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Gulf Islands Driftwood

Allison Crowe launches eagerly anticipated Spiral album

Published: March 17, 2010

There’s one more reason to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for fans of Allison Crowe. March 17 is the release date for Crowe’s highly anticipated album, Spiral.


Crowe’s Salt Spring-based manager Adrian du Plessis said Spiral will be available today in digital formats, including on Crowe’s web site, Facebook and YouTube pages.


The music has also been sent to digital stores such as iTunes and Amazon, although some locations may not be able to post the music on the same date.


“We’d like as many people to have the music available as possible on that date, but if some online stores can’t post Spiral until later, at least most everyone will be able to find the music somewhere on March 17,” du Plessis said in an email.


Hard copies of the album in CD form will also be available. Du Plessis said he has had pre-orders waiting for people across Canada and the United States and as far away as Europe and Australia.


It’s not just the public who is eager to hear the new recording, which features Salt Spring musicians Billie Rocha-Woods on acoustic guitar and backing vocals and Laurent Boucher on percussion. U.S.-based entertainment blog Muruch named the album among its most highly anticipated.


U.K. music blog We Write Lists included Spiral as one of The Twelve Most Exciting Albums of 2010, remarking: “Crowe’s specialty is startlingly beautiful piano-based songs that sort of make you wonder why you bother with anything else.” (Crowe is joined on the list by top names like Fleet Foxes, Gorillaz and Massive Attack.)


Du Plessis notes that in over a decade of reviews, the word most often used to describe Crowe’s voice is “gorgeous.” Press material describes the acclaimed singer-songwriter’s seventh album as containing eight of Crowe’s original songs, “ranging from the tender and playful country/roots of Dearly, to the upbeat pop of Double-Edged Swords . . . and [the] darker terrain of I Don’t Know and the hard rocking title track.”


“Raw, natural emotion is embraced passionately with elegiac beauty and melody in these, and such joy-filled tunes as Going Home Tonight and No Matter the Battle.


With the live track Wake Up, Crowe renders the personal universal and the global human,” press material states.


Rocha-Woods, one of Crowe’s frequent touring partners, said it was a honour to work on the new CD.


“She came over and we recorded the tracks at my sunny Vesuvius residence,” Rocha-Woods said in an email.


“All these songs we had practised and performed while touring in Canada and through Europe, so it was a breeze. She previously had to walk me through the harmonies, but after practising in her home in Newfoundland and singing them as we walked through the new cities at night, I had them down!


“Putting in little guitar noodles was the funniest and most creative part for me. The whole CD will mean a lot to me, as I was there for a lot of the songs that were written and/or have heard the stories behind them (if there is one), so I’m super excited about it,” added Rocha-Woods.


But the Salt Spring connections on this project don’t end with the performers and locale.


Spiral was produced by Kayla Schmah, who grew up on Salt Spring and is now a Los Angeles-based composer and film scorer who orchestrates the recording with a cinematic sensibility.


The diverse mix of music was created in Corner Brook, Nanaimo, Denman Island, Salt Spring Island, Vienna and Hollywood.


Du Plessis said Crowe’s transnational and international concert dates for 2010 will be announced during the spring.


To hear Spiral and other recordings by Crowe, visit






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