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The Fugitives: No Words

In advance of a new album due next month, the acclaimed folk quartet releases a video for one of its focus tracks. It pays eloquent homage to its subject, Leonard Cohen, building from a quiet beginning to full-blooded neo-gospel fervour.

The Fugitives: No Words

By Kerry Doole

The Fugitives - "No Words" (Borealis): This highly-rated Vancouver/Toronto based folk collective will release a fourth studio album, The Promise of Strangers, on Jan. 26. In a label press release, the group explains that "The Promise of Strangers is an album of dedications - the majority are written for people the band has never said a word to."


One such song is "No Words." Dedicated to Leonard Cohen and written a day after his passing, it is a beautifully written and performed tribute. "I have no words, I think he took them all," they sing, but they do come up with such eloquent lyrics as "I never knew a stranger who hurt my heart better."

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The track was recorded live with their friends, the Righteous Ramshackle Chorus, and the powerful performance is well-captured in the video clip below. The song begins slowly, just voice and guitar, with the other band members gradually joining in on banjo, guitar and fiddle. Three minutes in, the choir joins the fun, adding a neo-gospel fervour. We reckon Leonard would have approved.

The album, recorded in Vancouver with producer John Raham (Dan Mangan, Frazey Ford), features some guest appearances.

The Fugitives have frequently toured in Europe and the UK. An extensive Ontario trek in January includes a T.O. show at Hugh's Room Live on Jan. 31, and Montreal's Casa del Popolo on Feb. 4. A full itinerary here

Kim Juneja at Take Aim is handling press.

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