Amelia Curran is a Juno-Award winning songwriter, activist and mental health advocate from St. John’s, Newfoundland. Curran’s music is distinguished by her intricate and elliptical lyrics, geologic in their resilience and oceanic in their depths. Over the course of a decade, Curran has built a shoreline of song, a place of radical, perpetual collision of matter and form. Even as she leads us to the ever-eroding lip of the abyss, Curran’s music helps us make sense of the heart’s imperceptible, relentless attrition.
Watershed, Amelia Curran’s newest album, marks a threshold, a shake-up, a directional change. The tenor of this new album is openness (not to be confused with optimism), a reflection in part of Curran’s increasingly public efforts to battle the stigma of mental health issues in the arts. As a whole, the album calls for compassion and unification as a breakwater against the sea of cruelties we inflict upon each other, and upon ourselves.
In keeping with Curran’s off-stage commitment to raising her voice, Watershed is co- produced by Curran and replete with songs that speak to themes of vocalization. Curran establishes a core feminist dimension to Watershed’s theme of speaking up with “Gravity” and “No More Quiet,” two of the album’s standout – and vigorously feminist – songs. “Gravity” is a two-and-a-half-minute precis accented by horns and bass-y power chords. On this song, Amelia’s noted lyricism gets a shot of feminist rock grit – think Chrissie Hynde meets Ron Hynes. “No More Quiet,” is a powerful take down of gender tokenism, and slams the door on those who perpetuate inequality with a soaring soul outro by the larger-than-life vocals of blues singer Shakura S’Aida.
From the opening notes of the title track throughout the album, waves of distorted guitar batter Watershed’s softer shores. The surges of electric riffs create a strong undertow, churning and roiling as Curran’s lyrics express agitation, frustration and exhaustion with fighting the currents. “The root of advocacy is somewhere near exhaustion and rage. I am tired and I am angry,” Curran has said of her mental health advocacy. Certain songs on this album, such as “Try” and “Stranger Things Have Happened,” address a similar fatigue and hostility with the music business. “It’s no place for art,” is all Curran will say.
Watershed is the result of a convergence of autobiographical and political fault lines, as in recent years, Curran has become more involved with political and humanitarian work focused on mental health awareness and acceptance. Curran is the founder of It’s Mental, a grassroots community organization based in St. John’s. She also produced and directed the film “Gone,” an exploration of art and suicide. The documentary, which will air nationally in 2017, recounts the loss of several close friends and Curran’s own struggles with depression, treatment and self-acceptance. Curran’s willingness to end her own silence on the subject of mental health has also formed the basis of recent speaking engagements in schools and music conferences across Canada.
In addition to the release of Watershed, 2017 will see Amelia Curran’s first literary publication, a collection of lyrics and other notes, confirmed for the new year via Breakwater Books.
Six Shooter Records is proud to release Watershed on March 10, 2017.
Drawing stories from her travels, loves, and losses, the collection of 10 songs off Andrea Ramolo’s new album NUDA ooze with “naked” vulnerability. Produced by Michael Timmins (The Cowboy Junkies), NUDA brings about rich tones, ambient colours, raw narratives, depth and soul. Ramolo brought together a who’s who of the industry into The Hangar studio including Josh Finlayson (bass), Ray Farrugia (drums), Jason Sniderman (keys), Aaron Goldstein (pedal steel), Faye Blais (vocals), along with Andy Maize and Matt Epp, who are each featured on duets. The companion version of the same songs, entitled Da Sola (meaning by myself ), was produced by her pal, Faye Blais. For Ramolo NUDA is a metamorphosis. She continues; “It was written during an exceptionally dark time where I was painfully shedding pieces of who I thought I was… as an artist, as a lover, as a woman. I wanted the project to unabashedly expose that process; that battle with ego and identification in an attempt to just be… to reveal all my cuts and bruises in this process of becoming. It’s rare these days to stand in front of people naked, alone, and without filter. I thought I’d shovel out my insides for listeners in my never‐ending attempt to connect because all of us on this earth have two things in common: love and pain.”
Born in Toronto to Italian immigrants ‐ hence the cover of the Italian love song Caruso on NUDA ‐ Ramolo began her artistic life as a dancer and actress, but picked up the guitar in 2003 when her mom was going through breast cancer treatment “to heal myself and do something productive.” The rudimentary country‐folk tracks ended up on her 2008 debut, Thank You For The Ride. She followed it up in 2011 with the Tim Thorney‐produced The Shadows and the Cracks, which earned her a nomination at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. She then formed Scarlett Jane with Cindy Doire and spent five years extensively touring behind two albums, 2012’s Stranger and 2015’s eponymous offering, earning accolades from press and fellow musicians across the country and two more CFMA nominations. She has shared the stage with Gordon Lightfoot, Ron Sexsmith, Adam Cohen, Lee Harvey Osmond, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings and more.
What the press have been saying:
“she’s never sounded so soulful” – Toronto Star
“this is a work of remarkable depth, powerful emotion, breathtaking honesty, and almost inescapable sadness” ‐ Music Life Magazine
“Her lyrics…are passionate, vulnerable, and honest.” ‐CBCMusic.ca
“Every once in a while along comes an album that grabs you by your soul. It penetrates you and makes you want even more. Andrea Ramolo’s new album, NUDA, is such.” ‐ Canadian Beats