MU­SIC

T.O.’s the Weather Sta­tion on new al­bum and the next step

Bayview Post - - Contents - by Ron John­son

Folk fave the Weather Sta­tion in town this month

“I’ve been cau­tious, care­ful, sub­tle, and I thought I just can’t do that this time,” says Ta­mara Lin­de­man, over a hot bev­er­age at Ideal Cof­fee in her Ossington neigh­bour­hood.

As the cre­ative force be­hind the Weather Sta­tion, she is break­ing all kinds of rules on her new self-ti­tled al­bum, with won­der­ful re­sults.

She de­cided to change her ap­proach to song­writ­ing, ditch­ing the tra­di­tions she es­tab­lished on her first three al­bums, be­gin­ning with her 2009 de­but The Line.

“In the past, I think I wanted to do a good job and write songs that no­body could fault,” she says. “If I’m go­ing to write a song, it has to be re­ally good.

“This time, I wanted to be a bit more reck­less and a bit more con­fi­dent and just see what hap­pens, you know,” she con­tin­ues.

If her last al­bum, Loy­alty, was con­sid­ered the Mul­mur, Ont., na­tive’s break­through, then her lat­est self-ti­tled ef­fort could go down as her first rock ’n’ roll record thanks to a few de­cid­edly up­beat tracks, in­clud­ing her first sin­gle, “Kept It All To My­self.”

For Loy­alty, Lin­de­man worked along­side fel­low Toronto mu­si­cian Afie “Ba­hamas” Jur­va­nen and recorded in an old man­sion in France. Jur­va­nen was again in the stu­dio this time around in Mon­treal. But some­thing had changed, be­yond the lack of a his­toric chateau.

“We thought he would be play­ing piano and gui­tar,” Lin­de­man ex­plained. “But he just wound up sit­ting back, and he said, ‘I think you don’t need me,’ which was re­ally su­per gen­er­ous and very as­tute of him to re­al­ize that was what I wanted.”

Lin­de­man grew up north­east of Toronto in the small town of Mul­mur, where she sang in choirs and did com­mu­nity theatre be­fore mov­ing to the big city in the early 2000s and em­brac­ing the then­thriv­ing in­die mu­sic scene and its newly found swag­ger thanks to the suc­cess of bands such as Bro­ken So­cial Scene.

“I was the perfect fan for that mo­ment and just liked go­ing to ev­ery show and be­came ob­sessed with Three Gut Records and the Con­stan­tines,” she says. “Some­where along the way, I heard some­body play banjo, and I was like ‘whoa crazy,’ and I learned about blue­grass and started go­ing to the Sil­ver Dol­lar and record­ing mu­sic on my com­puter.”

She per­formed as the Weather Sta­tion for the first time at Clin­ton’s in the An­nex. Al­though her ca­reer has sky­rock­eted since those hum­ble be­gin­nings, she says she ac­tu­ally put more pres­sure on her­self back in the early days, when re­leas­ing her first two al­bums.

“It’s funny. I ac­tu­ally felt that pres­sure way more for All Of It

Was Mine (her sec­ond al­bum), and ac­tu­ally no one had any idea who I was,” she says. “There was like five peo­ple on My Space who liked my mu­sic.”

Early in her ca­reer, Lin­de­man was of­ten com­pared to folk icon Joni Mitchell, even though, as a youth­ful up­start she once bris­tled at the thought.

“At first, I didn’t get it. I had all th­ese neg­a­tive re­sponses, like when you see your­self in the mir­ror, and at that time I thought the last thing I’m go­ing to be is the girl with the acous­tic gui­tar, no way,” says Lin­de­man.

“Then I got into it and re­al­ized how im­por­tant she was, just a lit­tle while later. Her voice is amaz­ing, I wish my voice sounded ex­actly like hers.”

One thing for cer­tain is that Lin­de­man’s new record is all her, from the some­times dark and brood­ing sub­ject mat­ter that touches on fears and anx­i­eties com­mon to her gen­er­a­tion, to her mar­shalling it through the stu­dio with con­fi­dence. Al­though she’s still work­ing on it.

“This record is my at­tempt to just not care, even though I do care,” she says.

“This time I wanted to be a bit more reck­less and a bit more con­fi­dent and just see what hap­pens.”

The mag­i­cal Toronto singer­song­writer plays the Great Hall in town on Nov. 24.

The Weather Sta­tion plays Toronto’s Great Hall this month

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