The more you listen to Frost On Black Fur, the more you enter Kate Weekes’s unique perception of the world around her.
The latest solo album from the 32-year old Yukon singer-songwriter features a variety of lyrical themes such as winter, wilderness, politics, travel and change.
But what comes through the most is a distinct yearning for exploration, discovery and curiosity.
With a voice that can shed light on even the darkest days, Weekes really comes into her own on this 11-track album.
On “Sing It To The Hills,” the Whitehorse-based folk musician sings about Irish tour guides who struggle with feelings of joy, grief and oppression associated with the country’s tumultuous past.
The song came about after Weekes spent two months in Ireland a few years ago.
She kept a journal, a practice she has had for many years, and compiled the lyrics to the song based on her notes.
On “Banks Of The Snake,” based on a trip into the Peel watershed, she tackles issues of development and taking wilderness for granted.
“Chopper by the Iron Creek cuts through the air and it’s all we hear / what’s the iron chopper doing there? / picking up the mess they made or making more with stick and blade?” she sings.
She said she’s grown considerably – both lyrically and as a musician – since her self-titled, solo album was released in 2007.
“I feel like I’ve become a more solid musician, one that plays more consistently,” she said.
“I’ve been playing with some really good musicians over the last few years. I’m more conscious of my playing and how the songs are structured.”
Weekes said she had about 30 songs to pick from for this latest album.
The creative process began last fall when she started working with producer Bob Hamilton, who was instrumental in helping Weekes structure her songs and figure out the best track order for the album, among other things.
In February, she launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the album.
Almost $6,000 was raised in the span of a month.
The message was loud and clear: people wanted to hear more original music from Kate Weekes.
“That really helped with my confidence,” she said.
“To hear that people were so enthusiastic about my upcoming album was very encouraging to me.”
The timing for a new solo album felt right, too.
Weekes had been collaborating with other musicians for a few years and decided it was time to “find her voice again.”
She also wanted to have more performing options available to her.
“I’m curious to see how people will react to the album, and a bit nervous,” she said.
“You’re really putting yourself out there. I think there is more energy and rhythm to these songs than my past work.”
The album release party will be held at the Old Fire Hall on Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
She’ll be performing songs from the album as well as some swing tunes, she said.
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