Ontario’s Sarah Harmer celebrates her fiftieth birthday this fall, marking a little over three decades of introspection, songwriting, and performing. She got her start at seventeen as a recruit for Toronto alt-country group The Saddletramps and by the turn of the millennium Harmer had made a humble solo debut with Songs For Clem, followed by the commercial outbreak You Were Here.
Jump another ten years ahead, when this multiple Juno Award nominee had further formalized both sound and following, and had begun to divide her time between multi-instrumental composition and passionate environmental activism. Though, since then, it’s been relatively quiet for Harmer…until now. On the upcoming LP Are You Gone, Harmer enlisted the help of Marcus Paquin (whose production credits can be found amongst Local Natives, The National, and Arcade Fire) to co-produce this dark, twelve-song meditation on nature and humanity. Are You Gone proves that, for Harmer, the last decade was less a vacation from music and more a reflection on life’s fickle ways and a fresh catalyst for pushing her lyrical style. Are You Gone is just a couple days away and you can get started early with the album opener, “St. Peter’s Bay”!
–Photo: Vanessa Heins