When your primary focus is independent Canadian folk-roots music, it is inevitable that the names of artists will be sent in our direction for future consideration. I have no complaints whatsoever about being inundated with introductions from new musicians, or receiving recommendations from the other members of our team, or the larger music community itself, with industry friends name-dropping some of their peers too. Some of these suggestions come in thick and fast, and are often bumped quickly into my listening rotation, while others are saved for a rainy day, ready to be discovered when the time is right.
Here at GDW, the overwhelming amount of new music submissions never eases, which is not necessarily a bad problem to face, but with our limited capacity and resources, only a small percentage actually makes it to our team members, and onto the site. At the tail end of 2020, Tania Joy was one such artist name-dropped to me during an online conversation. The source escapes me, but was indeed saved for a rainy day – one that arrived very recently upon hearing her most recent single, “Planks and Marietta,” a phenomenal protest song released to coincide with Black History Month. For this Uxbridge, ON singer-songwriter, the inspiration for the single came from a real life racially motivated incident that occurred at the cross streets in her home town, and signaled her first new music since her 2014 “I’ll Be Around” EP.
Tania is excited to release another brand new single and music video today for “The Drought,” a song she originally penned in 2017 that is a ‘moseying country-soul musing on the loss of love.’ Opening with some light acoustic guitar riffs, a sudden burst of organ and drum beats invite Tania’s vocals to fill the airwaves: “I pray it’s raining outside / Cause my tears have long dried / And my love like the tide, has gone out / Where there once flowed a river / How I long to forgive her, the silent killer / The Drought.” And even amidst the thumping bass lines, sporadic vintage guitar rings, and momentary addition of strings, it is Tania’s pure, heartfelt vocals that remain with you, delivering raw, unrelenting emotions that are not only delivered against an amazing musical backdrop, but consume you fully as you ride shotgun on this four-minute journey with her.
Produced by Hill Kourkoutis (Leela Gilday, Madison Violet), and mastered by Phil Demetro at Lacquer Channel Mastering Inc., Tania originally credited the breakdown of a friend’s relationship as the inspiration for this song, but later realized that it was really about the deterioration of her own personal relationship and the synonymous loss of one’s own identity. “It’s in the last lines of the song that connects the dots for me, ‘You leave me for dead.’ They were added after a few months of singing and playing around with the arrangement of the song,” Tania recalls. “I hadn’t realized until recently this song was actually about my own experience.”
“The drought / Ooo oo ooo / The drought / Ooo ooo ooo / You leave me for dead in this drought / You leave me for dead / You leave me for dead in this drought / You leave me for dead.” Tania Joy has delivered two potent singles this early into a new year, and leaves us craving for much, much more. Highly recommended listening.