my specificity in songwriting has narrowed my potential fanbase (pft) and something like the difference between “You Were Here in Michigan” and “Lost in the City” is a good example of my not-broad-enough leanings…
But “You Were Here in Michigan” it is. JUST ‘CAUSE. Acutally, for many reasons, but I’ll spare you them.
Of course, as we know, “Romeo would, were he not Romeo called, retain that dear perfection which he owes without that title” and with that in mind, let me tell you more about this song that I am soon to unleash on the world.
I hadn’t actually expected to keep this song. I write many songs in passing that get thrown out, forgotten or ignored. As it should be. Somebody stop me if I ever start to carefully preserve and tend to every little thing I write. I wrote/sang this song to myself as I drove north from Flint to the ISLAND Hill House last fall, it kept me company and described the view. The next day I decided to record it and put it up on YouTube.
This is that rough, early rendition of “Michigan”:
I hadn’t planned to work on it again, but over the weeks that followed it kept popping into my mind, a pest really, demanding my attention.
One evening, not long before we went into the studio, in some late, fertile hour of the night, I gave in to its persistence, wrote a bridge, changed the ending and voilà, it was complete.
Once in the studio and in the shared hands of Steve and the band, it grew bigger and stronger and it has come a long way since that recording above! I can’t wait to share it with you.
In one week.
One of my favourite Ian Sherwood songs is “Here I Go”. During our wee tour last month I got to sing along with it every night! One morning, while still waking up and about to hit the road, we recorded this in a friend’s backyard…
I love how the sun comes out during the bridge – well played sunshine, well played.
Watch: Ian Sherwood w/Christa Couture – “Here I Go”
I did an interview with Songs and Sonics not so long ago in which one of the questions J-bot posed was “what’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you”? I answered:
I love you.
But that was a cop out, an easy answer. Of course when someone tells you they love you, and they mean it, it is very, very nice. Hopefully you’ve all been told many, many times “I love you” from the moment your parents first laid eyes on you to today. What I actually first thought of when I read the question was:
I’m not uncomfortable.
It didn’t seem like there was the space or time to explain that so I went with the easy answer. I’ll tell you now.
I was on a plane from Winnipeg to Vancouver after three days of Aboriginal Music Week, exhausted, in need of a shower, a little hungover and very much looking forward to getting home after an intense, heartening and bewildering (yet all things considered fantastic) time. The plane was packed and I was stuck in a middle seat. Often the coping strategy in such situations – crammed, tired ones – is to ignore the people around you. But in the exchange of hellos with the man headed for the window seat as he climbed over me and Mr. Aisle became a flight-long conversation, the kind of honest conversation that seems destined for strangers stuck in places. The kind of unexpected, funny, moving exchange that makes me love people, and being surprised by them.
I had told him about my biggest heartbreak. We talked. I told him that it wasn’t the first heartbreak of its kind, 2006, 2010… He slumped in his chair saying “ooooooooh!” to which I quickly offered, out of (the oft described as Canadian) habit ,”I’m sorry!”.
“Why are you sorry?”
“Because that story makes people uncomfortable.” And it does. For the most part people are made awkward, nervous, scared, or apologetic themselves (and all of the above are at best) when I tell them that story. It makes it very hard for me to be honest, most of the time.
“I’m not uncomfortable” he replied.
And he meant it. And it warmed my heart to no end to hear it, like I’d been waiting for someone to say that for months. For someone to just be okay with the truth. It was the nicest thing anyone had said to me in awhile.
If you asked me today “what’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you?” I would answer:
I’m in no rush.
Recently, while talking to a friend, I was flustered, distracted, and keeping them waiting. It was another occasion that I said “sorry!”, worried that they would be frustrated or disappointed in my lacking attention, focus.
“I’m in no rush” they replied.
And they meant it. And it warmed my heart.
I’ve been very busy lately, working like mad, and will continue to be so and do so for the next six months. Often hurried, sometimes losing the plot with too many balls in the air – even, at times, mixing metaphors when I’m really showing signs of overwhelmed ; ) – and trying very hard to be mindful of other people’s time. To not be late, to not ask for too much. To not keep them waiting…
I feel I’ve a zillion deadlines and I’m anxious that I’ll only meet half of them, but more than half seem Oh So Important, and maybe a few of them even truly are Rather Important as far as matters of work and art are concerned. Releasing a new album that I care deeply about is exciting, but terrifying too. I’m trying to pull a lot off within my resources of time and money, and friends, so the idea of don’t worry, take your time, I’ll still be here was a reassuring one to say the least.
It’s a busy busy world and our days are buzzing with things to do. What’s the nicest thing someone could say to you now? Tell me, but take your time – I’m in no rush.
Lots of news from Indian Country lately!
It’s amazing – that song is from my album The Wedding Singer and The Undertaker released in 2008! And in less than three weeks the first single from my new album The Living Record comes out. I guess I’ll be competing with myself on that chart – I prefer that to competing with others, to be sure : )
The thing is, there’s room for everyone. I’m stoked to be topping that chart this week, and look forward to who will be climbing it next!
— NCI FM (@NAMCountdown) May 31, 2012
My new album, The Living Record, will be released this fall. I can’t wait. But first – the first single off the album will be released June 19th!
You Were Here in Michigan will be available in iTunes and as a free download here at christacouture.com. Watch this space for more and join the mailing list to keep up to date.
APTN held a press conference today announcing this year’s lineup for Aboriginal Day Live… which includes me! And the fantastic likes of Kashtin, Inez, Indian City and others.
I’m right chuffed.
If you’re in Winnipeg, the day long festival and evening concert are FREE. If you’re any where else in Canada, it will be aired live on APTN.
Fun! The band and I will even be playing two new songs off the upcoming album, The Living Record.
Check out the full lineup: aboriginaldaylive.com/artists-winnipeg.
Last week, Ian Sherwood and I embarked on a week tour. “5 Days in May” we called it, though I actually only joined the bill for four, and we wove our way around beautiful British Columbia.
I was reminded of three things I love about touring:
1) Getting to hear other musicians. Ian is a fantastic songwriter and performer and I loved getting to watch and hear him four nights in a row. Here is is being marvelous at the Bluebelle Bistro in Kaslo:
2) Getting to visit beautiful places, via scenic drives (ok not always, but this tour in its well timed brevity didn’t have a grey day or bad view in it, from Vancouver to Kelowna, Silverton, Kaslo, Penticton, Ashcroft and back). Here I am in New Denver:
3) Getting to see family and friends I don’t see often enough. Here two of my beautiful cousins and I, in Kelowna:
The next tour will be in July – see you then musicians/places/friends!