Andrea Ramolo / Homage
Release Date: Nov. 9, 2018
Produced by Michael Timmins
at The Hangar, Toronto
All songs by Leonard Cohen (MAPL)
Genre: Alt-folk, singer/songwriter
November 7, 2018 will mark the second anniversary of Leonard Cohen’s death, and the passage of time has only added to the significance of his words and music. Cohen’s legacy will be celebrated then with the release of Andrea Ramolo’s Homage, a 10-song collection of some of Cohen’s best-loved works interpreted by the acclaimed Toronto singer/songwriter and produced by Michael Timmins of Cowboy Junkies.
Ramolo turned to Timmins—who also produced her 2017 Polaris Prize longer-listed NUDA—to oversee Homage, which features Ramolo on baritone guitar and vocals, Tom Juhas on lead guitar, Derek Giberson on keyboards, David Goncalves Gouveia on drums, and special guest Sahra Featherstone on harp. In all, Homage has been a true labour of love for Ramolo, underscored by it being a fully independent release.
It has been said that Cohen’s songs truly take flight when sung by others, and that argument can certainly be made with Homage. The blending of Ramolo’s mesmerizing vocals within delicate musical settings creates a haunting atmosphere unique to other Cohen tributes. Like Timmins’ own revered work with Cowboy Junkies, restraint is the key to the overall sound, offering stunning beauty and brooding tension in equal measure.
After spending over three years from 2008 to 2011 living in a van and touring all parts of Canada in support of her first two solo albums, Andrea Ramolo teamed up with Cindy Doire to form the duo Scarlett Jane whose two albums released under Warner Music Canada were hailed by critics coast to coast and recognized with multiple Canadian Folk Music Award nominations. Ramolo was also nominated for a CFMA award on her own in 2011.
Following that, Ramolo contributed to projects by Lee Harvey Osmond (where she crossed paths with Timmins), leading to the creation of NUDA, which she describes now as a huge growth spurt, both spiritually and artistically. But above all, she says the experience of making that album instilled a sense of confidence and willingness to experiment that she had never felt before, and Homage stands as an important next step in her journey.