“I thought that I had it all in my hands / But somehow things just don’t go as planned / So for now I’m happy here / Drifting in the breeze.”
February has been a monumental month for Victoria, BC indie-folk musician Claire Coupland, capping her own post-pandemic creativity with the official release of both her latest album, “New Light,” and current single, “Drifting in the Breeze,” just a couple of weeks ago. Upon learning about the arrival of this highly-anticipated album, and fabulous accompanying single to boot, my initial reaction led me to ponder whether the artist should round things out with one more hit – with a hat-trick, of sorts. Seems as though Claire shared such sentiments, and wraps up a trifecta of new releases this month with a music video for the current single – one we are delighted to premiere here at GDW today.
Not indifferent to the experience of her contemporaries, the temporary loss of social engagement, live performances, and income revenue during the global shutdown forced Claire to divert her creative focus – one she turned inward, taking time to revisit a collection of partially written songs lying dormant in her own imaginative space. And with the eventual emergence of a light at the end of the pandemic-tunnel, a southbound journey down the west coast saw Claire arrive in Los Angeles, connecting with fellow Canadian (and JUNO-Award winning musician) Sam Weber (Bahamas) to bring these reimagined tunes to life.
Hitting play on this particular single, just a short couple of second pass before I’m immediately conjuring up images – I can’t be the only one hearing hints of both Simon and Garfunkel’s “Me and Julio” and the Brandi Carlile (ft. Lucius) tune, “You and Me On The Rock” here from those first few guitar rings alone? Both of these ‘feel-good’ tunes never fail to put a smile on my face when bursting across the airwaves, and joined now by “Drifting in the Breeze,” finds Claire doing that whole hat-trick thing once more. “The lyrics came to me mid-pandemic when I was trying to cheer myself up,” Claire explains. “I do write a lot of darker, folky stuff, and sometimes you just write something fun and uplifting. That’s really all there is to it.”
You can’t ignore the perfect tempo, the well-timed snare hits, muted guitar riffs, and funky organ blasts, making the listening experience a breeze within itself – where song title and song sound form their own variety of an onomatopoeia. As for Claire’s vocals, I’m hearing a little Carly Simon in her range, Charlotte Cornfield in her sound, and a dash of Eva Cassidy’s jazz in her style, leaving us to ‘breeze’ along with a rhythm guaranteed to have your toes instinctively tapping along to in no time. “Maybe I’ll call up my rock and roll band / Drive across the country in a tour van / Either way I like it here, drifting in the breeze.”
Filmed on location by videographer Ali Calladine at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, BC, this music video presents an uplifting, playful scene that captures the essence of the song title – of moving with the ebbs and flows of life. For Claire, the video was also partly inspired by the tunes “Caught Me Thinking” (Bahamas) and “Water Fountain” (Alex Benjamin). What this video really captures, however, is a care-free Claire Coupland simply enjoying life – sitting in the tall grass one moment, or out on a rocky ocean overview the next – with the natural breeze a focal point, whether blowing in her hair, or dancing on the whitecaps of the water. Be sure to catch the nice touches too – the arrival of a curious deer from the confines of the tall grass, and the flapping flagpole that draws the attention of a hovering raptor. And for the ultimate ‘wind in the hair’ moment, Claire enjoys a full-filled, freewheeling bicycle adventure, and just for the camera, adds an epic ‘look ma, no hands’ moment. Yes, life is indeed a breeze.
“I’ve set my sails / To steer through the gales / Whatever I face / I’m floating on the sand / Tied to no plan / And no place / So wave to me from the shore / Maybe one day I’ll be knockin’ at your door / Until then I’ll be just / Drifting in the breeze.”
Photo Credit: Ali Calladine