Various Artists: Mourning Keeps Coming Back

Leah and Pete from July Talk and Broken Social Scene collaborated with indigenous students from a Thunder Bay high school on a compelling track that merges a vivid soundscape and intense lyrics.

Various Artists: Mourning Keeps Coming Back

By Kerry Doole

Various Artists  - "Mourning Keeps Coming Back" (Independent): This song is the impressive product of a workshop that took place at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay, ON, a year ago.

As part of the New Constellations Tour, touring artists Leah Fay and Peter Dreimanis of July Talk and Nick Ferrio spent the day at the school with the students,  coming up with the beginning of what would become “Mourning Keeps Coming Back.” 

The DFC high school services dozens of Indigenous communities near and far from Thunder Bay that don't have a high school, the students travelling away from home and often have to live in boarding homes in order to get a high school education.


After the tour, Ferrio, Fay and Dreimanis kept in touch with the staff and students at the school and joined other New Constellations artists Cris Derksen and Ansley Simpson in a studio session with Broken Social Scene to record a musical bed track to the song that they had written with the students.

Ferrio, Fay and Dreimanis then travelled back to DFC to record the students singing and performing guitar and keys on the track at the school, with the students later contributing to the recording in Toronto as well.

In a press release, Ferrio recalls the workshop experience: "Many of the students wrote lyrics that so profoundly exemplified their experiences as young Indigenous people experiencing racism in Thunder Bay, missing their homes and families and just trying to improve their lives by going to school. It was at times very heavy and (I think) cathartic for them.”

Fay adds that "I hope that the students feel proud of the fact that they made an honest and important piece of work regardless of what happens with it. If songwriting/poetry is something that they find helpful, I hope they continue to use it as a tool."


The song itself is an atmospheric one, featuring the wide wall of sound and shifting dynamics that are Broken Social Scene signatures. The vocals of Fay and the other guests deliver the intense lyrics effectively.

“Mourning Keeps Coming Back.” was premiered by CBC Music and is available to now buy/listen/share here. You can also check out the broader story and help to hold the Liberal Government accountable to their promises via the website:

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Courtesy Photo

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