Drifters Out May 8 On Fallen Tree Records
An album filled with wandering thoughts, hearts, and dreams
“Few songwriters consistently demonstrate such a willingness to venture deep into the dark corners of their psyches” – No Depression
“His rasp switches effortlessly between Bruce Cockburn, Tom Petty, Tom Waits, and Eddie Vedder superb reference points all, and a sure sign that Nolan is well on his way to distinguishing himself as one of Canada’s finest singer-songwriters.” – Exclaim
Joe Nolan knows how to get to the core of life with his songs – a troubled mind, a broken heart, and a shattered soul. It’s a heavy burden, for sure, but Joe is young and able, and he can carry the load.
Time keeps yelling at me, all this shit keeps reminding me
Of how I used to be – “How I Used To Be”
On his new album Drifters, Edmonton, Alberta singer/songwriter Joe Nolan continues a
remarkable creative run over the past two years, getting down to the bone with a 10-track
predominantly acoustic collection, his first to be released in partnership with Canadian roots music label Fallen Tree Records on May 8, 2020.
Nolan, who has been heralded by outlets such as the Globe & Mail and No Depression as a roots rock wunderkind is a Canadian star to watch out for in 2020 as he continues to build upon the massive year that came in the wake of his 2018 independently released album Cry Baby. Over that time, Nolan played over 175 shows across North America and six European countries, most while traveling in his faithful 2003 Dodge Caravan. Along the way, he also recorded the EP Rootsy House Sessions in Sweden, and signed deals with Mongrel Music Agency (Chuck Prophet, Lake Street Dive), as well as European label Rootsy Records (John Prine, Patti Griffin, Anderson East). His work also earned the Cobalt Prize for songwriting at the 2018 Maple Blues Awards, as well as Blues Artist Of The Year at the Edmonton Music Awards. Furthermore, Nolan was nominated for Roots Solo Artist Of The Year at Breakout West 2019, capping off a truly momentous comeback, which is still in its early stages.
“When Ruthie came here, she was young and brave
I see her now, she ain’t the same
I watch over her, and we’ll grow old
Beside the water that runs so cold” – “River”
Drifters begins the next leg of that journey, made at Riverdale Recorders in Edmonton with engineer Scott Franchuk, which takes fresh material written in the midst of touring and combines them with songs that date back to Nolan’s late teens. However, the common thread among them is reflected in the album’s title: songs of longing, wanderlust, and lost love.
“I wanted to keep it as stripped down as possible,” Nolan says. “We recorded most of it to my Tascam 2-track reel-to-reel to make something that resembled the sounds of my favorite records from the ‘70s with that real warm tape sound and vibe. I also have always wanted to collaborate with guitarist Kevin Breit [Norah Jones] and he graciously added some beautiful touches to this album.”
In the past, Nolan has stated that his definition of rock ‘n roll is an artist letting their heart bleed on and off stage without any fear. There’s probably no better way to describe Drifters, as on it Nolan once again demonstrates a willingness to venture deeper into the dark corners of his psyche.
It’s a trait that puts him in good company with artists he has shared stages with over the past decade, from Wilco and Shakey Graves to The Strumbellas and Hawksley Workman. He may be categorized as a roots artist, but Nolan never wants that tag to define him completely. By drawing inspiration from vintage rock ‘n roll, blues, country, and punk, he intends to keep pushing boundaries with every record he makes.
“So, give me kisses in the dark, in the shadows of the night
In their curtains of tomorrow, in the cupboards of our lives” – “Kisses In The Dark”
“I’m feeling as if I’m becoming much more myself, and being true to who I am,” Nolan says. “I have become a better listener, and I have less fear of what people think. I am doing what I love, making music, and if I can continue to do that, then for me, that’s a success.”
Slipstream, I hear you call my name
Lucky, alive in love again
Better than, I’ve ever been
So why do I feel something’s missing – “Missing”
Joe will be touring to support the album through North America with booking agent Brad Madison at Mongrel Music. Check out his website for dates: https://www.joenolanmusic.com/