Written by David Morrison

Being useless at everything else and because music is on my mind as many hours per day as koalas are asleep, I’ve spent the majority of my working life cheerily toiling away in record stores. Thirteen years into my employ at the fabled Fascinating Rhythm in Nanaimo, BC, that situation – and, essentially, my music retail career – ground to an unceremonious halt upon the declaration of this godforsaken pandemic.     

Oh, how I miss my regular customers and yakking day in, day out with them about the artform that is fundamental to my role on this beleaguered pale blue dot. I also miss the buzz of random visits from artists I admire, such as Ryan Boldt, a scholarly roots music fanatic and the beating heart of recherché folk dreamers, The Deep Dark Woods.

Like myself, Ryan is a melomaniac: for he and I music is far above even a passion – it’s an intrinsic need. We now reside on opposite coasts, but when living on Vancouver Island he’d sporadically swing by between tours and recording to spend goodly time flipping through racks, rifling through boxes, and poking about the store’s dusty corners in search of rustic melodious treasures. Satisfied with the day’s findings, flashing a scratchcard winner’s grin he’d present me with a stack of arcane folk, bluegrass, old-timey, country-blues and gospel vinyl for purchase, then off at it we’d go…yak, yak, yak, music, music, music. He knows his stuff and I know mine, so our mutually enthusiastic exchanges flowed like whitewater. 

I dearly miss such simple, yet now inestimably valued interactions with Ryan and so many like him during the course of those working days, so how apt it is in this challenging time that the exquisite first single from The Deep Dark Woods’ forthcoming album, Changing Faces, is a pining contemplation on separation from a loved one, and the deep yearning for reconnection. In the same hankering spirit of his legendary compatriot Gordon Lightfoot’s classic “Early Morning Rain”, Ryan’s “Everything Reminds Me” is a stark chamber-folk song of haunting beauty, enhanced by melancholy strings arranged and performed by Maria Grigoryeva. Directed by the award-winning Craig Range, the intimate accompanying video shows the family of a friend of Ryan’s, rugged prairie folks going about their day in the isolated Saskatchewan hamlet of Cardross. Underscoring our innate need for closeness and community at a time when we’re so deprived of it, with dignity and quiet defiance the poignant short film also emphasizes that even the most mundane moments of any given day all add up to something far greater in life’s considerably grander scheme, should we care to look for them. Every moment, every second is precious, people; use them well.

Watch the video for “Everything Reminds Me” here.