FROM NEW INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM CALM AND CENTS
TO BE RELEASED JUNE 14 HERE
SOLO ALBUM CATALOGUE TO BE RE-RELEASED JUNE 14
ALONG WITH FIRST DIGITAL RUN OF THE SUPERHERO SUITE
Award-winning multi-instrumentalist Kevin Hearn releases the second single and video “The Silent Collapse” from with his widely-anticipated new solo offering, Calm and Cents, which will be available on vinyl, disc, and digitally on June 14 via his Celery Music imprint. There’s a significant visual component to Calm and Cents. “The Silent Collapse” video directed and animated by Sonia Beckwith Cole is abstract, exploring the extinction of countless species through unique animations based on Hearn’s own drawings.
His first single “The Chemical Valley” HERE is dedicated to the people of Aamjiwnaang First Nation, who have seen their traditional territory in Southern Ontario transform into one of Canada’s most polluted, causing unimaginable and undeserved hardships. The self-produced predominantly-instrumental collection on Calm and Cents features sprawling soundscapes created and captured at Hearn’s secluded studio in Northern Ontario – half in the summer, half in the spring – with Hugh Marsh (strings), Chris Gartner (bass), JUNO Award-winning producer Gavin Brown (percussion and programming), and a few special guests. The stunning album is inspired by our natural world, shifting seamlessly between celebrations of its ethereal beauty and the troubling urgency of what we, as humans, are doing to it. “I didn’t want to get on a soapbox, necessarily,” Hearn says about his theme, “but rather just relay those feelings through music.”
Alongside the new album, Hearn will re-release his entire catalogue, which dates back to 1997 (his solo debut, Mothball Mint) and includes Cloud Maintenance (2011), Days in Frames (2014), as well as albums with his longtime band and collaborators Thinbuckle: H-Wing (2011), Night Light (2004), The Miracle Mile (2006) and Havana Winter (2009). His catalogue also includes a first time digital release of Record Store Day Canada project Kevin Hearn & Friends Present: The Superhero Suite. The unique collection features a well-known and eclectic cast of close friends and musical heroes performing an array of superhero-inspired songs, including Barenaked Ladies, Violent Femmes, and Colin Hay covering the Batman theme from the classic ‘60s TV series. The initial limited-edition vinyl release, from which all the proceeds were donated to MusiCounts to support music education in Canada, sold out nationwide and debuted on the Nielson Chart at Number 7.
“Some of these projects have been in the works for a few years, and it seems the universe just sort of decided that they all needed to come out this year,” Hearn shares – and that doesn’t faze him in the least. He’s also the subject of a documentary There Are No Fakes, a riveting deep dive into the tragic history of indigenous art forgery and exploitation, for which he composed the score. The worldwide premiere screenings in Toronto sold out, leading up to the national theatrical release in June.
A gifted composer, in-demand collaborator, and ever-active musical force with zero interest in creative stagnancy, Hearn cut his teeth collaborating with the likes of Look People, Corky and the Juice Pigs, and revered art-rock outfit Rheostatics before formally joining Barenaked Ladies in 1995. As the group’s profile swelled in the ensuing years, he explored new sonic ground with a series of innovative and imaginative solo albums. One of the most respected and sought-after Toronto musicians of the past 25 years, Hearn’s projects always attract brilliant collaborators including Ron Sexsmith, Dan Hill, Michael Ray of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Carole Pope, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Alan Doyle, The Persuasions, Violent Femmes, Colin Hay and drummer Rob Kloet (the Nits). One of his most rewarding creative and personal relationships of all was with the legendary Lou Reed, for whom Hearn acted as musical director and keyboardist from 2007 until his passing in 2013. Muses Hearn, “I like connecting with people that have an adventurous musical spirit – who are imaginative and still approach music with a sense of wonder.” Hearn was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2018 as part of Barenaked Ladies.