Ten Mile Creek

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Art by Shannon McGill

Ten Mile Creek

All my songs are about loss. It dawned on me when I was choosing the songs for this EP. Heartbreak, mourning, fighting for your innocence and losing. Even the one about the rancher who got cheated by a bartender is about watching your dreams die.

They say “sad songs make you happy.” I’m not sure if happy is the word, exactly. Over and over I go back to those good weepers that remind you you’re not alone, that give you a soundtrack for your pandemic losses, or the enduring broken places that never made you stronger, or your bittersweet move to another country. I hope my songs can add in a tiny, quiet way to that big, sprawling soundtrack.

Shannon McGill, the artist who created the album cover, asked me how I wanted people to feel when they listened to my songs. I fumbled for an answer, but then she supplied the words I was looking for: “It sounds like you want people to feel seen.”

If anything can make these songs good weepers, it’s the players. I knew there was a great music scene on Vancouver Island when I moved here, but I didn’t expect to be in the studio listening to some of the best musicians I’ve ever heard. Playing on my songs. A piece of my heart to Adam Dobres, Adrian Dolan, Louis Rudner, and Zak Cohen for bringing them to life.

Here’s a little about the songs. For lyrics, click here.

High Field
According to the story I heard, more than one settler lost their ranchland to the same tavern keeper in the 1800s in the Pomo territory now known as Stewarts Point, California.

Ten Mile Creek
One summer my closest friend and I went to the Kate Wolf Music Festival. Everybody goes swimming in Ten Mile Creek to beat the heat. I knew about the cancer, but I wasn’t prepared for the sight of her mastectomy scars. I still picture her at our campsite early in the morning, kicking off one more tune, as if we had all the time in the world.

Snow Days
There was optimistic talk early in the pandemic about kids being “safe at home.” At the same time, reports of intimate partner violence and child abuse were going up – crimes that tend to go underreported. A song for anybody who’s been trapped at home with an abuser.

Coffee
In the space of six weeks my wife’s father and a dear friend both died. Listening to their surviving partners and loved ones helped me make sense of the early days of loss.

Praise
There are a million great breakup songs, but not enough about friend breakups.

Watch for Day
For a friend who got some bad news, at the time in the pandemic when you could least hug your friends.

 

Ten Mile Creek album credits
Skye Alexander, vocals
Adam Dobres, guitar
Zak Cohen, guitar, harmony vocals
Adrian Dolan, fiddle, viola, mandolin
Louis Rudner, bass
Produced and engineered by Zak Cohen at The Woodshop Recording Studio, Duncan, BC
All songs by Skye Alexander
Art by Shannon McGill
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