Are You Gone? – the first new album in a decade from Sarah Harmer –is a deeply personal and momentous collection of songs motivated by the beauty of life, the urgency of climate crisis, and the question of loss. The first song “New Low” is more than a return to music for the internationally celebrated singer-songwriter and activist: it is a definition of form, a call-for-uprising in the face of global disaster, at the most critical moment for Harmer to raise her voice –one of the most distinctive in Canadian music. The vitality of “New Low,” its heedless pace, sharp guitars and exclamatory horns, bely the passage of time since Harmer’s last record, Oh Little Fire (2010).
Nearly twenty years from the release of her debut, You Were Here(2000), Are You Gone brings a close to Harmer’s period of musical quietude with a rousing artistic statement, rich in detail and emotion, from the heart and for the spirit.
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