About five years ago I was doing some recording with a friend of mine when she happened to mention a young woman that she had come across at a few open mic nights at a café that she frequented. She had gotten to know this young singer and was really impressed with her song writing and her underlying spirit. She asked if she could bring her in to our studio so that I could have a listen to her. The singer’s name was Ivy Mairi and she was in her last year of high school. Ivy had no experience with recording studios and had little experience outside of those open mic nights and singing with her family. I was blown away by her voice, the way it was both fragile and powerful at the same time. And I was stunned by the sophistication of her song writing. So we decided to do an album together. Despite Ivy’s lack of experience in the studio she had a very definite idea about how she wanted to represent herself on record. We made a very simple, almost naïve, album, which highlighted her voice and blossoming song writing skills. After we released the album, Ivy went off to university in Montreal. She was undecided as to whether she wanted to truly pursue a life in music. About two years ago she slowly made her way back to Toronto and found a music community that she could grow with, started writing songs again and found a few musicians that shared her vision.
Early this year she walked into our studio with a couple of friends and played me a few things that she had been working on and I fell in love all over again. Later we talked about what she wanted to do with this album, about how she wanted to present this batch of songs as a band and how she wanted to expand her sound, her singing style and her song writing. And I think that, with Lucas Gadke on bass, Matt Bailey on guitar and Mike Brushey on drums, she has done just that. On No Talker there are still the wispy folk leanings of her debut album represented by the delicate East Of The Don and the desolate Bruise, but there is also the fully charged Neil Young-styled No Talker; the bewildering and explosive Kenyatta; the rockabilly rave-up of Scar and the stunning, soul-laced I Can See You. This is a very young artist fully in command of her talent, surrounded by some excellent young musicians. I was very pleased to be the one to push the button, sit back and let them do their thing. Take a listen, and if it makes you feel good…buy a copy…share it on Facebook…tell a friend…we need to help young talent survive…we need things that make us feel good.