Instead of retreating during the pandemic, Chloe Albert spent a lot of time online negotiating a new album, and released it in 2021. Come Round Again is her latest venture, and she’ll be giving fans a live taste at St. Albert’s Plaza Series on Aug. 18.
After a nine-year hiatus where the award-winning singer-songwriter took time to raise her three sons, her latest six-track reminds us of the importance of human connection and love.
“I’m totally excited and super glad. I want to have fun and be more experimental and think of all the possibilities,” said Albert.
A well-recognized folk artist on the Canadian music scene, Albert received enthusiastic reviews for her award-winning debut-album, Dedicated State, released in 2008. By 2013, the singer’s sophomore album, Dream Catcher, caught the attention of Canadians across the country. The 10-track received a Juno Award nomination, a Western Canadian Music Award nomination, and multiple Edmonton Music Awards.
Albert’s sound is a cocktail of country, folk, rock, and blues — a hybrid she calls North Americana. In addition to a signature sound, the lyrics have an easy-going vibe that makes you want to take life in stride, and her voice glides effortlessly from note to note.
“The songs for Come Round Again were all written before the pandemic. I was so ready, and I started recording in 2019. It took me that long,” Albert said. “I worked with a producer in Vancouver, Ryan Stewart, who worked with Carly Rae Jepsen and Simple Plan. I sent him vocal tracks and he built the entire synthetic sounds electronically.”
CCMA and Juno Award winning Mike Little from Calgary-band The Little Darlin's also layered the tracks, adding more variety with drums, bass, and guitar.
Between Dream Catcher and Come Round Again, Albert went through a huge personal discovery, one that would affect her approach to music.
“Before releasing Dream Catcher, I had decided to take the leap and do music full-time. I realized and accepted music is where I want to be. For lots of years I was riddled with doubt that I wasn’t good enough. Dream Catcher made me realize my future was in my hands. Everything changed. I received a Juno nomination, work came flooding in, and I could do what I wanted.”
Perhaps the biggest changes throughout Come Round Again are Albert’s collaborations. In previous albums, the recording artist chose to write on her own. But throughout the six-track, she ventures into collaborative partnerships.
“I have several co-writes in this album and it felt liberating. When you co-create, different elements come together ... My next album will be even more liberating. I’ll continue to collaborate and take risks, but ultimately it’s still my voice, my songs.”
One collaborator is Danielle Kinbebe, originally from Edmonton and now living in Toronto. The two met at a 2017 Banff Centre residency, and kept in close contact. To co-write both Come Round Again and Goodbye, the duo collaborated over the phone.
Another collaborator is Rob Heath, who assisted in a rewrite of Prayers of a Fool, a song about love, its struggles, and not giving up.
“He’s very much a storyteller. He’s very clever with writing. His spectrum of emotion is very deep, they really take you somewhere. He’s also humorous. He’s a craftsman, a real songwriter.”
During the Plaza Series, Albert plans to play two sets from her three albums, as well as a few classic songs from other artists. She will be supported by guitarist Kyle Mosiuk.
The outdoor Plaza Series takes place at 7:30 p.m. on St. Albert Place Plaza, 5 St. Anne St. Tickets range from $15 for a single ticket to a premium table for six at $120. Visit www.stalbert.ca or phone the Arden Box office at 780-459-1542.