Live Music This Week: Amy Thiessen CD Release

Calgary songstress's sophomore album 'always comes back to the truth.'

Amy Thiessen
Saturday, May 31, 7 p.m.
Festival Hall, 1215 10th Ave. S.E.
Tickets (including CD): $25 in advance, $30 at the door

In Between Goodbyes is the name of Calgary pop-roots-folk-rock musician Amy Thiessen's new album. The title captures perfectly the authenticity of those rare, fleeting moments when we are truly present in our lives — moments Thiessen tries to capture in her songwriting.

"The album is really raw," she says. "There's a lot of emotion in there. It always comes back to the truth, and I feel like by expressing it as purely and authentically as possible, I’m giving other people permission to do that for themselves.”

Intriguing and insightful songwriting aside, Thiessen's most compelling tool is her clear, pop-friendly voice. Versatile, powerful and genuine, it's the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine of her lyrics easy to swallow.

If Thiessen's words hit home, she comes by it honestly. She lost her beloved older sister to cancer at a young age, and found her way to yoga and spirituality by travelling the world. Those travels also exposed her to a wide variety of music, and her own sound reflects those influence.

The new album picks up where 2011's Give Up the Fight left off, exploring and expanding similar sonic territory — plenty of upbeat roots-pop rhythms and melodies. Although the album's sound is full and dynamic, Thiessen says the recording process was straighforward.

"It's actually super stripped down." For example, her vocals are pretty much exactly what she sang into the microphone. "Most people would put big reverb on the voice, but we didn't do that."

Thiessen will be joined on stage Saturday by a band of stalwart Calgary musicians including Jon May, Russell Broom and Kaley Kinjo.

This summer will see Thiessen touring Alberta and B.C., with a journey east planned for the fall. Beyond that, you can bet there's more recording-studio time in the cards.

"I've already started to write for the next album."

Amy Thiessen on iTunes.

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