“Who lit the fire, of bridges burned down?”
On “Wishes in Wells,” the opening track from Stewart Legere’s debut album, we start from the ashes and work our way up. In just a few lines, the Halifax songwriter paints images of ghost towns, houses made of bones and those burned bridges — until a scatter of voices join Legere’s to sing three words: “Quiet the station.” It’s the setup for storytime, a chorus hush to settle you in before the “Once upon a time” — except Legere’s Prince Charming is more likely to flag down a train than kill a dragon. But there are no big bads here to slay, anyway; just the many ghosts that can haunt a heart.
Those voices that rise up on “Wishes in Wells” belong to friends and fellow artists Kim Harris, Melanie Stone and Don Brownrigg, and you’ll also hear Rose Cousins on “Dig Into the Dirt” and Jenn Grant rise up on “If You Have the Time.” It takes a village, and Legere has brought his to the front on Quiet the Station, interlacing these East Coast harmonies to build a supportive space from which to launch. Over four years, Legere co-produced the album with Village Sound’s Jason Michael MacIsaac.
Quiet the Station’s through line is story, and Legere — an award-winning writer/theatre actor, member of Zuppa Theatre and Heavy Blinkers — is filled with it. This is a confessional that could easily be staged, with quippy asides — “I am a crown of thorns/ I have been called that before” on "Wishes in Wells" — and knowing tones — the conspiratorial “Mmmhmm” on “Sabotage" — to bring you along. But the best thing this album brings us is Legere’s voice: a powerful range that would find a home on any folk story, ballad, R&B slow jam or musical — and we'll follow that train wherever he decides to take it.
Quiet the Station will be released April 21. Pre-order it here.