Nanaimo singer Laura Kelsey will spend the better part of a week touring up and down the Island with Matthew Good this month.
As the opening act, Kelsey will take the stage at the Tidemark Theatre in Campbell River on Oct. 12, followed by shows at the McPherson Playhouse in Victoria, the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay, and ending at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo on Oct. 15.
“I’m really looking forward to [the shows] – I haven’t played in Courtenay or Campbell River before … So that’s all a new experience for me,” said Kelsey.
To coincide with the tour, the Nanaimo singer will release the first single, Your Stormy Ways, from her debut EP Hunting Season on Oct. 12.
In her half-hour set before Good, she said the audience can expect honesty, poetry and soulful vocals.
“I’ll be doing stuff from all over, including Grabbing a Ghost and Little Winters,” she said.
Kelsey performed at Nanaimo’s first ever Shine event at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre last month, when she played Grabbing a Ghost with a troupe of dancers.
“It was fun, I’ve never done anything with dancers before. It was totally new, and singing along to my own track – I’ve never done that before … Usually I’m either playing along with the band or with a guitar, I’m not just singing along. So that was neat, that was all a new experience.”
Kelsey was successful in gaining a grant from Creative B.C. earlier this year to record Hunting Season. She said her success in finally achieving a grant came from years of honing her skills, working non-stop and refusing to give up, despite applying to different funding organizations every year for the past decade.
“It’s very cool to finally receive this funding and make all these songs come to life … Before that I put out home-recorded song collections and I’ve been in lots of bands and I’ve made recordings with them … and I’ve put out different singles before, but I’ve never got to put out a full, professional EP before.”
Hunting Season is a four-track album which she plans to release in early 2023. It was produced by Winston Hauschild at Bowen Island’s Treehouse Studio over the summer.
The first single from the album, Your Stormy Ways, is a relatable song in consideration to its influence, Kelsey said.
“In the opening lines it goes, ‘the odds are stacked against our mind and the last thing we need is a reason to fight’… I think the odds are really against us in life, and why do we need to make things more difficult? And that goes for any relationship … And an overall journey for peace in the world – So that’s kind of the inspiration behind the song.”
Another consideration was the concept of how easily and seemingly more readily available humanity has become through the advent of modern technology and social media.
“Like when we get a friend request from an ex-relationship that ended badly and you think ‘wow, I never want to see that person again.’ The ease that we can reconnect and stay connected with people might not be a good thing … We may have had negative experiences, or just any brief moment with anybody, and now we’re just dragging around this trail of every experience and relationship we have and it might not be good for mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.”
The rest of the album, Kelsey said, deals with the overarching theme of searching for truth and peace within oneself and within the world at large.
“But also ‘the circle of life’ and the feeling that we’re all just strings of energy. And then once our strings snap, we’re just reabsorbed back into the energy of the world and then we come back as a different thing.”
Your Stormy Ways can be pre-saved on streaming platforms such as Spotify before its Oct. 12 release.
Tickets for Kelsey’s Port Theatre performance with Matthew Good can be purchased online through www.porttheatre.com. Further information on the tour and Kelsey’s ongoing projects can be found www.laurakelsey.com.