HEAD JUNKIE EXPERIMENTS
It's been 16 years since the Cowboy Junkies hunkered down inside
a Toronto Church and produced the enduringly luminous album The
Trinity Session. And while the band, composed of bassist Alan Anton and a trio
of Timmins siblings - writer/guitarist Michael, drummer Pete and singer
Margo - will always be associated with that work, they're also responsible
for eight other thought-provoking albums, including their latest, One
Soul Now (in stores June 8th).
It's a haunting album, awash with Michael Timmins' trademark bittersweet
lyrics and elegantly unencumbered arrangements.
"I think this album is really dark,
which sounds laughable because we have always been dark," says Margo
Timmins. "But we're darker than dark now [laughs]."
Timmins, on the line from the Toronto home she shares with husband and
Cowboy Junkies lawyer, Graham Henderson, has been stricken with a wicked
head cold that's turned her usually smoky voice into a nasal murmur.
Asked how One Soul Now fits into the Junkies' discography of melodiously
melancholic albums, Timmins is brutally honest.
"I think on our other albums the characters in the songs had hope,
there was another day and they'd rise from their troubles," she
why I think this album is darker than dark because when I was singing
these songs about these characters, I thought, 'You're just not going
to make it, sorry,'"she says with a small laugh, "There are
more and more people out there not making it."
You'll hear a tad more sassiness, and definitely more experimentation,
in Timmins' singing on this new album. She, by no means, changes her
languid style, but is singing with more of an edge.
"I think my voice is stronger, with more of an attitude, but that,
again, comes from the material that was given me. And with every album
you're hopefully a little more skilled and you have the confidence to
try this or that. My voice, well, people make of it what they will, I
don't pay much attention. I often get questions like 'Don't you ever
want to sing loud?' Well, I do. I might not sing like Janis Joplin, but
I do," she says laughing. "I think people associate my voice with being
quiet and whispery and that's the way it will always be."