Marin Patenaude: Fentanyl Waltz

A powerful message delivered in compelling fashion.

Marin Patenaude: Fentanyl Waltz

By Kerry Doole

Marin Patenaude  - Fentanyl Waltz (Dine Alone Records): Last week, Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Marin Patenaude released her new single Fentanyl Waltz, taken from her forthcoming album Sex and Dying, coming Jan. 11. The song is described as "a reflection on pain, loss, and the collective impact of Canada's current Fentanyl crisis."

"The getting good ain’t been the same, Since you’ve come to town," Patenaude sings, and she gets her topical message across in compelling fashion. Her clear and strong voice contains just a hint of huskiness, and it has drawn comparisons to Margo Timmins (Cowboy Junkies). The self-produced track features interesting instrumental touches provided by such local notables as Paul Rigby, Cole Schmidt, and John Raham, who engineered and mixed.


Fine stuff all round, and it is refreshing to hear a current singer/songwriter tackle a social issue, rather than just indulge in navel-gazing. In a label press release, Patenaude declares that “My city is grieving, and it’s not the only one. The poisonous drug epidemic has stolen countless lives and left holes in the hearts of almost every person I know. I’ve watched a mother lose her daughter; an unfathomable pain. I’ve lost beautiful people closest to me. My utmost love and support to the efforts of individuals and organizations who are taking action and advocating awareness, while navigating continuous grief. This is for Gemma. Daughter, sister, friend”. 

She adds that “I petition for safe supply and the de-stigmatization of drug use. This is not limited to a back-alley issue. There are stabilized users all around us and they are in danger." If you need support and/or want to be part of changing this devastating and unnecessary paradigm, Patenaude recommends visiting Moms Stop The Harm, Drug User Liberation Front, or the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition for more information.


Following the release of her debut album The Follow Through in 2016, Patenaude extensively toured BC’s festival circuit as a solo, duo, and full band act. She has opened for Sarah McLachlan, toured with City and Colour, played across Canada with Kenton Loewen as part of Dan Mangan’s house concert series Side Door, and gigged in Germany and Switzerland.

Patenaude released her second album, Sight Unseen, in 2020, via Dallas Green’s (City & Colour, Alexisonfire) record label, Still Records. Green has been quoted as recalling that "When I first heard Marin’s music I was immediately struck by how pure her voice was. It made me think of Cowboy Junkies, Aimee Mann, or Lucinda Williams… in other words, classic.” 

She has been Artistic Director and Production Manager for the festival Arts on the Fly for 12 years, has booked tours in Europe and across Canada, and is a regular session harmony singer for recording bands in Vancouver.





Publicity: Jess Arcand,

Vanessa Heins


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