Countermeasure: Hold On
A charming cut with good musical and lyrical vibes.
By Kerry Doole
Countermeasure - Hold On (Independent). This is the first single off Guest Sessions, the latest album from multi-award-winning Toronto-based vocal group Countermeasure.
The ensemble's musical director, Aaron Jensen, composed Hold On, inspired by a conversation with bandmate and vocal soloist Qwyn Alexis. The song reflects her experiences of motherhood, and the mixture of fear and hope involved.
Jensen says in a press release that "the video for Hold On illustrates how the images we see on the news, and the horrors of ongoing conflicts in the world, can intrude upon our daily lives. This message is more relevant now than ever - that amidst chaos and upheaval, we can find strength in ourselves and our relationships."
"When Aaron first approached me about the music video for Hold On, in early 2020, I was hesitant because I was newly pregnant with my second child. Little did I know the world was about to change so dramatically and we would have to put the video on hold,” explains Alexis. “When we started talking about it again, I had a newborn, and couldn’t be away for an entire day - so we made it a family affair! Making this video was one of the most unique experiences of my life, and the message has become all the more relevant in the past few weeks. I am so grateful to have this snapshot of life in 2020."
Qwyn Alexis takes lead vocals on the tune, and her warm voice is neatly complemented by the melodic vibraphone work of Michael Davidson and harmony vocals of her Countermeasure comrades. Hold On was premiered live by Countermeasure at Triphony Hall in Sumida, Tokyo, Japan in August 2019.
The group's third release, Guest Sessions comprises ten original compositions by Aaron Jensen, featuring an eclectic line-up of solo instrumentalists. Musical guests include three multi-Grammy award-winners: Randy Brecker on trumpet, Scottish percussionist, Dame Evelyn Glennie, and Cindy Cashdollar on dobro. Other notable guests include Natalie MacMaster, Christian Roberge, Pamelia Stickney, Charlie Gabriel, Rich Brown, and Kevin Fox.
Countermeasure has sold-out theatres across Canada, the US, Italy, Japan, and the UK, and recorded with Ron Sexsmith, Alan Doyle, and The Barenaked Ladies. Along the way, the group has won multiple awards from The Contemporary A Cappella Society of America, including Best CAL Album, Best Video, and Best Original Song, and recently signed a world-wide synchronization deal with UK-based AM Licensing. Countermeasure. Upcoming plans include a fall tour in Saskatchewan, and a return to Japan in spring 2022.
Publicity: Cortney Harkin, baselineMUSIC
Management: Pat Silver
Booking: You will Love it Live