Colleen Brown (Major Love)
Colleen Brown tears at our hearts as she does her own. With versatile songs and a voice akin to Joni Mitchell, she is relentlessly unafraid. In 2015 she released her 4th studio album ‘Direction’ – co-produced by Joel Plaskett – topping college radio charts, and touring Canada, Germany and the UK. Kerry Doole of exclaim.ca says ‘she is the rare vocalist that impresses equally on vibrant soul and quiet folk…travelling in Brown’s Direction is one very pleasing trek.’
The project ‘Major Love’ was conceived in London, UK, in the lamplight of Bedroom Bar, during that first overseas tour. Edmonton rock trio Scenic Route To Alaska were also wrapping their first tour in Germany and the UK, promoting their newest album. The two acts found themselves on the same dimly lit stage in Shoreditch, 7000 kms from their home-town, bonding over an appreciation of vintage Harmony guitars, singalong pop/rock anthems and an affinity for the spacious, soulful recordings released on the Stax and Motown labels in the 1960’s.
An album was tracked live off the floor a month later, during a summer heatwave in Edmonton’s True North Studios with Jesse Northey (Jesse and the Dandelions) on keys and faders. Contributions from multi-instrumentalist Elijah Abrams followed, with mixes and co-production by Toronto- based pedal steel guru Aaron Goldstein, along with Kenneth Meehan (Daniel Romano) and the singalong single ‘So Good’ mixed by Brooklyn’s prodigious hit-makers Gus van Go and Werner F.
The first single ‘Tear It Down’ hit the CBC Radio 2 Top 20. The full album will be released Aug 17, 2018 on Cowboy Junkies’ label Latent Recordings (Warner distribution).
Two other songs from this album have also been lauded for their song-craft. ‘Motherland’ – written essentially as a love-letter to Alberta – won a province wide songwriting contest in 2015 through the ATB competition, to the tune of $10,000; and the powerful ballad ‘I Love All Of You’ was a finalist in the Unsigned Only International Songwriting Competition for 2017.
These songs thrive at the intersection between Brown’s resonant vocal expression and SRTA’s spirited swagger. It is music to move body and soul.