By Kerry Doole
Evangeline Gentle - Gay Bar (Independent/Bandcamp). This Scottish-born, Peterborough-based singer/songwriter earned international acclaim for a 2020 debut self-titled release and appearances at major folk/roots festivals here and across the pond.
This week, Gentle shared a new single and video Gay Bar, a track which, according to a press bio, "wasn’t supposed to be released until 2023, but in the wake of the recent mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs which took the lives of 5 people and injured 19, Gentle felt called to meet this moment."
Originally written in 2021 as an “expression of reverence for the sacredness of queer spaces,” Gentle wrote it “with gratitude for the sense of belonging my community has and continues to gift me. Gay Bar seeks to embody unapologetic queer joy as an act of resistance. Our communion is divine and resilient; even in the face of violence, we will do as our ancestors did, we will gather, we will dance, we will love, and we will resist.”
Produced by Jim Bryson (Kathleen Edwards, Suzie Ungerleider), mixed by Daniel Ledwell (Jenn Grant), and mastered by Philip Shaw Bova, the track has strong production values, while Bryson and guitarist Nick Ferrio are amongst the instrumentalists featured. Sporting a strong melody and catchy chorus, the cut has a glossy pop sheen to match its celebratory mood, with Gentle's pure voice nicely to the fore. It sounds radio-friendly to these ears.
In solidarity with queer people in Colorado impacted by the recent mass shooting, all Bandcamp sales of Gay Bar and a portion of subsequent streaming proceeds are being donated to Queer Asterisk – a Colorado-based nonprofit organization providing counselling services, educational trainings, and therapeutic programs that center queer and trans experiences.
Of note: Gentle is no longer with Sonic Unyon, the label that released the debut album.