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Erin Costelo is a throwback; a songwriter that brings to mind the „golden age“ of music. Her fifth full-length album, „Sweet Marie“, out November 2, 2018 on Compass Records, is 10-song collection recorded in 10 days in a timber-frame home on the ocean in Little Harbour, Nova Scotia. The album was brought to life in January amidst Canadian winter storms and pounding surf of the east coast. Produced by Costelo herself, „Sweet Marie“ finds the native Nova Scotian looking at a world and an industry that pushed her to the edge of ending her musical career – and finds her pushing back. Pulsing with a confident and cathartic energy, her incredible voice, drawing comparisons to such icons as Nina Simone and Carole King, soars even as her songs dive deep. Although she wears many influences on her sleeve, Costelo is unquestionably herself, a singular artist of maturity and importance; a maverick, unfetterd by trend, fashion or industry „pathway“.
She demonstrates this in the new „Sweet Marie“ documentary, directed by Juno-award winning songwriter-turned-filmmaker Amelia Curran. The studio documentary is a long standing tradition. It allows the audience to study the engine of the music they love – pry open the casing, and view the bones. What is particularly enticing, and what makes Erin Costelo a great subject for the studio documentary, are her skills as a producer. This isn’t simply tapping a microphone and slogging through fifty takes; every note from under each performer is a considered move. How it floats through the studio environment and is engineered and conditioned out the other side to its audience is a rodeo of painstaking precision and delight.
Costelo has assembled an ace group of Canadian players for the album, including Glenn Milchem on drums (Blue Rodeo), Anna Ruddick on bass (Randy Bachman), Leith Fleming-Smith on organ (Matt Mays, Hawksley Workman) and her long-time partner, Clive MacNutt, on guitar. Taking inspiration from sources as varied as Ryan Adams and Randy Newman, Costelo delivers a genre-defying batch of songs that sound at once timeless, timely and completely fresh.
Her 2016 release, „Down Below, The Status Quo“, was nominated for a total of 12 awards in her home on the East Coast of Canada including a win for Solo Recording of the Year and Producer of the Year, making her the first woman to receive the prestigious award. Costelo has had the opportunity to open for acts such as Mavis Staples, Dr. John, Bettye Lavette and with Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble Band and will be starting an extensive North American tour on October 19th in Toronto.