By Elizabeth Eaton
EDMONTON – Singer-songwriter Erin Kay has gone through a lot to release her sophomore album Silver and Gold. The release happens to land on International Women’s Day which was a happy accident. Kay admits the scheduling wasn’t intentional, though it supports the meaning and intention of the album in every way. Kay describes Silver and Gold as the hard-won result of cultivating a fulfilling and powerful life after leaving behind a toxic relationship and moving to Alberta with her daughter. Her previous album Into the Light, “was this process, when I was moving…and I was just wanting to move into the light. I was wanting to be there but I was still heavy, and afraid. Not even afraid because I didn’t know my power yet. I didn’t know yet what existed within me.”
The title track of her new album describes the process of refining your experiences and memories to become who you truly are.
“It’s never perfect, you know. It’s rare that you have something pure, one hundred percent. Its the process of getting to that state through the refining.”
In her website bio, Kay states that you don’t have to wait until silver and gold is given to you.
“I think that all the parts are already within us, they’re already there. It’s just a matter of recognizing them within yourself. Until you’re recognizing them within yourself, you’re probably not going to find them, or have them. But they’re there the whole time. You just have to be willing to take a look. Look past the hurt and be like, ‘oh, I am this already’ and not be afraid of it.”
In Silver and Gold, the listener experiences Kay’s journey of empowerment through her heartfelt vocals – reminiscent of Joni Mitchell – and the steady fearlessness of the expansive melodies. Producer Miles Wilkinson has worked with some of folk-country’s greats, including Emmylou Harris and this translates through to Erin’s album.
“I really wanted it to be just a stripped-down record. Really basic, you know? We just started going and it just developed into this bigger project. We just kept going with it, we kept building it and it turned into something really cool.”
The two-year project was more elaborate than what Kay had planned. Ultimately, this direction proved wise. The album could be the musical equivalent of embroidered lace: delicate and strong; containing complex layers, while communicating a lovely simplicity.
The openers for the album release will be Celeigh Cardinal, soul-folk songstress, and the all-women’s pow-wow and hand-drummer’s group Chubby Cree. In booking these opening acts, Kay’s message is clear.
“I want this sacred space to be opened. I don’t just want to release a record. I want it to mean something to me, be true to myself and to who I am. I really want to support women and I want them to know, I never thought it was possible that I could do a music career and be a single parent.”
This is also the aim of her initiative I Am Enough which gives femme identified artists a chance on stage to share their wisdom as well as support United Way’s Women United initiative.
Celeigh Cardinal, Chubby Cree, Erin Kay, Silver and Gold, The Aviary
Erin Kay’s Silver and Gold release party with Celeigh Cardinal and Chubby Cree is at The Aviary on March 8th (Edmonton).