. : : December 18th, 2020 : : .
This time last year, we thought we were nearing the end of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
As I write this, we are ankle-deep in a fourth wave propelled by the latest Omicron variant. But last year, we thought “if we can only get through Christmas, we’ll be OK, right?”
People were desperately trying to return to something resembling normalcy, and musicians fulling embracing live streaming to supplement a year’s lost touring income meant that we had live music again. Rather than in smokey bars and tall-ceiling, boomy halls, we were listening to it from the comfort of our lazy boys with a glass of wine or a mug of coffee in our hands.
$15,000 speaker stacks were replaced by $15 laptop or tablet speakers, but we didn’t care: we had our favourite music and the very best sight lines.
There was an overwhelming selection of live streams to join — some paid, some free, some behind paywalls, others in front of donation links. I’m not sure about you, but it wasn’t long before I was overwhelmed by a glutton of options and ended up missing much more of it than I would’ve liked.
It’d been a minute since I’ve seen Colleen Brown live, and her latest album Isolation Songs seemed like the perfect way to wind down (ha!) the pandemic. Originally written as a series of weekly song-writing challenges during the first months of the lock down, the material blossomed into a 10-song album of reflection, introspection, and a dash of doom.
I couldn’t miss a chance to see her perform some of these songs with her then-roommate, Sarah Hiltz.
As Zoom musician amateurs, this recording features all the hallmarks of pandemic live-from-home idiosyncrasies, so have your BINGO card ready: you’ll hear, “Hello? Can you hear me?,” “I’ve never done this before,” “I don’t know what I’m doing,” “It’s weird having silence between songs,” common drop-outs, bursts of static, and more.
These imperfections are probably the main motivator that kept this recording in the blog post queue for so long, but listening back, it’s still very listenable. More so, it’s charming: hearing Colleen and Sarah banter and giggle between songs as they “fly by the seat of [their] pants” invokes a feeling of hanging out at their apartment while they jam.Read More...