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First Play: Camille Delean, Music on the Grey Mile

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Andrea Gin

Singer-songwriter Camille Delean has lived in many different places, having grown up in small-town Ontario before embarking on a journey at age 17 that led to stints in Nashville, Paris and London, then returning to live in her current homebase of Montreal. It’s not surprising, then, that her debut album is inspired by her nomadic life.

“It came from feeling at home in a few different places, in different ways.” Delean says, via email. “For better or worse. The songs don't judge whether it's a right or wrong way to live — they are just curious, observational.”

It was in London where Delean met musician and producer Ben Walker while performing her songs a capella for the first time in a local pub. They then spent the next two years playing together, and gradually began to record.

Delean then relocated to Montreal, where she started working with Michael Feuerstack (Wooden Stars, Snailhouse), who co-produced the remaining sessions, playing multiple instruments himself. The resulting album is a slow-burning effort, with songs that wrap you in a reverie that is light and pleasingly adrift. While her songs have the bones of traditional folk, they are augmented by graceful orchestral notes and Delean's silvery voice.

“I wanted to capture both the warm comfort of affection for these places and a little eternal disorientation. Recording in both London and Montreal wasn't deliberate, but exactly what it needed in the end.”

The beauty of her vocals is on full display in the first single from the album, “Timberline Rover.”

Music on the Grey Mile is an intimate, charming debut, and we have it streaming right here ahead of its release date on Aug. 18. Find information about where to buy it here and check out her upcoming tour dates here.