NOTE*** The purchase of this album also comes with a personal email from me with full artwork and liner notes, plus an all-new 10 song album THE GRACE OF BLACK ANGELS completely FREE!!
This album has been approximately two years in the making. It has gone through many conceptual overhauls, reworkings, reorganizations, restructurings, and re-recordings but it is finally, in my opinion ready for release.
The concept of “the healing of nerves” came upon me quite serendipitously. I work in a science library at my university and through working on a project I came upon a book entitled: “Systems of Surgery”. The wheels started turning and soon I felt the oncoming of a forceful, energetic, and confrontational album about the disillusion of reality and society—severing political and social limbs, sacrificial lambs at the expense of economic fulfillment, structured by heterosexual patriarchy. I began to think of songs that fit well into this concept, and decided not to limit myself to political content. Instead I wanted a mixture of both personal and political. Songs such as “Pornohead” (although still in its previous incarnation “I Deserve”), “Underwhelmed”, “I Am Fine”, “The Politics of Privilege/Expect part III”, “Providence”, and “O’ Tranny Boy” all seemed to me to fit nicely onto this album. The trouble started when I began to write songs that were less confrontational and edgy and more melodic, purposeful, and pleading.
This is when I came upon another book written by Charles Ballance and Purves Stewart entitled “The Healing of Nerves”. I was aware that copyright laws for publications prior to 1923 were now defunct in Canada and I was at liberty to use any text before that year for my own creative purposes. This is when I had decided to create a double album, both albums complimenting each other perfectly. Systems of Surgery would tear limbs apart and The Healing of Nerves would put them back together.
It wasn’t until my experiences over the course of 2007 began to reshape my conceptual ideological lens through which I see myself, others, and society. My intimate relationship with Billy Merrell (who is really co-author of this album and volume and less inspirational muse) made me shift my musical development and decide to stop striving for perfection, radio-playability, local musical culture acceptance, and polished production styles. Canadian music (local and international) is at times metaphorically linked to the geography of its home. Large, beautiful, naturally flawed perfection (if you can believe that), but ultimately cold and predominantly devoid of human life. In meeting with many up and coming local musicians (none of which are my good friends—so those of you who are my good friends and reading this, I am not speaking of you!), and music representatives who work for management companies and/or record labels, I began to understand that the emphasis becomes less about the passion of songwriting (although they delude themselves into thinking this is the core ingredient) and more about the accuracy in hitting notes, playing the proper chords, never missing a step, always keeping in rhythm, and being young beautiful and female, or tough, masculine and male. The more people I encountered who were like this—those who criticized me for being off key at times, and not following a more logical chord progression—the more I distanced myself from the process of creating music and performing live. My discussions with Billy and his undying support and enthusiasm for my creations made me come to terms with what I lack and instead progress and create with them as opposed to ignore and ‘overcome’ them—for my misgivings and shortcomings are not to be overcome. It is precisely my misgivings and shortcomings that make my music unique and introspective. I will not overcome them in order to fit into a category of musician that strives upon perpetuating gender and sexual stereotypes, sung from a beautiful over-produced voice. A category of musician that may possess differences in dress, hair, and musical genre, but all speak the same thing.
This album and book is ultimately the conclusion of a trilogy of albums I had intended to make when I first began recording and releasing music. The first of which was entitled “Yellowbrick”, second “Oz” and now “The Healing of Nerves”. I had started out with a “Wizard of Oz” themed trilogy, but decided to abandon it as the theme made me feel quite inhibited. Also, I feel “The Healing of Nerves” is a far better title than the originally slated “Kansas”.
The songs that appear on this final version are, in my opinion, the best recordings of the 50+ I have made for this project. Unlike previous endeavours, this album formed and created itself. On both “Yellowbrick” and “Oz” the songs were decided long before recordings of them began, and then slotted in the appropriate positions on their respective albums. With this, because the conceptual framework was always in flux and being redefined, the songs were chosen after recording. I never recorded a song so that it would fill a sonic lacuna on the track listing. Each song earned its spot on this record.
So I hope you enjoy my latest effort and are able to find a cathartic purging of emotions that will ultimately lead you to reconnect and heal your severed nerves.