At first listen, Kenny James’s ‘Truth In Every Lie’ sounds like your pretty standard country fare – it’s got all the parts: the ballad-esque twang, the characteristic lament of some vaguely retold misfortunate, and the catchy upbeat twist to the chorus. The truth of the song is that rather than a bit of radio-fodder, it’s actually the very real tale of a young New Brunswick man who went missing four years ago.
In late November of 2012, Chris Metallic, a third-year student at Mount Allison University, went missing one night after leaving a party. Metallic was travelling from Allison Ave, informing a friend that he met en route that he was on his way home to nearby Maple Ave. He never arrived. Reports later placed someone fitting Metallic’s description somewhere along Route 940 heading towards Midgic.
James and his wife had purchased Sackville institution Mel’s Tea Room that same year, and he says they can remember having seeing Metallic around the restaurant prior to his disappearance.
James became part of the search party that went looking for Metallic. All that was ever found of him was a pair of flip-flops, fifteen minutes outside of town. The disappearance of Chris Metallic remains a mystery.
James’s song revisits the disappearance, lyrically and literally as the shooting locations for the video were some of the main areas where his search party looked for Metallic – where he was last seen, and where one of his shoes was found. What looks like commonplace scenes from rural New Brunswick in the video have a much deeper tale to tell. Much of the video is shot using aerial footage from a drone, hauntingly reminiscent of how the family would have viewed the scene again and again searching by helicopter.
James explains that the song isn’t actually so much about the search though, but how Metallic’s mother Mandy four years later continues to receive emails from people with stories of what they suppose happened to her son, or worse. It’s about the constant rumours that cycle around and continue to haunt her – the truth in every lie.