In 2008, Catherine Feeny drove 12,000 miles with her husband-to-be in a 1990 Mazda 323 called Swansong, playing more than 40 planned and impromptu shows in dens, livingrooms and gardens all over the United States. She had just been dropped by her London-based record label (Charisma/EMI), and the situation called for radical action. "It was a break-up," says Feeny. "I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach, but at the same time, like I'd been set free. That tour helped me reclaim myself."
Landing in Portland, OR, a city her sometime tourmate Jacob Golden bigged-up for its creativity and innovation, Feeny started to grow roots -- figuratively and literally. She played local shows and met the musicians in town, while also starting to nourish the soil in her backyard, priming it for tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplants.
"It is easy, as a touring artist, to confine yourself to a small sphere," she says. "You don't make connections with your community, you're only friends with other people who are always on tour -- it can get very egocentric. I needed more balance."
Feeny, who had a finished album in hand that she'd recorded in England, took time to build a life in her new hometown, one friendship at a time. And when she finally felt like she was home, she turned her attention toward the lovely and long-awaited third album, "People in the Hole."
Presciently titled, the album quietly began to make its way into the world as the financial sector threatened to collapse. Combining darkly poppy songwriting with evocative instrumentation and coolly brilliant vocals, it is a laidback gem.