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First Play: Jann Arden, These are the Days

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Holly Gordon

Read our full interview with Jann Arden here.

Jann Arden has been writing songs for more than 40 years, though her new album, These are the Days, is a collection of 11 songs that mark the most difficult period in her life.

“My mom and dad both were diagnosed with basically dementia and Alzheimer’s and a litany of other things. My health wasn’t great. I was floundering,” she told CBC Music.

These are the Days is how the singer-songwriter processed her parents' terminal illnesses, and everything else she was going through. From track opener “Everybody’s Pulling on Me” (“Save me from my life/ I’ve been living way down low and nothing’s right”) to “A Long Goodbye” (“I’ve lost count of all the days/ I’ve been watching you forget/ I felt tangled up and hopeless/ but it hasn’t killed me yet”) to “Not Your Little Girl” (“You can say what you want/ but I’m not your little girl”), Arden is vulnerable yet uncompromising.

“['Not Your Little Girl' was] directed at people who oppose me or told me no or told me I wasn't good enough or told me that I wasn't pretty enough,” says Arden. “It was this culmination of so many of those voices. I mean obviously the voices that supported me and cheered me on and encouraged me were much much bigger. And I had to be that voice for myself most days, too.”

Produced by Bob Rock (with whom Arden is hosting this year's Juno Songwriters' Circle), These are the Days is what Arden considers to be the “perfect” album — “perfect to yourself as an artist.”

We talked to the singer-songwriter about her album process — and her relationship with songs like “Insensitive” and “Can I be Your Girl” nearly 25 years after their release — which you can read right here.

Listen to These are the Days for two days in advance of the album’s release in our player above. Pre-order the album here.

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