Big Lake/Passenger Sounds
Madison Violet is Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIssac. The duo first met in Toronto in 1999 only to discover that their fathers were high school classmates. They are genre crossing instrumentalists with flawless harmonies. Hailing from small Scottish towns, in close proximity to Nova Scotia, their sound has been compared to “The Trio”; a super group who recorded in the late eighties and nineties, consisting of Dolly Parton, Emmy Lou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. Their third album “Caravan” garnered them a Canadian Folk award nomination. The follow up recording “No Fool For Trying” on True North Records resulted in a Juno award nomination and multiple song, and songwriting awards. Their last album was 2017’s “The Knight Sessions”.
“Everything’s Shifting” is Madison Violet’s ninth recording. The band includes MacEachern, harmonica, guitars and vocals; MacIssac, violin, guitars and vocals; Hill Kourkoutis, piano, tambourine, guitars and background vocals; Daniel Ledwell, lap steel, pedal steel, guitar, bass, cello, and keys; Jake Zapotoczny, guitar and background vocals; Kinley Dowling, viola and violin; and Michael Belyea, drums. The album was recorded at Kourkoutis’ Lair Studio in Toronto, and at Ledwell’s Echo Lake Studio in Nova Scotia.
The album is produced by Kourkoutis and Ledwell who utilize additional programming to create lush orchestral arrangements. Combine these production techniques with great songwriting and harmonies and the results are warming; demanding an intimacy between the duo and the listener.
My favorites include the title track, “Everything’s Shifting” with its subdued reggae beat; “Time To Right The Wrong” with it’s evocative guitar interlude and the words “its gone on too long”; and “Real Love” with the lyric “if you don’t drop the needle down, love won’t play, won’t come around, but don’t let me leave without knowing, is this as good as it gets, or has it ever happened yet, does anyone know real love”.
“Everything’s Shifting is a heartfelt examination of how memory can splinter a heart, how loss shapes perspective and how sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t have love without regret. It is an album to be listened to on the open road, with the windows rolled down: a love letter to their fans, from two wanderers who continue to follow the melodies wherever they lead.”
Listening, pondering, and loving. Madison Violet will make you feel good.