Christa Couture understands, through challenging life-long experience, what it feels like to face adversity. Proudly queer, disabled, and Indigenous (mixed Cree and Scandanvian), Couture survived childhood cancer, which led to the amputation of her left leg; her two sons died as infants; her marriage ended in divorce after that; and most recently, thyroid cancer threatened her career as a singer.
So it’s no wonder that her profound sense of loss informs her new single “To Us,” though it’s balanced by a fragile sense of hope. From a gentle beginning, the song moves to a bouncy, upbeat melody that admits the failure of some of the best-laid plans, but chooses to rejoice anyway. Not unlike how we’re all feeling at the tail end of a lengthy pandemic. The percolating pedal steel guitar solo, by Steve Dawson, is especially festive. In fact, the repeated lyrical wish for a “Happy New Year” might even turn the song into a seasonal favourite!
“I wrote this on New Year’s Eve 2016, at the end of what had been a truly difficult year for me,” says Couture. “I had gone through a divorce, three moves, four jobs, and discovered I had thyroid cancer. Despite how hard it had been, I wanted to toast to resilience, survival, to a little bit of hope that things might get better – but also to not wanting to jinx it! Enter 2020 and 2021, and it was the right time to record the song. I think we all feel weary and tentative; I think we all deserve to say, ‘To Us!’ despite it all.”