Sarah Harmer's breakout solo album from 2000 released on vinyl for the first time.
Our band Weeping Tile was on shaky ground. I started writing some new songs and I knew they wouldn’t be suited for the band. I got asked to play a solo show at the Blacksheep Inn in Wakefield, Quebec, which CBC Radio recorded, and strangely my brother heard it on the radio in Vancouver. He told me that the show was the best thing I’d done and that I should make a solo record.
I had never really been drawn to a solo career. All my favourite musicians seemed to be in bands, and I didn’t think I had a great name for the stage anyway. But sometimes all it takes is a bit of encouragement from someone you love to push you into new territory. The next summer I was in Toronto and I saw a guy I kinda knew named Pete Prilesnik at the end of the night at Ted’s Wrecking Yard. He had recorded “Other People’s Heavens” with my friends Chris Brown and Kate Fenner and I loved the album and the production. I told him I had a dozen songs that I wanted to record. I had a feeling to be bold and I committed to checking out his studio and consider making an album with him.
Pete shared a studio in a one-story warehouse space off Westmoreland Ave in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood. Apparently a former crack den. A couple lived in a trailer outside its back door and it had a bit of a rough vibe. The studio had a 2-inch machine, some gear and a couch in a control room inside a big open space with some drums, some amps, and a farfisa. I borrowed some money from my Mom and we started recording. Pete set up mics, ran the gear and played some bass, and I played the basic frames of the songs on acoustic and electric guitar. Pete was very talented, had good advice with harmony singing, and appreciated space. His bass playing and guitar riffs (Don’t Get Your back Up) were often inspired and heavy.
As we tracked the songs we would call up different drummers who come to mind, depending on the song we were recording- my friends Cam Giroux and Jon McCann from Kingston, and Pete’s heavy drum connections from the city- Gavin Brown and Al Cross. Gord Tough and Luther Wright came to the studio with support and encouragement. Gord played on most of it, and Luther played his floating Lodestar guitar. Jay Euringer came by with an amp, a shoulder, and some great harmonies.
Pete and I stopped and started our way through that session. It was often a challenging process for me, collaborating creatively with a new person, and working to remain a priority for him amidst scheduling and other personal issues. Like many recording sessions there was drama and disruption, and stamina required. I didn’t live in Toronto so I occasionally slept on the couch in the front hallway with the scurrying mice. We mixed the tracks and mastered it and I sold my first copy off the stage at The Horseshoe Tavern a few months later. - SH
1. Around This Corner
2. Basement Apt.
3. The Hideout
6. Weakened State
7. Don't Get Your Back Up
8. Open Window (the wedding song)
9. Uniform Grey
10. Coffee Stain
11. You Were Here
LP to be released December 6, 2019.