“It’s about the beauty of being alive and the courage that can take,” singer-songwriter Raine Hamilton says of her new song, “Brave Land,” released on Friday, Jan. 22. It’s the first single and title track of her upcoming project, a concept album about courage, connection, and wisdom, inspired by the dramatic mountainous landscape she encountered while touring, and how that echoes so many of our human connections.
Hamilton will play a special sneak-peek Livestream show on Feb. 5, presented by The West End Cultural Centre and Home Routes streaming series, where she will perform the entire new album along with favorites from past releases.
For both the single and album Brave Land, Hamilton worked with longtime collaborators Quintin Bart on double bass and Natanielle Felicitas on cello. The three musicians have been co-composing arrangements and recording since fall 2019, interrupted in March by the pandemic and completed over the summer. The new album will be released slowly over the course of a year, along with the stories of the songs and other super-secret content.
Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Hamilton grew up writing songs as part of a musical family. Her parents met in a rock band in the 1970s, so you could say it’s in her blood. Her music stretches the boundaries of contemporary folk, combining the traditions of singer-songwriter, lyric-centered songs, and fiddling, with classically influenced string parts that borrow from a renaissance counterpoint.
Hamilton has toured as a professional singer-songwriter and chamber folk artist since 2014, releasing two previous albums, Past Your Past in 2015, and Night Sky in 2018. She is the recipient of the 2018 Canadian Folk Music Award for Emerging Artist of the Year and has toured Canada extensively, driving, flying, and floating her way coast to coast. She’s performed with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and festivals including Vancouver Folk Festival, Vancouver Island Music Fest, Atlin Festival, Home County, Filberg Fest, Lilac Fest, Harvest Moon, and Trout Forest, among others.
A believer that music is for everyone, and that we all have something to share, she offers workshops in songwriting and fiddle-tune writing, and offers concerts with American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, to help make live music and the community that comes with it more accessible to the Deaf community.
As an artist, Hamilton is committed to delving into her unknown and sharing the growth, discovery, healing, and joy in that process.
I grew up in Alberta, but spent most of my life in British Columbia – I also spent a lot of my summers in Britain as I was lucky enough to have immigrant parents with the capital to go visit our relatives. The amount of time I spent overseas makes it hard for me to say I feel fully Canadian, but it does make me feel typically Canadian as so many of us have mixed parentage. My parents defined another divide in me as I feel inexorably pulled to both science and the art; my father being a doctor and my mother being a school teacher. I studied both in university and now work on making healthcare software during the day, then write/read/draw/paint/dance in my evenings. My global wanderings, my education, and the fact that my appetite for media could be described as ‘voracious’ means my frame of reference is pretty varied. It’s hard to say that I have a favourite music genre, rather I am always seeking sounds that convey a sense earnestness an honesty.