Vibrant, Pensive, and Moody – This Canary Sings
Event: Canary in the Coalmine Album Release
Date: March 27 at 8pm
When you ask Jacksonville songwriter Jessica Pounds how the band Canary in the Coalmine came together, she laughs, “it’s kind of a funny story”. In 2009, Pounds was in Asheville, North Carolina, when she crossed paths with singer and songwriter Sandy Wicker. “We were both busking – playing on street corners and in public parks – and kept passing each other. Eventually we stopped to talk, and realized we had a lot in common”, says Pounds. The two women shared mutual friends and a connection to Jacksonville, but once they started writing and singing together, the next step was clear. “Our voices blended really well, and we kept thinking about collaborating and how to make it happen”, continues Pounds. Eventually Wicker moved to Florida, they were joined by bassist Peter Mosely, violinist Philip Pan, guitarist Arvid Smith and percussionist Eric Bailey, and the distinctive, Americana-folk sound of Canary in the Coalmine was born.
On March 27, the band will release its first full-length album, titled Who Fears the Devil? The first strains of opening track ‘Elijah’ hum with an upbeat, rebellious energy. A few songs in, however, the tone changes and the album really hits its stride, with moody tracks like the dreamy ‘I’m Alone’, the sultry ‘Electric’ and the wailing, almost menacing ‘Man I Wanna Kill’. According to Pounds, this darker tone was born of difficult life experiences the band members have faced over the years. She says, “The whole album is a journey and chronicles the things that have happened in our lives over the past five years. It’s about that journey through darkness and finding the light at the end of the tunnel”. The album ends on an upbeat note, with an uplifting strings solo cutting through ‘In the Garden’ and the gentle harmonies of ‘Dancing Devil’. Although the record has elements of bluegrass, country, folk, and soul music, the sound is uniquely their own.
After the album launches, Canary in the Coalmine will hit the road, with a 10-day tour scheduled in May to share their music with old and new fans. They are working on new material and continuing to fine tune the craft of songwriting, which Pounds calls, “a human connectivity. It’s about taking something of our own experiences and turning it into a creative output that other people are able to connect with.” Canary in the Coalmine will celebrate the release of its album on March 27 with a party at Underbelly. Back to the Brink will open for them. For tickets, visit underbellylive.com. Learn more about the band by visiting: canaryinthecoalminemusic.com