Much like her frequent collaborator (and brother-in-law) Hayden, Lou Canon has managed to create a mystique around herself without really trying. The Toronto-based singer/songwriter’s honest and evocative folk-pop speaks for itself, which resulted in her self-titled 2011 debut album, released on Hayden’s Hardwood label, drawing comparisons to Feist and Bahamas.
But her seeming reticence when it comes to the media may also stem from the fact that she lived a double life as an elementary school teacher. Canon’s music career didn’t really get started until Hayden offered to produce some sessions for her as a Christmas gift, which eventually took shape as an album.
After a protracted period of silence, she is set to return with a new album in early 2017 on Paper Bag Records, with a sound described as “bedroom electronic.” Fans will get a preview with two upcoming performances, the first on Sept. 24 at Federation Ukrainienne as part of Pop Montreal, and on Oct. 22 at Massey Hall in Toronto as part of the Third Annual Dream Serenade.
What can you tell me about your new record so far, and what kind of direction did you want to take with it?
It’s called Suspicious. If I had to describe it in five words, they would be: gasping, cracking, bedroom, synthful, musk. I want my songs to leave the front door, go south at the end of the block, across the freeway, over the toll bridge, through the antenna, riding the waves, beyond the horizon, rising in the hot air, falling like rain, and reverberating in that space between an eardrum and your imagination.
What do you have planned for your upcoming shows at POP Montreal and Dream Serenade at Massey Hall?
I’m looking forward to both, but Dream Serenade is especially dear to me. It benefits services for children with disabilities, and was established by my sister, Christie and her husband, Hayden. It’s an intimate night where a community of musicians sing, collaborate, and celebrate the caregivers and teachers that keep these kids safe and happy. It’s an honour to be a part of this .I'm planning to wear my heart on my sleeve to the most beautiful stage in the country.
What has been the biggest change in your life over the past year?
I became the president and founder of the Bedroom Electronic Movement.
What song in your catalogue means the most to you and why?
“Coma” is the first track on my upcoming record, and it was really the creative catalyst. It reflects upon a time when I felt numb, unable to untangle layers and layers of relationship regret. It was my way of coming out of isolation and starting a conversation. It brought with it a sensation of freedom.
What are your fondest musical memories as you were growing up?
I have pangs of nostalgia for my little pink stereo. I used to tape songs off FM radio for hours on end, waiting to fall in love with the next Whitney Houston hit.