Goodbye St. John’s, hello Fredericton

Curran takes her latest record on the road

Tara Chislett – The Aquinian
Amelia Curran - Courtesy sixshooter records
Amelia Curran - Courtesy sixshooter records

Amelia Curran likes slow songs, but she’s not a sad person.

Following her 2006 release “War Brides”, Curran’s “Hunter Hunter” has a lot to live up to.

Released September 1, the new album draws on what Curran says is the most important element of a good song – simple structure and strong writing.

“You can’t fake good writing,” Curran said. “It’s interesting that you can practice good writing, but ultimately, the song has to be good.”

This philosophy guided Curran while writing “War Brides”.

“I was nervous to follow up [War Brides] because it went over so well,” she said. “It’s hard to follow up something like that, that was accepted with so much praise.”

“War Brides was so exciting,” she added. “It just surprised me and I’m so delighted about it, so it pushes you to make more.”

Dealing with nerves was easier when the Newfoundland native returned home. Working with musicians Curran said she’s known her entire life, “Hunter Hunter” was produced and recorded over twenty months.

After recording in Halifax, Curran said coming home to work on the new record was a good experience. When problems forced her from the studio, Curran and her friends took the opportunity to record all over the city.

“One of the places we ended up using was an old abandoned CBC building,” she said. “It was kind of creepy, because we were the only ones in there and it was in the middle of winter with no running water.”

Locations weren’t the only things that changed during the recording process.

“Twenty months of recording, it means some of it was recorded in the winter, some in the summer,” she said. “But really, it’s joyful to be in the studio with some of these people. There’s a lot of laughing and a lot of hugging and it’s not really wholesome, but we go in there with our case of beer, spend eight or nine hours at it and it’s a really joyful process.”

The product of the time spent in the studio is a 12-track disc Curran said has a similar vibe to War Brides, but still manages to move forward and tell a story.

“I think the people who liked War Brides will appreciate Hunter, Hunter”

Despite 12 years of making music, Curran said the nerves are still there.

“I got so worried halfway through about if I was making the right decision,” she said. “I panicked and thought, gosh, we have to start all over. We’ve gone all wrong. We have to start all over and do it again.”

“You just worry. Producing your own music is a really difficult thing to do. You’re never sure if you’re right about it or if you’re making the right decisions.”

She added that the encouragement from the other musicians she works with, and knowing that making music is what she wants to do, played a big part in fighting nervous breakdowns.

“Singer/songwriter pretty much sums me up,” she said. “There was never really anything else for me to do with my life.”

“I’ve always wanted to write.”

And while songwriting is what she considers her true craft, she one day hopes to write prose and poetry as well.

“But, of course, 20 songs recorded and 12 on the CD,” she said. “There’s certainly more albums to be made.”

For now, Curran is focused on taking the new material on the road with a string of Maritime dates before heading to Europe in the fall.

“We’re going to have a five-piece band for [the Fredericton show],” she said. “I’m not getting to take the whole band for very many shows, but for that one, we will have all five of us.”

“The best part is that those guys haven’t all met yet, so it should be interesting.”

As for what the audience can expect from her September 11 appearance at the Charlotte Street Art Center, Curran is hoping to bring some excitement.

“It’s so much of a celebration, this album, I find,” she said. “It’s less of a promotional tour and more like a traveling party. We’re all really so excited about what we’ve done.”

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