Serena Ryder in Sherbrooke this Thursday
Canadian singer/songwriter Serena Ryder is coming to town this coming Thursday to play a show at Sherbrooke’s Granada Theatre.
“I’m going to be doing a kind of retrospective show,” Ryder said, explaining that since she has not done much touring in Quebec outside of Montreal, she wants to try to expose local audiences to as much of her best work as possible. “It’s going to be three or four songs from each record just to give everyone a sense of what I’ve done before.”
Ryder has been playing work from her most recent album, Utopia, across Canada since the summer, but told The Record that she likes to vary her performance from one venue to the next, changing the lineup of songs and the format of performance depending on what kind of a space she is in.
“As a person who likes to go and see concerts myself, I think having a familiarity for a show is really important,” she said, adding that she tries to play a balance of her favourites and the songs that her audience may be familiar with. Because Quebec Audiences are, for the most part, less likely to be familiar with her work, she decided that the general review was a good approach.
The multiple Juno award winning musician said that she has been in the process of trying to get to know Quebec better in recent years, taking steps like releasing full French translations of hit songs like “Stompa” and “What I wouldn’t do.”
“It ends up being a different song,” Ryder said, reflecting on having a song rewritten in another language. “You can’t ever really directly translate a song, so for me it ends up being exciting; it gives a new life to that song.”
Ryder was also a recent guest on La Voix, the Quebec version of the popular singing competition The Voice.
Sherbrooke marks Ryder’s last stop of the current tour schedule before she gets started on a smaller tour devoted to her new album of Christmas music.
“For the most part, I can’t stand modern Christmas music. It drives me crazy,” she said. “The stuff that really gets my heart all tickly is the old stuff like frank Sinatra, Nat king Cole, and Bing Crosby; the old Ella Fitzgerald kind of stuff.”
The singer shared that she has never been a person with a huge passion for the Holiday season, and said that the way the album came about was something of a surprise.
“I was approached by Bob Ezrin, and I was instantly freaked out and excited in the best way,” Ryder said, pointing out that Ezrin is a Canadian music producer who has worked with the likes of Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, and Lou reed among many others. “Then I was like okay, for someone who has never been a Christmas person, what am I going to do here?”
Reflecting on the issue, Ryder found her answer in those childhood favourites and the longtime dream of making an album in that classic jazz style.
“In the process of making this album, I feel like I found the Christmas spirit for the first time in my life,” she said, laughing “as a 35 year old adult, suddenly I feel like oh, this is what it is all about.”
The album, “Christmas Kisses,” was released in mid-october and Ryder said that she will be touring the music in appropriately festive contexts late in 2018.
“We’re going to start an east coast Christmas run,” she said, noting that in addition to stops in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and PEI, she will also be participating in Toronto’s annual Santa Claus Parade.
Ryder has been playing work from her most recent album, Utopia, across Canada since the summer, but told The Record that she likes to vary her performance from one venue to the next