Calgary songstress Clea Roddick has the entrancing voice of a lark, the soul of a cheeky storyteller, and the heart of a passionate poet.
Her newest release entitled Songs of the Year: Volume 1 is the first in a series of four seasonal EPs which will be released this year. She has found a creative way to combine her affection for nature with her distinctive voice and cleverly composed lyrics. The release party for Songs of the Year: Volume 1 is at Calgary’s Ironwood Stage & Grill, on Sunday, January 16 at 8 p.m.
This series of EPs follows the indie hit that was her inaugural 2009 full-length album Rollerskate.
This compilation captures the inherent beauty of winter in five very lively and diverse songs. Roddick’s musical dexterity shines through in this album. Her folk and rock influences provide a powerful combustion for the listener’s ear. According to her website, Roddick worked on this album with a variety of talent from Calgary, her band mates, and even a pair of musician friends that stayed with her during their tour.
The first track Astronomy is a sweet and wondrous piano-infused ditty that talks about the mystical stars in the sky and how they compare to the love in our hearts. Sundog is a jazz-filled song that compares nature’s traits to those of humans. It also provides a lyrically brilliant description of the rainbow-like ring that surrounds the sun on very cold, yet sunny days.
Chickadee is a light-hearted tribute to the winged creature who keeps singing all winter long. In many ways, Roddick’s voice and personality can be compared to that of a chickadee, because, as the lyrics in this song state, she doesn’t ‘let a moment go without rejoicing.’
Neighbour pokes fun at the current day and age when people seem to be wary to get to know even the people next door. The chorus of this song contains quite a cunning quip that articulates this fact perfectly. ‘I’ve been told not to talk to strangers, you’ve been told to watch your back. How will we make it through the ages, when we don’t even know the neighbours?’
The album concludes with the soft and romantic tune I Will Come Back. It is a song filled with tones of loving hope, and the sadness that comes from having to say good-bye, if even only for a while.
Clocking in at just under 20 minutes in length, this brief yet poignant CD is a perfect introduction to Roddick’s four-disc series showcasing each season of the year. Serene yet energetic, it will certainly warm the heart and soul on any winter’s day.
By: Kathy Gallant