John Borra / The Wars ’21 (Single)
Release Date: April 23, 2021
Label: Cousin Jeb Records
Genre: Americana, Singer-Songwriter
Produced and mixed by John Borra
Music by John Borra
Lyrics by Eva H.D.
It was only in January 2020 that John Borra released his critically acclaimed album Blue Wine, but for obvious reasons it already feels like a lifetime ago. Normally, the veteran Toronto artist would have spent the past year doing what he’s always done best: Playing his ragged-but-right alt-country to his loyal audience, both at home and across Canada.
Instead, Borra has adapted to promoting the album in new ways, mainly through honing his video skills. However, now he’s utilizing his more well-known audio engineering chops by offering a new mix of one of Blue Wine’s standout tracks, “The Wars.” As one of the three songs on the album co-written with the award-winning poet Eva H.D., “The Wars” has a special meaning for Borra, which is why he felt compelled to revisit it.
He explains, “We wrote this song after everything else was recorded and mixed, but I was able to record it just in time to get it on the record. Because of the rushed nature, I never felt it had been given its proper due so I thought I’d give it a new mix and release it as a single. I re-did the bass but otherwise it’s the same song as on the record, just given a little extra love and attention it didn’t get the first time around.”
Indeed, “The Wars ‘21” glows with a classic country warmth, accentuated by Borra’s signature, timeless vocal performance. It is available April 23, 2021 on all digital platforms, and through Borra’s Bandcamp page.
John Borra has been a fixture on the Toronto roots music scene since the mid-1990s, and well known for many years prior from his work with some of the city’s groundbreaking punk and alternative rock bands. Artists he has toured and recorded with include The Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Serena Ryder and Ron Sexsmith. And for over 15 years (up until the pandemic lockdown), he and his musical partner Sam Ferrara played every Sunday afternoon at Toronto café The Communist’s Daughter.
Blue Wine is Borra’s first solo album since 2002, and was deemed by Exclaim! to be “a fine collection of songs from an artist meriting more attention,” and by the Winnipeg Free Press as “rock-solid proof this artist knows full well how to build on his strengths.”