Amidst the loves we leave and seek, there are songs pointing to the stars and arms reaching through the blackout. We rest easy knowing that soon the sky will be filled with burning lights, our eyes brimming with wonder. Suddenly, from out of the past, a voice leans into the May wind with a heartful of harmony: â€œToday is Victoria Day.â€
Melissa McClelland returns with her highly anticipated third album, Victoria Day. Produced by husband Luke Doucet, her Six Shooter Records debut finds McClelland deeply in touch with a sense of melody and wordplay that rivals any of her contemporaries.
Like a roadmap tracing the veins of a country one can only dream of visiting, Victoria Day is both seductive and compelling. â€œGlenrioâ€ invites us to a rusty locale where one can only leave with bloody knuckles. Snow falls slowly over the gentle â€œSeasoned Lovers,â€ which also features a stunning vocal performance by Ron Sexsmith. McClellandâ€™s virtuosity as a lyricist is best illustrated in â€œWhen the Lights Went Off In Hogtown,â€ which immortalizes the Toronto blackout of 2003 with a playful and surreal command of imagery. Victoria Day is a work constituted of anthems and odes, of harlequins and hymnals, penned by a quiet poet in a corner of the bar. The songs rendered on this recording extend their hands and lean against the May wind as though the world were their shoulder. â€œToday is Victoria Day,â€ they say. â€œEnjoy yourselves.â€
Melissaâ€™s impressive talent is particular compelling when she performs, which is why she has with such notable artists as Sarah McLachlan, and Luke Doucet, and was the single guest vocal appearance on Blue Rodeoâ€™s lauded Live at Massey Hall (2008). Melissaâ€™s song crafting skills have not gone unnoticed south of the border, where â€œPassenger 24â€ from the album Thumbelinaâ€™s One Night Stand captured the title of â€œBest Americana Songâ€ at the Independent Music Awards.