Charlotte Cornfield: June
This track from the Toronto folk artist's highly-praised new album is complemented by a video directed by Kevin Drew. The piano-based ballad showcases warm vocals and imaginative lyrics.
By Kerry Doole
Charlotte Cornfield - "June" (Next Door Records): This Toronto-based folk-accented singer/songwriter released her third album, The Shape Of Your Name, a month ago, and it is already widely praised as her strongest work.
Cornfield has now released a video to accompany her piano ballad, "June." Directed by Broken Social Scenester Kevin Drew, it was filmed by Joe Cornfield in the warehouse at Toronto’s Burdock where a piano had to be forklifted into the space. Cornfield told NOW magazine that the video, though filmed in one shot, needed several takes to work. "As soon as the camera went around the piano, Kevin would yell 'alright everyone, disappear' and then they'd have to hurry up the stairs to the mezzanine...And two people had to stay down to throw the books on the floor."
The clip is minimal and moody, while the track itself showcases Cornfield's warm and slightly husky voice. She is an imaginative lyricist, with lines like "it's the shape of your name on the page that gets me every time" capturing your attention.
The carefully-crafted The Shape Of Your Name was recorded in five different sessions over three years. In a label press release, she explains that “my initial intention wasn’t to make a record at all. The whole thing kind of happened by accident. I went to The Banff Centre to do a residency and came out with these recordings that I knew I wanted to use for something but wasn’t sure what.”
She brought the unfinished songs to her former roommate Nigel Ward in Montreal. “He fell into the producer role seamlessly,” says Cornfield. “We took it slow and just tried things for a while until the vision settled in. There was no rush. It was freeing, and it gave the songs a lot of breathing room to develop.”
Collaborators on the record include Grammy-winning engineer Shawn Everett, Broken Social Scene members Brendan Canning, Kevin Drew, and Charles Spearin, and Leif Vollebekk.
Of note: Cornfield books and manages Burdock Music Hall, a small and popular Toronto music venue. She’s also an in-demand drummer and side musician and has worked closely with Tim Darcy of Ought, Molly Burch, Adrian Underhill, and members of Lake Street Dive. A multi-faceted talent indeed.
Cornfield is currently supporting Tim Baker on a North American tour. She has her own shows in Toronto at The Baby G (May 24), Cobourg's The Loft (May 25) and has three shows with Lydia Persaud in June. Dates here.
Publicity: Ken Beattie, Killbeat