Canadian jazz and folk singer-songwriter Catia Dignard has unveiled her new single, “Rather”.
“‘Rather’ is about starting love anew once we have lost our innocence,” Dignard explains, adding that it also touches on “carrying the scars of our pasts without them becoming liabilities.”
A torch song about not carrying one, “Rather” atmospherically sets such a stage for renewal with its lovely, interwoven piano and sax intro melody. Dignard’s yearning declaration of “wanted for so long to feel this peacefulness inside on my own” opens a channel to calmer waters after the storm.
“I’d rather be with you here than in the past.”
Weathering her own personal challenges — like going back to grad school, moving to a new city, and ending a long-term relationship — provided the impetus for Dignard to release “Rather” now after initially writing and recording the song a few years ago.
“It’s one of these songs just ‘waiting’ for the moment to find its place in the world,” says the Montréal-born, Toronto-based artist. “Life changes and a great deal of soul searching made me revisit it with a new perspective.”
With Acadian heritage and having lived in Latin America and North Africa during her childhood, Dignard draws inspiration from the sea and her travels. As such, “Rather” flows along on a rolling sea of piano, saxophone, and percussion with Dignard’s smooth, sultry vocal at the crest of the wave, journeying from one stage of life to the next.
“This song has also travelled quite a bit,” notes Dignard. “It was written in Montréal. Its music [was] composed and charted in Toronto. Then, recorded and performed first under the stars in Havana in December 2019 and finally mixed and mastered in the Eastern Townships, Quebec in the spring of 2020.”
A magical collaboration while visiting Cuba just prior to the first pandemic lockdown provided Dignard with the instrumental foundation for “Rather;” the musicians she met and recorded within the musical hotbed of Havana helped give this song its wings just before a time during which creative flight has felt nearly impossible for many.
“In the midst of these turbulent times, both on a personal and global level, I found a safe haven musical community of collaborators and friends for this piece to come about,” she shares.
“Rather” was recorded at Manane Records Studios in Playa, Havana and produced by Miguel Ángel Wong Díaz — who also plays guitar on the track. In addition to Díaz are the “incredible team of Havana-based musicians,” Dignard says, including Lendy Fernández (piano), Francisco Spek Silveira (saxophone), Yan Sanabria Betancourt (bass), and Carlos A. Valdés Bastante (drums) — along with Dignard’s “long-time accomplice” and saxophonist David Elias engineering and mastering the track.
Check out “Rather” below, and stay up to date with Catia via her socials.
I’m Jenna, and I am the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be. I am so proud of what it has become over the last few years, with many talented music lovers and writers coming together to spread the word of Canada’s music.