For this True North Tale, I sat down and had a chat with Northern artist Carmen Braden and one of the things we talked about was her upcoming album
Seed Songs, which doesn’t fit any traditional genre but is instead Carmen’s own unique style.
Yeah, that’s a pretty accurate way to describe it. So, what I think I achieved in this album more successfully than I have in any of my other kind of overarching projects was being comfortable letting whatever music I was making have its own sound. I definitely didn’t go in trying to make a variety album but I went in, allowing myself to let each, each piece each song and album, have the life that It needed to have and not try and fit into a mold of genre, but also not trying to do the opposite of being a kaleidoscope, even though that’s, that’s kind of how it ended up I just let myself be more free
During our chat, Carmen told me how she used a different process when creating
Seed Songs than she used for her previous albums.
It’s quite a journey so what I did when I wrote the songs, my process and at this I was trying to do consistently I was trying to write something really concise and kind of condensed and that’s why the album’s called
Seed Songs, they’re, they’re just meant to be this kind of core of the song, and so a lot of them ended up being quite short, That’s again kind of one thing that’s pretty common on that on the album, they’re all about under three minutes the two singles that I released are two of the longest songs and they’re both under three minutes, which is kind of your average song for a pop song or a song that generally gets played on radio, and so that kind of turned out to be a real fun element to play with, how do you make a song be complete, even if it’s 35 seconds long so I think I did that and the idea behind these little seeds, initially was that they would eventually lead to longer, more developed ideas and that’s actually what I’m going to be doing in my next project, but when I was working with my producer and generating all this material I generated dozens and dozens of way more than ended up on the album and then we have whittled it down to the ones that actually worked as concise little vignettes, then they ended up being just this this beautiful collection that works I’m super happy with and I’m very proud of it,
Carmen has gotten the chance to perform all over Canada including at the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario, and at the end of my chat with Carmen, I asked her what’s it like to get to share these northern sounds and songs with people who’ve never heard them before.
There’s always this wonderful engagement that happens that I find really positive and really exciting to share stories and my own music and be at a place like Stratford, which is has has all of these connections of when Canada was was being colonized, and the names of places all of it, even though it’s Stratford Festival with the idea of the connections with England and Shakespeare and drama and these kinds of things. It was very interesting to be in those places and have that influence there. Like much more than it is here, like I went to Sir John Franklin High School, he was this old British guy who, like made his way through and was part of the history of the colonization of Canada and then to be in a place like Stratford and have that in the kind of infrastructure of the place, and then have all of this excitement about things that are new in short answer, it’s wonderful and it’s complicated, so it’s a great thing to do but I’m hoping that once the pandemic starts to lighten up that there’ll be a return to that even in some way.- Carmen Braden, Northern Artist
Listen to the full TNT here!
if you are interested in Carmen’s other music check out