Ian Sherwood, folk singer/songwriter from Halifax, just released his fifth studio album: Bring The Light. The album delivers contemporary, acoustic, folk and pop sounds, and even has a few hints of jazz—all within 12 widely-varied tracks. Sherwood mixes feelings of calm and relatability while managing to keep his own style throughout. And while each song is unique, the album’s entirety is so easy to listen to.
Have you ever pressed play on a new album only to realize halfway through that every song sort of sounds the same the first time through? Well, Bring The Light is certainly not that album. Sherwood demonstrates a fantastic ability for songwriting in the vastly different tracks of his album.
Tracks range from soft acoustic songs about love like “I See Red,” “Come Back To Me” and “Long Kiss Goodbye” to slow contemporary songs like “We’re Only Human,” and upbeat folk songs like “Hits Me Right”—which carries the album’s iconic lyrics “you bring the light” (and also, contrastingly “you kill the light”).
Some of the tracks, like the soulful “Dig That Hole” and the instantly-catchy “Firefly,” are more upbeat and make you want to dance.
While the music is fairly feel-good, the lyrics touch on many real life problems and emotions—not always happy ones. This gives the album its layer of relatability, though, without being overly cliche.
The vocals flow gently into your eardrum with lyrics that are both gentle and powerful. The love songs are highly relatable—as love songs are—with lyrics like “We know the drill, even good things die. But how would you feel about a long kiss goodbye?” (Long Kiss Goodbye) and “‘Cause that’s what I miss, that and your kiss and the way you break hearts with those eyes. You’re giving yourself to everyone else but yourself, at the back of the line.” (Don’t Want To Leave).
With a good variety of instruments and sounds, the album pulls together nicely to form a sort of pleasantly sad emotional journey for the listener.
You can catch Ian Sherwood live on the following dates at locations cross the country:
September 18, 2017 Alma Concert Series, Alma, NS
September 21, 2017 Contact East — Atlantic Provinces
September 28, 2017 Festival of Small Halls – Ontario
October 01, 2017 Festival of Small Halls – Ontario
October 07, 2017 Al Whittle Theatre, Wolfville, NS
October 13, 2017 OSAC, Regina, SK
October 19, 2017 Folk Music Ontario, Mississauga, ON
October 28, 2017 Landsdowne Concert Series, Fredericton, NB
October 29, 2017 Kingsclear Concert Series, Kingsclear, NB
November 02, 2017 Nova Scotia Music Week, Truro, NS
November 11, 2017 Burdock Hall, Toronto, ON
November 17, 2017 Trinity United Church, Ottawa, ON