Toronto songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Abigail Lapell returns with Anniversary, an evocative collection of original love songs. Produced with Great Lake Swimmers’ Tony Dekker, the album was recorded at 200-year-old St Mark’s Church in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Dekker helped shape the sessions’ spooky, resonant sound and also lent his voice to a couple of spellbinding duets.
Lapell’s deft lyrics jostle with love song tropes, grappling with love’s finitude and the irony of how codependency and longing are revered in popular music. A ghost story is woven through the album: waltzing in the dusty barroom country of “Blue Blaze,” buried in the superstitious lyrical streak of “Rattlesnake” and audible in a wheezing organ as it shuts down at the end of “Footsteps.” Still, Anniversary emerges as an earnest celebration of commitment. Earworms like “Anniversary Song” and “Someone Like You” showcase
intricately layered harmonies, while closer “Stars” affirms that there’s no place the speaker would rather be than with the one she loves.
Dekker and Lapell assembled a stellar cast of musicians to support Lapell’s powerhouse vocals, piano, harmonica and signature fingerstyle guitar. The core band includes Dan Fortin on bass, Jake Oelrichs on drums, and Tania Gill on the church’s piano, harpsichord and organ. Rounding out the ensemble’s sensitive orchestral country-jazz arrangements are Rebecca Hennessy (trumpet), Rachael Cardiello (viola), Michael Davidson (marimba and vibraphone) and Joe Lapinsky (pedal steel), who also engineered and mixed the record.
Lapell has garnered three Canadian Folk Music Awards, hit number one on Canadian folk radio and reached a staggering 40 million + streams on Spotify alone. She tours widely across Canada and the U.S.
Anniversary is out May 10, 2024 on Outside Music.