This week, Radio 3’s featured artist is Toronto folk singer-songwriter Abigail Lapell. Her new album Hide Nor Hair is fluid and haunting, yet deeply rooted in punk and DIY.
Lapell recorded her debut album, 2011’s Great Survivor, in a living room with Ohbijou’s Heather Kirby. Following its release, she hit the road in a similar independent fashion, via canoe and bicycle. “In a country this size, there's so much ground to cover that sometimes it pays to be a bit unconventional.” she wrote via email. “Maybe that's a good metaphor for the Canadian musical sensibility.”
Some of the songs on Hide Nor Hair are influenced by the touring artist's greatest companion: nature. “I'm inspired a lot by natural landscapes and travel imagery in my writing, and by what I'd describe as pretty raw emotional content.” she explained. “My songs are highly personal, but not really in a confessional way — the lyrics are more impressionistic and dreamlike.”
Lapell has an ability to portray both space and emotion in her music. She writes about everything from anti-love anthems to navigating the G20 Summit of Toronto to dirty dreams, the latter of which is topic of the ballad "Jordan," which won the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award last year. She sews them together with her haunting voice and impeccable guitar playing, accompanied by the dreamy production of Chris Stringer (Timber Timbre, Ohbijou).
Hide Nor Hair will be out on January 20th on Rae Spoon's Coax record label. Her eclectic and elegant brand of folk are sure to see her staking a claim amongst Canada's most intriguing emerging songwriters.
"I think it's an exciting time to be part of the Canadian folk music community." she said. "Canada has obviously produced so many iconic singer-songwriters over the years, and right now there is a lot of inspiring work happening across the country, along with a push to include more and different kinds of voices than have traditionally been represented."